All Posts Tagged ‘Grain free

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Shepherd’s Pie

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I think Shepherd’s Pie is one of the ultimate comfort foods. It reminds me of my childhood and especially church potlucks. The mashed potatoes were of course the best part, right?

I’ve tried a few paleo versions of Shepherd’s Pie and finally tweaked enough until I’ve got one that I’ll stick with. The main difference for me is in preparing the mashed cauliflower (faux mashed potatoes). Most recipes call for you to steam the cauliflower before mashing it, but I always find that this makes mine too runny and not close enough to the texture of real mashed potatoes. This time I tried roasting the cauliflower instead and the texture was perfect!

My little guy was shoving this into his mouth by the messy handful and Charley managed to swallow five bites, so I am definitely considering this a picky toddler approved recipe. (She did, however, refer to it as the Pie of Bravery, and suggested that maybe next time I should call Nana and ask for her recipe).

Ingredients:

-1-2 tbsp coconut oil

-2 lbs ground beef

-1 onion, diced

-3 cloves of garlic, minced

-3 large carrots, diced (about 1 cup)

-1 head of broccoli, chopped into small pieces

-3 tbsp tomato paste

-3 tsp coconut aminos

-2 tsp rosemary

-2 tsp thyme

-1.5 tsp paprika, divided

-1 cup beef broth

-salt and pepper to taste

-1 large head of cauliflower or 2 small heads

Directions:

1) Heat a large pan over medium heat and add coconut oil.

2) Throw in your onions, garlic, carrots and broccoli and fry for approximately 5 mins or until they begin to soften.

3) Crumble your meat into the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 5-10 minutes or until browned and cooked through. (My pan isn’t very large, so I actually had to scoop out some of the vegetables to make enough space for the meat to cook evenly. Once the meat was cooked through, I add the vegetables back in).

4) While the meat is cooking, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Chop or slice your cauliflower (I slice the cauliflower into about 1 cm thickness so it will roast faster) and spread it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and olive oil or coconut oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. For a little extra kick you could sprinkle with some minced garlic as well.  Roast at 400 degrees for approximately 25 minutes or until the cauliflower just begins to brown. Remove when roasted but leave the oven set at 400 degrees.

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5) Once the meat is cooked through and is no longer pink, add your beef broth, tomato paste, coconut aminos, rosemary, thyme and 1tsp of paprika. Taste and add salt if necessary.

6) Bring the mixture to a boil and then let it simmer while some of the excess liquid dissolves and the flavours meld.

7) While the meat and vegetables are simmering, puree your roasted cauliflower in your food processor, Vitamix, or blender. I did not need to add any liquid to mine, but if it seems to dry then add some bone broth, water, or coconut milk, just a tablespoon at a time. I prefer it on the dry, fluffy side.

8) Remove your meat and vegetable mixture from the pan and press it into a 9×11 baking dish. Spread the mashed cauliflower on top, and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 tsp of paprika.

9) Bake it for about 25 minutes or until the top is nice and browned. Enjoy!

*This recipe is paleo and Whole30 approved.

shepherdspie

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Kale and Cauliflower Meatballs

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I am constantly trying to get more vegetables into my kids. It is NOT an easy job. Charley has a super sensitive gag and vomit reflex and Xavier isn’t old enough to have a conversation about why he needs vegetables. He also isn’t old enough to understand bribes either…and I’m only half kidding. I get tired of the constant battles over vegetables and fruit and so sometimes I resort to hiding vegetables in food that I know they will eat with minimal complaints. It’s not solving any problems BUT it’s better than nothing and we are doing the best we can. I threw these together with some veggies I had in the fridge and they gobbled them down. Husband gave the thumps up sign as well so I thought I’d better share the recipe!

