Tag Archives: healthy

Lamb Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Topping

Lamb Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potato Topping

Lamb Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Topping

I think January is my least favourite month, it’s the only month with nothing fun to look forward to.  The high from the holiday season is over as we all get back into our daily grind.  The days are still short, with gloomy clouds and rare sunny days.  Over the years I’ve noticed a significant change in my mood in January, and I think I have mild seasonal affective disorder, or winter depression.  Heading south for a week of sun is the ultimate cure, but if that’s not possible, I retreat to my kitchen and cook up a storm.  One of my favourite comfort dishes to make is this Lamb Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Topping.

This twist on a traditional Shepherd’s pie is my go-to recipe for a cozy winter dinner party. Filled with delightfully rich, savory flavours that are guaranteed to impress.  This dish can be made a few days in advance, making a weeknight dinner a breeze! Adding Worcestershire sauce and gherkins to this pie was a tip that I picked up from Gordon Ramsay. I absolutely loved the addition of the Worchestershire sauce to the pie.  The sauce adds more depth to the flavour of the meat, a bit of a sweet fermented kick.  Using gherkins in the pie also really tickled my taste buds, their sweet crunchiness cutting through the fatty richness of the lamb.  Over the years this recipe has morphed into the ultimate Shepherd’s pie, and is packed full of some of my favourite ingredients.

Lamb Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potato Topping

Lamb Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Topping

I adore lamb, and am always looking for ways to use lamb instead of beef.  Besides being so tasty, lamb is also a great source of iron, zinc and B vitamins.  I also combined sweet potato with yellow potatoes for a healthier pie topping.  Sweet potato is an excellent source of Vitamin A, potassium and dietary fibers – something we all need after all that holiday eating!  I also made the pie topping with almond milk, as my boyfriend is lactose intolerant, but if you can find cashew milk that’s even better because it’s a bit creamier.   Finally, I added some liquid smoke to give an element of smokiness to the meat, but this is optional.

Lamb Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potato Topping

Lamb Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Topping

My dad is of British descent and fully appreciates a hearty meat and potatoes meal.  He loved my take on Shepherd’s pie (but I guess your parents are supposed to say that, no matter what age!).  Also, I’m sure that I inherited my love of pickled foods from him.  While the sauce is deliciously rich, the pickle cuts through and helps to balance out the rich mince, and the generous topping of potatoes is light, fluffy and slightly sweet.  This Lamb Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Topping is a spin on a classic British pub dish with some healthy substitutions.  If you’re feeling blue this January, call up some family or friends for an impromptu dinner party.  This hearty Shepherd’s pie is a wonderful way to warm up the soul on a cold January evening.

Lamb Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potato Topping

Prep Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Yield: 6 large portions

Calories per serving: 387

Lamb Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potato Topping

Ingredients

    For the filling:
  • 900g lean ground lamb
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 x large carrots, peeled finely diced
  • 3 x garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 ¼ cup red cooking wine
  • 1 cup low sodium beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 x sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 6 x sweet gherkins, finely chopped + extra for serving
  • sea salt and ground black pepper
  • liquid smoke (optional)
  • For the potato topping
  • 2 x medium yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 x medium sweet potatoes
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk or cashew milk
  • 2 x large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 6 x sprigs of parsley, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Boil the potatoes in salted water for 15-20 minutes until a knife can easily pass through the potato. Drain well, and return potatoes to the hot pot over low heat to dry out briefly.
  2. Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat.
  3. Sauté lamb until lightly browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer meat to a bowl lined with paper towel.
  4. Lower heat to medium and add 1-2 teaspoons olive oil as needed to the lamb fat. When the oil is hot, add the onion, carrot and garlic and cook until the vegetables soften and start to brown.
  5. Add the flour and tomato puree, stirring for another minute.
  6. Working quickly, add red wine and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to remove the browned bits. Simmer until reduced by half.
  7. Pour in the beef stock and bring back to a simmer.
  8. Return the meat to the pan and add the Worcestershire sauce, thyme and rosemary. Season with salt, pepper and a few drops of liquid smoke. Turn down the heat to low and loosely cover the pan. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every once and awhile until the sauce has thickened.
  9. In the meantime, preheat oven to 350C.
  10. Bake sweet potatoes in the microwave on the potato setting until soft.
  11. Press yellow potatoes through a ricer and into a large bowl. Using oven mitts and a large spoon, remove sweet potatoes and their juices from their skins and add to the bowl.
  12. Mix in butter, almond milk and egg yolks. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  13. Add the chopped gherkins to the meat mixture and spoon into a 2.3L oven proof dish.
  14. Using a large spoon, top with sweet potato mixture by carefully spooning in large dollops over meat, slowly covering the entire surface. Sprinkle some paprika over top.
  15. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the potatoes start to brown and the sauce begins to bubble around the sides.
  16. Serve with parsley and extra gherkins.

