Low Carb Shepherd’s Pie

I am fortunate to have a spouse who has been willing to “eat clean” the way I need to.  This has been a godsend, as I don’t have to come up with two dinners each night!  Last week, we were in a rut of what to do with our grass fed hamburger, and he came up with this, combining an old favorite with new “go to” replacements for our carbs.  Specifically, cauliflower mash for potatoes, and green beans for peas.  It was a hit!  We made a double recipe and then didn’t have to cook for a few nights.  WIN-WIN!

Steve’s Low Carb Shepherd’s Pie  (printable copy here)

1 Lbs grass fed ground beef or ground lamb
1 Tbl Oil
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 chopped green onion
1 medium chopped yellow onion
1 Tbl arrowroot (you can use cornstarch, but it adds carbs)
1 tsp Salt
¼ tsp Thyme
1 tsp Pepper (black, or aleppo, both work well)
1 cup Water
1 T organic tomato paste
2 T organic fresh parsley
1 cup steamed green beans

for topping:

1 head cauliflower
1 T ghee or grass fed butter
2 teaspoons salt OR teaspoon of chicken stock mix (the concentrated kind, I use “Better than Bouillon” Organic Chicken Base)
grated fresh black pepper (optional)

Optional:

8 Tbl shredded cheddar cheese
4 Tbl shredded parmesan
Sprinkle the top with paprika

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Trim the cauliflower stems off the flowerettes, and cook till very soft. Mash with the butter and add bouillon, and set aside for topping.
  3. In a hot skillet, brown the meat in the oil with the garlic, onions and green onion. When browned and the onion is tender, add salt, pepper and arrowroot.
  4. Cook 3-4 minutes, then add tomato paste and water and cook until thick and creamy.
  5. Add green beans and parsley. Taste and season at this point.  If you like it spicier, add more pepper.
  6. Place in an uncovered casserole dish, and top evenly with the mashed cauliflower and add both grated cheeses. Bake 20 min until golden brown. Serves 4.

Nutrition Info (using all ingredients, including cheese)

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Chicken Kebabs

2017-01-23-18-56-01Chicken Keema Kebabs

Healthy doesn’t have to be bland.  These Pakistani inspired Chicken Kebabs are an example of healthy and delicious.  “Keema” is somewhat of a catch-all in South Asian cooking for most ground meat mixtures. Spices and meats can vary wildly from one keema to the next, and then they can be prepared in many different ways, including stewing, pan frying, or skewering and grilling.  We grill this recipe, but you could also use the broiler or a stove top cast iron grill.  Create your own version by experimenting with spices!
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes (with 20 more optional for frig/freezer time)
  • Cook Time: 12 Minutes
  • Total Time: approximately 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 kebabs (feeds 2-4 based on side dishes)

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed
  • 1 pound ground chicken breasts or thighs
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated onion
  • 1½ tablespoons fresh garlic, minced (2 large or 2-4 small cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons finely diced Thai green chilies or jalapeno if you can’t find Thai
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoons turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala

Equipment

  • 4 flat edged skewers, (or 4 wooden skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 min)
  • food processor with metal blade

Procedurechicken-kebab

  1. Place cumin and coriander seeds in a cast iron skillet over medium heat and toast until lightly browned and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder and grind into a fine powder.  Do not use your coffee grinder for this! (or your coffee will take on a distinctly odd flavor!)  I have a small grinder I use for spices only.  If you don’t have a grinder, use a mortar and pestle and grind them.  The amount is small and it will be easy.
  2. If you can’t find ground chicken, put very cold, partly frozen chicken cubes into your processor, and pulse very quickly until ground, being careful not to overdo it or you’ll have chicken paste.  Because they can get dry, I use chicken thighs.
  3. In a large bowl mix together ground cumin and coriander seeds, chicken, onion, cilantro, garlic, chilies, turmeric, salt, and garam masala until chicken is evenly seasoned.
  4. Form ¼ of meat mixture into a skewer-length cylinder on a baking pan or tray. Press skewer into chicken and form meat around stick. Repeat with remaining meat. Place skewered chicken in freezer for 20 minutes while preparing grill.
  5. Light the grill.  If using a gas grill, preheat on high, then turn to High/Medium/High for the cooking.  Brush oil on the grate before adding the skewers. Remove skewers from freezer and carefully transfer to hot grill. Cook until skewers brown all over and are cooked through, about 3-5 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter, let rest for 5 minutes, then serve immediately.
  6. Don’t worry if you loose the skewer or it falls off.  They still taste great!

You can serve them with a cucumber sauce (I use unsweetened dairy free coconut yogurt, dill and chopped cucumber).  They are also great on salads.

Here’s the tricks to grind chicken yourself.  Easy, and you can purchase the best natural chicken and not rely on mass produced ground chicken.

 

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