Ingredients:

-2 lbs grass fed ground beef

-3/4 cup of finely chopped kale

-3/4 cup of grated cauliflower (use a cheese grater or food processor to grate until it is the size of grains of rice)

-2-3 cloves of garlic

-1 egg (This can be skipped if you are allergic to eggs but it does help hold the mixture together.)

-1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

-1.5 tsp dried basil

-1.5 tsp dried oregano

-1.5 tsp dried parsley

-1 tsp dried rosemary

-1 tsp dried thyme

-1 tsp sea salt

-1/4 tsp black pepper

Note: I often buy this Freeze Dried Italian Herb Blend from my local grocery store when I’m in a rush and use it instead of combining all of the above herbs together. The flavour is fantastic! I also like to use the Freeze Dried Poultry Herb Blend for roasting whole chickens.

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2) Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. It is best to do this with your hands to get the ground beef and vegetables mixed really well and sticky together.

3) Roll into meatballs about 1 inch in diameter and place on a baking sheet lined with tinfoil or parchment paper. You will need to really squeeze these meatballs with your hands to make sure the vegetables and meat stick together. Depending on your beef, you may need to add another egg to help with the sticking.

4) Bake for 20-25 minutes and then remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

My children ate theirs alongside some almonds, carrots, and raw cheese. My husband and I enjoyed ours with some steamed broccoli, roasted mushrooms and roasted yams. I wish I had doubled the recipe to have enough to freeze for emergency snacks, but they were too yummy and we gobbled the leftovers up for breakfast this morning.

Enjoy!

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Chorizo and Yam Soup with Rosemary Sea Salt Biscuits

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My local butcher shop sells the most amazing chorizo sausage. I pick up a pack each week and try to find something new to do with it because it is just so delicious and packed full of flavour! Tonight I used it to top my pureed soup and give it a kick. Mission accomplished.

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Chorizo and Yam Soup (with Kale Chips)

(My husband and I polished this off in one sitting with no leftovers. Double it if you are feeding more than two very hungry adults.)

Ingredients:

1 pack of chorizo sausage (about 5 links)

1 leek, chopped

1 orange bell pepper, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed

4 yams, peeled and chopped

1 apple, chopped

1.5 tsp of ground sage

2 cups of beef bone broth

1 bunch of kale, washed and roughly torn

1-2 tbsp olive oil, divided

1 tbsp coconut oil

Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

2) Combine your chopped leek, pepper, garlic, yams, and apple in a large bowl. Toss with the olive oil, then sprinkle with the sage and a pinch of  sea salt and toss again.

3) Spread your mixture onto a lined baking sheet and roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until yams are soft.

4) About 15 minutes before your roasting time is up, toss your kale pieces in some olive oil and spread on a lined baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and throw in the oven for 15 minutes while your vegetables finish roasting.

5) While your vegetables are roasting, melt your coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Remove the casing from your chorizo sausage and crumble the sausage into your pan.

6) Fry the sausage until it’s cooked through and then transfer it to a serving dish.

7) When your vegetables and kale are finished roasting, remove both pans from the oven. Let the kale chips cool and then transfer to a serving dish.

8) When the vegetables have cooled, transfer them to a blender, add the beef bone broth, and puree until smooth. Pour into a large soup pot and simmer on the stove for 5-10 minutes. Alternatively, throw the roasted vegetables and bone broth into the soup pot and blend with an immersion blender until smooth.

9) Once the soup has been simmering for 5-10 minutes, ladle it into your bowls and top with kale chips and chorizo sausage. Enjoy!

Rosemary Sea Salt Biscuits

(Note: These biscuits are NOT Whole30 approved. No biscuits are!)

Ingredients:

4 large eggs, whites and yolks divided

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

3/4 tsp sea salt

1.5 tsp rosemary

4 tbsp cold grass fed butter

1 tsp raw honey (optional)

I really wanted to add some sharp raw cheese to these biscuits, but I don’t tolerate it well. If you are able to tolerate raw dairy, then I think it would be delicious in these biscuits.

