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SHEPHERD’S PIE

Oh man, you guys are gonna love this one! But first let me confess how I’ve been spelling Shepherd’s Pie as “Shepard’s Pie” for a while now and no one ever corrected me! As I got started typing up this food blog entry I thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea to double check the spelling. Glad I did! I’m kinda hoping I’m not alone in this LOL! Okay, so seriously I’m not exaggerating. You-guys-will-LOVE-this! This makes a big batch and depending on the size of your family, you could have the best tasting leftovers for DAYS.

This is truly a Shepherd’s Pie because I use ground lamb. Trust me, I tried ground beef the first time and it’s not the same as the best Shepherd’s Pie you’ve ever had wherever that may be. It must be lamb. Not half lamb, ALL ground lamb. If you’re hesitant to try lamb because you think it’s funky, let me reassure you that if you’re going to try ground lamb for the first time or give it another chance, this is the absolute way to go. I’m not just saying that, promise. Now that has been established, if you insist using ground beef or any other red meat by all means go for it… I do believe that changes it to a Cottage Pie though. This is important to know in case you do some traveling.

If you’re looking to make this meal low-carb, you just simply replace the mashed potatoes with your favorite cauliflower mashed potatoes recipe. There are tons of different recipes out there you can choose from but personally, I would just make my cauliflower mash the same way I would as my usual Red Skin Mashed Potatoes recipe. Just keep your eye on the amount of liquid when making them to get the right texture you want your cauliflower mash to be. As for using real potatoes, I keep the skin for extra fiber, vitamins, minerals, and all that jazz but feel free to peel them. Keeping the skin saves on time too!

You’ll see that I use quite a bit of Worcestershire sauce than your typical recipe. I have reasons! Any time I’ve used a few dashes or a few teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce to a recipe, I can’t taste it! It does nothing! Hardly at least. I want a big punch of flavor because that’s what comfort food is about. So just a heads up, start off not using salt at all. Maybe use half the amount of Worcestershire sauce to start, do a taste test. You can add more towards the end and also add salt to taste. It’s the only way you’re gonna master what you believe is the best Shepherd’s Pie!

One last thing, you can make this a day ahead. Just put the meat at the bottom of the baking pan, top with the mashed potatoes. When you’re ready to bake it, just pull it out of the fridge, top it with the cheese and bake. Some times I’ve made the meat filling ahead so that all I need to do was make the mashed potatoes or vice versa. It works in all ways.

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SHEPHERD'S PIE
Servings
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Ingredients
MEAT FILLING
MASHED POTATOES
Servings
servings
Ingredients
MEAT FILLING
MASHED POTATOES
Instructions
MEAT FILLING
  1. Saute the carrots and onion with the olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Once the onions start to become softened after a few minutes, add the garlic. If the pan is starting to get dry, add a little more olive oil.
  2. Add the ground lamb, rosemary, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper. Using a wooden spoon break up the ground lamb into small pieces letting it brown through.
  3. Once the lamb is nearly cooked through add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, flour, and half of the vegetable stock. Stir every thing really well. Let the stock cook down most of the way and add the rest. Stir frequently, reduce the heat and let everything simmer for about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add the peas and salt to taste if needed. Turn off heat and set aside.
MASHED POTATOES
  1. Place the cubed potatoes in a large pot, fill with water until it's about an inch above the potatoes. Bring to a boil and stir every so often.
  2. Strain the potatoes once they're softened. Turn off the heat. Place the pot back on the stove and add the butter. Pour the strained potatoes on top of the butter, add the pepper, milk, and half of the vegetable stock. Mash the potatoes to your desired consistency.
  3. Add more milk and/or stock as needed to avoid the potatoes from drying. Stir. Add more salt and pepper to taste as well.
ASSEMBLE
  1. Place the meat filling evenly in a 9" x 11" (or 9" x 13") baking dish.
  2. Then, top it with an even layer of the mashed potatoes.
  3. Top the mashed potatoes with an even layer of the shredded sharp white cheddar cheese.
  4. Bake at 400 F degrees for about 15 minutes or until everything is bubbling and the top is golden.

SHRIMP FRIED RICE

Homemade fried rice is super easy and fairly healthy dish in moderation. I love to make it in large batches for a quick meal or paired with a ton of our favorite veggies and a protein. I use my favorite Turmeric Jasmine Rice to make it, it really adds more flavor than your standard fried rice flavor but feel free to use whatever kind of rice you like. And you’re certainly not limited to only using shrimp either. Use any kind of meat or fish that you love or simply add more of your favorite veggies. There really isn’t one that doesn’t go great with this.

 

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SHRIMP FRIED RICE
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Ingredients
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Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet drizzle the bottom with olive oil until covered. Over medium-high heat saute the asparagus, mushrooms, carrots, onion, peas, garlic and ginger until everything is almost softened after about 5 minutes.
  2. Add more oil to the pan if needed before tossing in the rice with the garlic powder, onion powder, and white pepper. Stir everything for about two minutes allowing everything to heat through.
  3. Move the rice towards the outer edges of the skillet creating a reservoir in the center. Add a little oil to the center and pour the whisked eggs. After about 30 seconds when the eggs gets a little opaque, use the spatula to scramble it up in with the rice.
  4. Lastly, add the shrimp, soy sauce and fish sauce. Toss everything until the shrimp is cooked to tender after about 2 - 3 minutes. Add more sauce to taste if neede

TUNA CASSEROLE

Who doesn’t love comfort food? Comfort food is seriously some of the easiest dishes to make. They’re quick, full of flavor, filling and of course satisfying! With this being my favorite time of year I have to share with you a more basic meal I grew up eating. My Mom always whipped this up using those crunchy shoestring potatoes inside and on top and it was beautiful gluttony. Which you can do so if you like! But I love my veggies and it eases my guilt when I can mix them into a dish like this. I’m telling you though they add a fantastic gourmet flavor that you’ll be glad to have made a huge batch for leftovers.

And let’s face it… part of my mission in sharing this food blog is to make things a little more healthier without compromising flavor.  If you don’t like leeks, use onion instead, actually add anything you like. If I have mushrooms in the fridge I’ll slice them up and add to the saute. And if you’re a garlic freak like me then try roasting a head of garlic and throwing them in the mix. YUM!

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TUNA CASSEROLE
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servings
Ingredients
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place a large pot of water filled with water over high heat to get the water boiling for the macaroni.
  2. Meanwhile saute the bell pepper, leek, jalapeno, salt, and pepper with olive oil over medium heat until they're almost soft. Then add the frozen peas. Stir the veggies around for another two minutes until the peas thaw then turn off the heat and set aside.
  3. Cook the noodles from both mac 'n cheese boxes as directed on the box. Once you've drained the pasta and returned to the large pot, add the two cheddar cheese pouches that came with the boxed mac 'n cheese. Also add the can of cream of mushroom and milk. Stir everything together until it's well incorporated.
  4. Lastly, fold in the 1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese, albacore tuna, and sauted veggies. Place the casserole into a 9" x 13" baking dish (or a deep 9" x 9"). Sprinkle a thin layer of grated parmesan cheese on top with the remaining 1/4 cup.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 - 30 minutes or until it's bubbling and the top is golden brown.