Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Low Carb Shepherd’s Pie

This dish is one of my family’s faves. Months ago, I was logging my macros on my My Fitness Pal app and I came across a mouthwatering video on how to make a low carb shepherd’s pie. Presently, I can’t find a link to the video, but I found the original recipe here.

I don’t know about your kids, but mine are sometimes adverse to vegetables, and trust me, because their mother is a health nut those poor kids are given a LOT of vegetables. The first time I made this recipe I forgot to tell them that the top was made from cauliflower, and the funny thing is they didn’t even know the cauliflower mash wasn’t potatoes!

For the first several times making this I followed the recipe exactly as it states on the My Fitness Pal website, but I didn’t care for the flavour combos. In the end I replaced the bison with extra lean ground beef, because while I would LOVE to always use bison in this recipe, I just can’t afford it at this time. I experimented and came up with a recipe that better fits my family’s taste buds and wallet.

I added more beef to “beef” up the protein grams, I omitted the oil and instead used water for sautéing to lower the fat grams (beef is fat enough IMO), I added frozen sweet peas (a must for shepherd’s pie!), and I took out the other spices and simply added garlic powder, because what doesn’t garlic powder taste good in??

For Cauliflower Mash:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into large chunks
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt

For Meat Filling:

  • 20oz extra lean ground beef
  • 12 cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen sweet peas
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

For Cashew Cheese:

  • 0.5 cup cashews
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 0.5 tsp sea salt

Additional Topping:

  • 1 tsp dried parsley

Instructions:

Preheat oven 400F

For the cauliflower mash:

Cut and wash head of cauliflower and add to steamer. Steam for ten minutes. Add to food processor, along with 1 tbsp avocado oil and 1 tsp salt. Process until creamy.

For the meat filling:

Add ground beef and 1/2 cup water to pot. Saute until cooked through. Add chopped onion and carrots, cook for another 5 minutes. Add sliced mushrooms and frozen peas, cook for another 5 minutes. Add 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp sea salt, 6oz can tomato paste, and 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar and cook until warmed through.

Pour meat filling into 8.5×11″ baking dish and spread. Add the cauliflower mash on top and spread smooth.

For cashew cheese:

Put 0.5 cup cashews, 1 garlic clove, 0.5 tsp sea salt into a small food processor. Chop mixture until it looks like parmesan cheese.

Sprinkle 2 tbsp cashew cheese on top, along with 1 tsp dried parsley.

Place in the middle rack on oven and cook for 30 minutes. Let pie cool for ten minutes before serving.

Makes 8 servings. 1 serving: 241 calories, 17g carbs, 11g fat, 19g protein.

Ground Turkey & Chicken Muffins Recipe

We love these muffins. So versatile: throw into a picnic basket, add to a big salad, make into meatballs for spaghetti, quick grab and go lunch.

I often make these, alternating between using ground turkey and ground chicken. If I am remembering correctly I got the recipe idea from Jamie Eason‘s website years ago. There are a lot of variations on the web, but this is my favourite.

  • 2 lbs ground chicken or ground turkey
  • 1 eggs (original recipe uses 3 egg whites, but my family like them with whole eggs)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 0.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 0.5 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 garlic cloves (original recipe uses 2 tbsp powder, but I like adding fresh cloves)
  • 1 small sweet onion
  • 2 celery

Preheat oven to 375F. Mix all ingredients together in large bowl. Roll mixture into balls and place in silicon muffin tins. Bake for 40 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

Using ground turkey: 172cal, 7.9g fat, 6.5g carb, 18.7g protein

Egg Muffin Cups Recipe

I was diagnosed as being mildly insulin resistant last year. My doctor suggested I stop eating a high carb, low fat vegan diet and adopting more of a moderate protein, moderate carbohydrate, higher fat Paleo diet. I was vegan because my husband was vegan…for seven years, and he was stubborn about changing. I ate meat out, but didn’t cook it at home. After much research, I decided eating a higher fat, animal protein diet would be beneficial to try.

Immediately I gained 7 pounds…eek! But truthfully I needed to gain that, I was underweight. On the vegan diet, over the years I did develop some health issues: irregular cycles, fatigue, hypothyroid. Going more Paleo, I slowly gained my energy back (thyroid meds helped too!). Now I eat more of a Zone style diet: 40% carbs, 30% protein, 30% fat. Over the years since Zone became popular in the late 90s, I have always found this macro ratio works well for me. I should add that when I was eating Paleo I never cut out oats and rice, two grains that I love, and have no problems with.

Long story short: wrapping my head around what to eat for breakfast was a challenge. I ate oatmeal, buckwheat groats, quinoa, rice pudding, homemade granola. Absolutely no eggs or animal protein. Problem is I LOVE oatmeal. So I needed to have more balance in terms of macros in the morning. Enter: eggs.

But after a while soft boiled eggs can get a tad boring. Same with scrambled. I searched the internet for egg recipes and came across this one to try: easy-egg-cup-muffins.

I didn’t really want sausage and wanted to cut down the fat a bit, so I adapted it.

Here is my version of a Egg Cup Muffin:

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup egg whites
  • 1 pepper
  • 2 green onions
  • 2 cup baby spinach
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 0.5 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 0.5 cup lite coconut milk
  • 0.5 cup almond milk

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease silicone 12-cup muffin pan with coconut oil.

In a large measuring cup, whisk together eggs, egg whites, coconut milk, almond milk and set aside.

Finely chop red bell peppers, green onions, and baby spinach and add to eggs.

Pour the egg mixture in muffin tins, liquid should just reach the top of the tins (like picture shown on the right).

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the egg muffins are no longer runny and slightly jiggly in the center. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

Using a fork, loosen the egg muffins from the muffin cups by going gently going around the egg and muffin pan. Remove the egg muffins and let cool completely before putting them in a tupperware container. Keep in refrigerator up to a week.

Calories: 63 per egg cup, Carbs: 1.4g, Protein: 5.8g, Fat: 3.5g Great addition to your morning oatmeal 🙂