Directions:

1) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

2) Separate your egg whites and yolks into two bowls. Beat your egg whites until they are foamy and begin to form soft peaks.

3) Add your honey to the egg yolks and mix to combine well.

3) Fold your yolks and honey into your egg whites and mix softly until combined.

4) Combine all your dry ingredients into a bowl and then cut your butter into the dry mixture, using a fork or pastry cutter until it is crumbled.

5) Gently combine your egg and honey mixture with your dry ingredients until mixed well. Wait a few minutes for the coconut flour to absorb the excess liquid.

6) Using a large spoon or ice cream scoop, scoop your biscuits onto a lined baking sheet, leaving an inch in-between. Depending on the size of your scoop, the recipe should yield about 6-8 biscuits.

7) Bake for approximately 20 minutes. Allow to cool and then slice and enjoy with grass fed butter on top.

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Chorizo Egg Muffins

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I’m always on the hunt for quick protein fixes, especially when I get home from the gym and want to fill my belly right away. In It Starts With Food by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig, they advise to eat protein 15 minutes after a workout. I try really hard to make sure that happens and sometimes it’s difficult because I’m really not into shakes or fancy drinks. These egg muffins are perfect! You can pack them to take to the gym with you and eat cold, or pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds when you get home. There are all kinds of variations you could do with these: ground beef and salsa, bacon and veggies, ham and raw cheese, etc.

Ingredients:

-10 eggs

=3 chorizo sausage links

=1 tbsp coconut oil

-1 red bell pepper, diced

-half of a leek, diced

-1 small yam, diced

Directions:

1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2) Melt the coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat.

3) Remove the casing from the chorizo sausage and crumble into the pan. Fry until cooked through.

4) Add your veggies to the sausage in the pan and fry for 2-3 minutes, and then remove your sausage and veggies from the pan and let cool. (If you cook them too long they will become mushy when baking in the oven.)

5) Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk them until well blended.

6) Add in your sausage and veggies and mix well.

7) Pour into a lined or well greased muffin tin and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean and dry. This recipe yielded 15 muffins.

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Brussels Sprouts Breakfast Skillet

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A few years ago I would have never imagined eating brussels sprouts for breakfast. When I adopted the grain free, sugar free, dairy free lifestyle, one of my biggest struggles was figuring out what to eat for breakfast. I got sick of scrambled eggs pretty quickly and so started combining meat and veggies and now breakfast has become my favourite meal. I love starting off the day with a full stomach and tons of energy.

I use ground pork for this recipe because it’s relatively cheap. Our family only buys pastured, hormone free, antibiotic free, and humanely raised meats and that really adds up over time and makes a huge dent in our budget. Pork is a cheaper option than chicken, beef or turkey and works well for a meal like this.

As for the brussels sprouts…just try it! My kids won’t touch them on their own, but they’ll gobble them up mixed into this skillet without even noticing. Victory!

This recipe is enough for 3 breakfast meals for myself, or you can stretch it farther by adding 2 eggs to each portion.

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Ingredients:

1-2 tbsp of coconut oil

1 lb ground pork (pastured, hormone and antibiotic free, humanely treated)

1 large yam (or 2 smaller yams), diced

10 brussels sprouts, quartered

1 large apple, diced

2 bell peppers, diced

1 bunch kale, roughly torn into bite size pieces (stems removed)

1-2 tbsp of rosemary

1-2 tbsp of sage

Sea salt to taste

Directions:

1) Heat the coconut oil in a large pan over medium.

2) Crumble your ground pork into the pan and season with sage and rosemary. Sprinkle with salt.

3) Once the pork begins to brown, add the diced yams and brussels sprouts. Mix to combine and continue cooking until yams being to soften to your liking, about 10 minutes.

4) Add your diced apple and peppers. Mix to combine and continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes.

5) Lastly, add your torn kale. Mix to combine, fry for approximately 3 minutes, and then serve and enjoy.