Notes

Can be made in 1-2 days in advance.

http://iseehungrypeople.net/2017/01/09/lamb-sweet-potato-shepherds-pie/

Lamb Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potato Topping

Lamb Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Topping

Do you suffer from SAD?  What comfort food makes you happy?  I hope this recipe for Lamb Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Topping lifts your spirits this winter!

A Turkish Breakfast

After eating delicious Turkish breakfasts for two weeks, when we returned home we started to go through withdrawal.  So we decided to make our own!

Below is a photo of the breakfast spread we were treated to every day – can you handle all this goodness?  Fresh, healthy and filling, a Turkish breakfast is the best way to kick start your day.  I love the relaxed nature of the spread – every day I would assemble something different.  Should I make a little tomato and cheese sandwich today?  Meat and cucumber?  How about everything?  And olives!  So many olives.

Homemade Turkish breakfast

Homemade Turkish breakfast

My boyfriend and I attempted our version of a Turkish breakfast, complete with Turkish coffee and an Ottoman trivet!  I think this is going to become a regular weekend breakfast treat.  So easy to put together and this breakfast kept us going all day on a busy Saturday until dinnertime.  I love how we brought some of Turkey back home with us.

Homemade Turkish breakfast

Homemade Turkish breakfast

Turkish Breakfast

51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Turkish Breakfast

Ingredients

  • 2 boiled eggs
  • Espresso or Turkish coffee
  • 1/4 of a cucumber sliced into 8 slices
  • 1 hot house tomato sliced into 8 slices
  • 8 slices of cured meat (salami, soppressata)
  • *optional: Turkish white cheese sliced into 4 slices
  • 1/2 cup of granola
  • 4 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 strawberries or other fresh fruit, sliced into quarters
  • 2 tablespoons dried fruit such as raisins or apricots
  • 2 teaspoons raw or buckwheat honey
  • 8 olives - any variety
  • 2 fresh buns, sliced in half
  • Jam
  • Tahini or sunflower butter
  • Fresh juice (mango, cherry, apricot)

Instructions

  1. Prepare espresso or Turkish coffee.
  2. Place eggs in a large saucepan and cover them with cool water by 1 inch.
  3. Bring water to a boil over medium heat.
  4. When the water has reached a boil, cover and remove from heat. Let stand 12 minutes. Place in egg holders.
  5. Slice cucumber, tomato, cured meat & cheese and divide between two serving plates.
  6. Divide granola into two small bowls. Top each bowl with 2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt, 8 slices of strawberries, 1 tablespoon of dried fruit and a teaspoon of honey.
  7. Place one bun on each plate.
  8. Divide olives into two small bowls and place one on each plate.
  9. Serve along with jam, tahini, juice and coffee.
http://iseehungrypeople.net/2016/04/11/a-turkish-breakfast/

Healthy Maple Coconut Banana Bread

Healthy Maple Coconut Banana Bread

Healthy Maple Coconut Banana Bread

With the holidays just around the corner, I started planning out my Christmas gift list. My parents are easy – Scotch or beer for my dad and a facial or pedicure for my mother. They’re in the process of moving so I really didn’t want to add to their junk! But my boyfriend has a big family with quite a few elderly who are staying away from sugar so my homemade jam was off the list. I had to think of something else to make them, a treat that would be yummy but not too sweet.

Healthy Maple Coconut Banana Bread

Healthy Maple Coconut Banana Bread

This recipe was inspired by Martha Stewart’s Banana-Nut Bread from her Baking Handbook cookbook. To make the loaf a bit healthier, I altered and replaced many of the ingredients adding oats and flax seed for fiber and sweetening with brown sugar, maple syrup and applesauce. I also brought out the coconut flavour by using coconut oil and coconut milk. The resulting banana bread tastes wholesome with just enough sweetness to make it a treat. Firm, moist with hints of maple and coconut this banana bread is a nutritious gift to give to those who can’t completely indulge in the holiday season.

Healthy Maple Coconut Banana Bread

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 1 loaf

Healthy Maple         Coconut       Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup milled flax seeds
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cups packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 113g unsweetened apple sauce (snack pack)
  • ½ cup organic coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure coconut extract
  • 2 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
  • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9x5” loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, rolled oats, flax seeds, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, maple syrup, apple sauce and coconut oil on medium-low speed until combined. Beat in the flour mixture. Add the coconut and maple syrup extracts, banana and almond milk. Beat until just combined.
  3. Pour batter into loaf pan and evenly smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake for 60 minutes , rotating pan halfway through until a toothpick can be inserted into the center and comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and cool completely. Banana bread can be kept at room temperature, wrapped well in plastic for up to a week.
http://iseehungrypeople.net/2015/11/02/healthy-maple-coconut-banana-bread/

 

Healthy Maple Coconut Banana Bread

Healthy Maple Coconut Banana Bread

What are you making the ones you love this holiday season?

Healthy Maple Coconut Banana Bread

Healthy Maple Coconut Banana Bread