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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
servings
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.

TURKEY BEAN CHILI

One pot meals are some of my favorite dishes because it doesn’t require a lot of time especially when you don’t have a lot of time to begin with. And because it’s so simple, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of the ease for all-around healthy food.

You can’t get any more well balanced in a meal than this turkey chili. Plenty of protein from the turkey and beans. Complex carbs from the beans with TONS of fiber from both the beans and veggies. And not to forget to mention, there is no flavor lacking in this chili. Don’t let the ground turkey concern you! Cumin is the secret to making ground turkey (or ground chicken) taste similar to beef. But if you must, you can simply use a lean ground beef instead.

I personally use half ground turkey and half ground turkey breast. The ground turkey breast is very lean with a little higher protein content, only about 1.5g of fat per 4oz and no saturated fat like regular ground turkey. It’s a fair compromise to really make it healthy. Actually, it’s just to make room for me to top it off with some of my Homemade Queso Fresco cheese, haha! For those who are diabetic, with 8 servings in this chili you’ll get about 16g net carbs which isn’t so bad for how filling it is. You can make your portion smaller and enjoy a side of veggies or a salad to keep the carbs down more.

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TURKEY BEAN CHILI
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servings
Ingredients
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat cover the bottom of the pot with olive oil and sauté the bell peppers, onions, jalapeno, and garlic stirring until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add the ground turkey, chili powder, cumin, paprika, dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and dried bay leaf. Use a wooden spoon to break apart the ground turkey and mix everything together.
  3. Once the ground turkey is nearly cooked after about several minutes, add the canned crushed tomatoes, vegetable stock, and worchestershire sauce. Bring to a boil then reduce the temperature to a steady simmer for about 45 minutes uncovered. Stir once in a while.
  4. Add the black beans and kidney beans the last 5 minutes.
Recipe Notes

Revised: September 7, 2017

TOFU CHORIZO

This Tofu Chorizo tastes practically identical to the traditional Mexican chorizo we’re all familiar with at the store. The major difference which seems to be a huge deal is that the pork is replaced with tofu. It sounds absolutely ridiculous but it really isn’t. Chorizo is all about the combination of spices and of course the grease factor because it’s pork. But you can add all the same spices with your favorite oil (mine is olive oil) and make it just the same. The reward is that you can eat as much chorizo often, keep your waistline smaller, your cardiovascular system healthy and avoid the feeling of weighed down from heavy, greasy foods. For some people, eating high fat/greasy foods can result in gallstones and later on require removal of the gallbladder. With some dietary compromises, you can avoid a lot of trouble. Here are the many ways you can enjoy my chorizo…

I’m crazy for burrito’s. It must be a California thing, who knows but I love making my own homemade Mexico City Refried Beans to pair with this chorizo. Top it off with fresh watercress greens, some chopped cherry tomatoes and a little bit of queso fresco. SO GOOD! I’ve made scrambled eggs with the chorizo too and it’s amazing with hot sauce. You can do a chorizo omellete, make tacos, even a taco salad or a quesadilla with your favorite cheese and grilled onions. OH! Ever go to Chipotle and get a burrito bowl? Have you tried their sofritos? Last time I went there I realized how much my tofu chorizo tasted like their sofritos and so later on I made my own burrito bowl with all the goodies. It was amazing! As you can see your options are endless. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!


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TOFU CHORIZO
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Ingredients
Servings
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Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Remove the tofu from its container and slice it in about ½ inch thick slices.
  2. Cover a large surface with a few layers of paper towels and place the tofu on top. Place another few layers of paper towels on top of the tofu. Press on top firmly with your hands to remove excess water.
  3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat drizzle the olive oil and break the tofu up.
  4. Add all the spices to the tofu and use a wooden spoon to break apart the tofu finely as it cooks, stirring regularly. After 5 minutes, add the lemon juice and continue to stir everything together for another 5-7 minutes.

RUSTIC MEAT RUB

This is a semi-wet rub that is extremely packed with flavor. I typically don’t eat red meat often but when I do, I usually will eat filet that comes seasoned with salt and pepper at a decent restaurant. Although I must say that I’ve had an itch to grill and learn how to properly cook steaks. So far so good! But you know me, I LOVE spices and it would be silly of me to not share a yummy meat rub that goes fantastic with steaks, just like my Rustic Rubbed Top Sirloin!

The best thing about this semi-wet rub is that you can use it on any type of red meat, even on chicken. It’s full of warm spices, a little sweet and can have a good amount of heat depending on how much cayenne pepper you want to put in the mix. Okay, I’m gonna go drool now! Enjoy.

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RUSTIC MEAT RUB
Servings
steaks
Ingredients
Servings
steaks
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine everything in a bowl.

RUSTIC RUBBED TOP SIRLOIN

Cold weather rustic food doesn’t always have to be soups and stews. So this time around I’m going for something hearty and interesting with my semi-wet rustic rub. It’s sweet, salty, savory and full of spice. Annnnnd so easy to pull together. If you like things more spicy, add more cayenne pepper to your hearts desire. You can give or take any of the spices to make it to your perfect liking. I won’t judge  😉  Personally, my favorite part is the dark char on the outside from the dark brown sugar. I kinda wish every bite of the steak was the edge piece, haha!


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RUSTIC RUBBED TOP SIRLOIN
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients except the sirloins in a bowl and generously rub all over the steaks. Let the steaks marinate in the fridge for at least an hour.
  2. Pull the steaks out and let it come to room temperature.
  3. Bring your grill to high heat and place the steaks on the grill with the cover closed for about 5 minutes. Turn the steaks over with tongs and let grill for another 5 minutes if you want the steak done medium.  Remove from the grill and let them rest for 5 minutes before serving.