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Potato Soup with Kale and Italian Sausage

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All of a sudden winter has hit us here in Vancouver. It’s been beautifully sunny and absolutely chilly and we are loving it! We’ve spent hours outside each day soaking up the sunshine and everyone’s mood has been lifted.

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The fresh cold air makes me crave hot soup, and so that plus the fact that kale was on sale at our local market had me coming up with this for dinner last night. This made quite a large pot, probably enough for about 6 bowls.

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Ingredients:

-6 slices of nitrate free, sugar free bacon

-4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed

-1 leek, white and light green parts only, chopped

-2 celery stalks, chopped

-4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and chopped (I used red potatoes but any kind will do)

-3 potatoes, diced into bite size pieces (I prefer to leave the peel on for this part)

-6 sausage links, Italian flavoured or chorizo (I did a mix)

-2 large red bell peppers, diced

-2 bunches of kale, stems removed and roughly torn or chopped

-fresh chives, chopped

-4 cups chicken broth

-1 cup water

-salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1) Fry the bacon in a large soup pot over medium heat. (Put the bacon in your cold soup pot and then turn on the heat to medium to get the most fat rendered out of your bacon – thanks Cherie for that tip!)

2) Once the bacon is cooked, remove it and set it to the side. Remove all but 1-2 tbsp of the bacon fat. (Save that removed bacon fat in a jar for another day…it’s gold.)

3) Fry your garlic, leek and celery in the pot with the 1-2 tbsp bacon fat until it smells wonderful, about 2-4 minutes.

4) Add in your 4 peeled and chopped potatoes and fry for another few minutes.

5) Pour in your chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 or so minutes, until potatoes are soft.

6) While your potatoes are cooking, heat a large pan over medium heat. Remove the sausage casing and crumble the meat into the pan. Cook until there is no longer any pink.

7) When the potatoes are soft, puree the whole pot of broth, potatoes, garlic, leeks and celery. Use a hand held immersion blender or remove the mixture and blend it in a Vitamix and then return it to the pot.

8) Add the rest of the potatoes and the cooked sausage. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 10 minutes or until the diced potatoes begin to soften.

9) Add your chopped kale and diced red pepper and simmer for 3-5 minutes.

10) Ladle the soup into bowls and serve topped with chives and bacon.

Enjoy!

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A Healthful Thanksgiving – From My Family to Yours

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That has to be one of the best episodes of Friends, am I right?

My family celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving a week early this year, much to the delight of my turkey loving self. One of the great things about celebrating with my family is that we are all focusing on living healthy, balanced lifestyles, which makes family dinners fun, easy and no one is needing maternity pants.

I want to eliminate your excuses for hopping off the healthy bandwagon around holidays, so here’s the run down of what we ate and a few other recipes that I would like to try next year or some that I think sound delicious. I can’t do the grocery shopping or cooking for you, but these clickable links should save you some time.

As I have explained in previous posts, when it comes to holidays or special occasions, I don’t eat strictly Whole30 or Paleo. Read here about how I found that balance. Basically, pass the pumpkin pie and whipped cream please!

Appetizers:

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus Bundles

Bacon Wrapped Date Salad

Pumpkin Soup with Apple and Spices

Main:

Turkey

Stuffing

Sides:

Maple Bacon Pecan Roasted Butternut Squash (My favourite!)

Garlic Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes

Braised Root Veggies 

Roasted Cranberry Walnut Brussel Sprouts

Cranberry Sauce

We also had some very definite non-paleo perogies, because we’re Ukrainian, and because they’re delicious. There are some things you just don’t mess with. Amen.

Dessert:

We enjoyed a fresh baked pumpkin pie from a local farm, but when I searched online, tons of recipes for healthy pumpkin pie came up. Next year I would like to try something like this one.

Pumpkin Pie

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. I hope you enjoy some time giving thanks with loved ones!