It really is delicious. I wasn't sure what to expect when I tried a "Malibu Pie" ... yes, I was told they were healthy, fast to heat up—and everyone I spoke to loved them. But still, I have to be honest, I wasn't really sure what to expect.
So, I reiterate, it really is delicious.
So, what is a Malibu Pie? It is an organic pastry shell filled with meat and veggies—or just veggies. There are no additives, preservatives, lard, MSG or trans fats used. In other words, all natural ingredients only.
Marcus Salvemini, the mastermind behind the pies, sells them every week at the . He has an enthusiasm that is contagious.
"I just had a desire to get healthy food around the house," he said. "Fast food doesn't have to mean unhealthy."
So when Salvemini wanted to make his own convenient, healthy food, he immediately thought of the pies his mom—who was in the catering business for 30 years—used to make for the family.
"We were always so busy, she used to make these pies in [his native] South Africa," he said.
"I learned to perfect them from my mom," he said. "It took me five years, but I feel like I perfected them."
Of course, he also noted that he ate all his "experiments."
Before Salvemini set off to make his own pies, he said he searched high and low for healthy food, let alone a meat pie.
"There are no established fast foods like this in the U.S. that are healthy and tasty," he said. "It is a huge market in South Africa and even Australia."
After he started making the pies for himself, several people convinced Salvemini that they were really delicious. He thought to sell him—so, as a test, he did. Salvemini sold 176 of them in two and a half days at a farmers market. Yes, they really are delicious.
Plus, he's smart. Visit him at the Malibu Farmers Market, and he gives you a spoonful to taste that is mouth-watering and makes us want more and, thus, turns us into instant customers.
So, once Salvemini knew he was on to something, he then determined which recipes to use. Salvemini decided on three breakfast pies, including one made with Italian sausage, onion, sundried tomato, feta and mozzarella cheese.
For dinner pies, there is a choice of beef or chicken curry with vegies, a few vegetable-only options or other chicken and beef choices as well.
Salvemini also runs in Sherman Oaks on Ventura Boulevard, where he makes all the pies in the kitchen.
"We make them in the back of the restaurant during off-hours," he said.
Customers can buy them frozen, half frozen or ready-to-go. It takes up to 30 minutes to heat them, depending on the type. I tried the beef/vegetable one night and the chicken/vegetable another night, and I had a healthy dinner for the family in 30 minutes.
Malibu Mayor Laura Zahn Rosenthal is also a fan.
"My son just had a breakfast pie this morning before school," she said. "And my husband loves the curry one."
She continued, "Every time I go to the Farmers Market, I buy a bunch and freeze them, there is no salt or bad stuff in them ... I highly recommend them."
So do I ... so do I.
Malibu Pies can be found at the Malibu Farmers Market, which is open every Sunday in the Civic Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and online at www.malibupies.com