Here’s comfort food at it’s best, healthy. warming and flavorful. And to top it off, it’s make ahead and freezable. Always on the lookout for expanding our repertoire of healthy freezer meals but coming up with one that’s dairy, gluten and processed food free, I find is a challenge. This is truly a cozy cold weather comfort food. This is a recipe you will want to have ready to pull out of the freezer for those full days when everyone gets home late, tired and hungry. Pop it into the oven, make a salad and there you have dinner.
It will make your house smell sooo good and that topping? What appears to be mashed potatoes, is seasoned pureed cauliflower. My family was totally fooled by this!
This Make Ahead Freezer Shepherd’s Pie is full of umami flavor and everyone loved it. And it’s dairy, grain and gluten free. Can you imagine how ecstatic I was to find this yummy recipe? I found it on paleogrubs.com and gave it a tweak-or two.
There was a time in my former macrobiotic days that I would have never made this. But as I’ve recently re-learned, getting and staying healthy is an ongoing journey of listening to my body as its needs change with age. Moving from a grain based diet to whole30/paleo was a smooth (not easy) transition for me. The two are more similar than one would think. Refined sugar and processed foods were already not a part of our regular regime. After doing my first Whole30 in January 2015, I liked it well enough to continue. This former vegan/macrobiotic keeps the trend of heaping portions fresh veggies at every meal, in raw and cooked forms. Which is another way the paleo and vegan lifestyle are similar as both encourage eating plenty of fresh local veggies.
After the first round of Whole30, I was pleasantly surprised at my blood test results. All that I had read about sugars and whole grain contributing to high cholesterol was true for me and now is scientifically documented. So, here I am making things like this savory freezer paleo Shepherd’s Pie.
However, I have an aversion to ground beef, so I made this with ground bison.
And I used the multi colored carrots from our garden. Aren’t they beautiful?
It takes just a bit longer to double the recipe to create 2 more meals for us-so, why not?
A note about the cauliflower…after it’s steamed and drained, mash it first by hand before you take the immersion blender to it.
After the few minutes it takes to make the filling, divide it up and fill 4 – 8×8 pans, or 2 – 9×13 pans. Let cool.
After they have cooled, spread topping on each meal, dividing equally among them. Create texture with a fork. Sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
Cover with seran wrap and aluminum foil. Seal tight and freeze. Or, you can make your meals in ramekins as I did here.
When ready to cook, thaw first. Bake uncovered in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until bubbly. Place under the broiler for 5 minutes to brown the top. Serve and enjoy!
My upcoming cooking class info will be posted soon so stay tuned. Save the date of October 24th!
Until next time-
2 large heads of cauliflower cut in florets
4 tablespoons melted ghee
2 teaspoons spicy mustard
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 medium onion, diced
6 cups diced carrots
1 1/2 cups diced celery
2/20 oz packages of ground bison
4 1/2 tablespoons organic tomato paste
2 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
salt and freshly ground pepper
Place a couple of inches of water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, put the cauliflower in and cover. Steam for 12-14 minutes or until cauliflower is tender all the way through. Stir occasionally to get the top cauliflower evenly steamed.
Drain and return cauliflower to the pot. Add ghee, mustard, salt and pepper. Using a hand held potato masher, break down the cauliflower to a chunky texture. Using an immersion blender, further blend to a smooth spreadable, mashed potato like texture. Set aside.
Heat the coconut oil in a large pan. Add the onions and saute until translucent on a medium heat. Add celery and carrots and saute for 5 minutes more. Add the ground bison and cook until browned.
Stir in the tomato paste, chicken broth, remaining spices and salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered until most of the liquid has evaporated, and the carrots are tender enough that you can pierce them with a fork, approximately 10 minutes.
Distribute filling evenly among 4 – 8×8 pans. Let cool. Place an even amount of pureed cauliflower over top of each filling. Spread, using a fork to create texture in the cauliflower. Sprinkle with paprika and a drizzle of olive oil.
Wrap with seran and foil and freeze in a single layer, stacking pans when frozen solid.
To cook: thaw. Bake uncovered in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until filling is bubbly. Put under the broiler for 5 minutes to brown the top. Serve with a fresh green salad and a side veggie if you want to get fancy.