Heart Healthy Shepherd’s Pie: Go Red Better U

Check out this yummy recipe for a heart healthy shepherd’s pie from Chef Kirsten Helle.

Also below are meal kit recipes to make dinner prep easier.

Note: This recipe is provided by Mesa de Vida and has not been evaluated by the American Heart Association.  For AHA recipes, visit http://www.heart.org/simplecooking

Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients

  • 3/4 lb sweet potatoes – scrubbed, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup homemade or high quality organic broth or organic milk
  • 1 pinch Kosher/sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp healthy oil/fat of your choice (I recommend avocado oil or coconut oil for this recipe)
  • 1 lb lean, grass-fed & finished ground beef. You can also substitute a trimmed roast, lean ground organic turkey or chicken or partially-cooked lentils too.
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 delicata squash, about 2 cups worth, finely diced. Substitute acorn or butternut squash if you wish.
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups (about 1/2 cup each) chopped carrots and green beans, peas and corn. Or you can do like I do in a pinch and grab a bag of frozen blended organic vegetables! For this I love the Trader Joes Organic Foursome blend.
  • 2 handfuls fresh kale finely chopped in the food processor, optional nutrition booster
  • 2 tsp dried thyme, preferably organic
  • 1 tsp onion powder, preferably organic
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic, preferably organic
  • 2 pinches Kosher/sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tb red wine or you can use 1 tsp organic Worcestershire sauce (not gfree)
  • 3 Tb brown rice flour*gfree (or 2 Tb cornstarch*gfree or whole wheat flour)
  • 1 1/2 cups homemade or high quality organic broth. You can use vegetable, chicken, turkey, mushroom, beef, whatever you have.
  • Optional (but I do this to make it creamy-licious)- 1 cup pumpkin puree, fresh or organic canned
  • *Use organic, local ingredients whenever you can.

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Get the sweet potatoes on to cook first. Cover the sweet potatoes with water, bring to a boil and simmer about 10-15 minutes (faster if you slice them very thin) until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, start the base for the shepherds pie. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, when hot add oil, swirl to coat. Add the meat, vegetables and seasonings. Cook until the meat is browned and the vegetables are tender. If you’re using a squash that is more firm this may take a little while. You can speed the process up by adding a bit of water or broth and covering the pan. When the vegetables are all tender and the bottom of the pan starts to get some yummy browned goodness going, add your wine or Worcestershire sauce. Stir and cook about 30 seconds. Sprinkle the flour over the top of the ingredients, stir to combine. Pour in your broth and bring to a boil to thicken. Optional – stir in your mashed pumpkin puree. Remove from heat.
  3. By now your sweet potatoes should be done, when they are, drain. To the pan add the clove of garlic and milk or broth. Simmer for about 30 seconds to cook the garlic. Add the sweet potatoes, salt and pepper and mash until creamy and smooth.
  4. Place the meat mixture into the bottom of a casserole dish, cover with the mashed sweet potatoes and smooth the top. This does NOT have to be perfect. As my boyfriend says about this dish “It doesn’t look great but it tastes great!” This is supposed to be rustic, beautiful comfort food.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes (place your dish on a baking sheet if it is very full to catch any bubbling goodness pouring over).
  6. Serve and enjoy this nourishing meal!
  7. Tip – If 8 servings is too much, portion this out between two smaller casserole dishes and freeze one or give it away to a friend. :) I also enjoy these leftovers for breakfast with a yummy over-easy egg on top, then again for lunch.

Mesa de Vida Meal Kit:

1 lb lean ground grass-fed beef, organic ground chicken or lean ground organic turkey
1 onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Additional vegetables such as zucchini, mushroom, kale, eggplant, etc. finely chopped
1 pinch Kosher/sea salt, optional
fresh ground black pepper to taste
Add in additional seasonings:

For Mexican inspired dishes:
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground chili powder
1 tsp dried ground cumin

For Italian inspired dishes:
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano

For savory inspired dishes:
2 tsp dried thyme

Use this as a base recipe to make the following recipes or assemble these kits (with or without seasonings) in batches and freeze until you need them! Make sure you have a plan for each one, label and add the meals to your weekly menu plan. You’re set for delicious, healthy, dinners whenever you’re ready for them! Simply thaw the night before in the refrigerator if using the pre-made frozen kits.

Recipe #1: Taco Salad

Using the Mexican inspired seasonings – Cook the meal kit by browning the ingredients in 2 tsp healthy oil over medium high heat until golden brown and cooked through. Place on salad greens, add black beans and serve! Instead of a bottled salad dressing top with some salsa and a dollop of low-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt.

Recipe #2: Burritos

Using the Mexican inspired seasonings – Cook the meal kit by browning the ingredients in 2 tsp healthy oil over medium high heat until golden brown and cooked through. Wrap up in whole grain tortillas (gluten free if necessary), add a bit of low-fat shredded cheese and enjoy!

Recipe #3: Enchiladas

Using the Mexican inspired seasonings – Cook the meal kit by browning the ingredients in 2 tsp healthy oil over medium high heat until golden brown and cooked through. Wrap up in corn tortillas, top with a high-quality jarred salsa (salsa verde is my favorite) and top with a bit of low-fat shredded cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes until golden brown and bubbly…enjoy!

Recipe #4: Sloppy Joes

Using the Mexican or Italian inspired seasonings – Check out my delicious recipe by clicking here (http://www.mesadevida.com/healthified-sloppy-joes-healthify-chef-kirsten/). Simply use the meal kit and proceed with the rest of the recipe!

Recipe #5: Chili

Using the Mexican inspired seasonings – Check out my “healthified” chili recipe over here (http://www.mesadevida.com/healthify-me-healthified-chili/) Simply use the meal kit and proceed with the rest of the recipe!

Recipe #6: Spaghetti with homemade meat sauce

Using the Italian inspired seasonings – Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, when hot add oil, swirl to coat. Add kit, stir often and cook until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add:
¼ cup red wine (optional)
28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
Stir into meat mixture, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer 15 minutes or longer.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add:
8 oz whole grain or brown rice pasta
Boil according to package directions, drain. Serve the pasta topped with spaghetti sauce. *Optional: Top with chopped fresh basil and shredded parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Recipe #7: Lasagna

Using the Italian inspired seasonings – Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, when hot add oil, swirl to coat. Add kit, stir often and cook until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add:
¼ cup red wine (optional)
28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
Stir into meat mixture, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer 15 minutes or longer.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add:
9 whole grain lasagna noodles
Boil according to package directions, drain. Layer the sauce and pasta with 1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese and 1 cup shredded low-fat mozzarella/parmesan cheese blend. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. Top with chopped fresh basil. Enjoy!

Recipe #8: Black bean taco bowl

Using the Mexican inspired seasonings – Cook the meal kit by browning the ingredients in 2 tsp healthy oil over medium high heat until golden brown and cooked through. Place warmed black beans (if using cans rinse and drain) in a bowl, top with the cooked meat mixture. Add salsa and a bit of sliced olives, low-fat shredded cheese and/or low-fat sour cream to the top. Enjoy!

Recipe #9: Healthified Shepherds Pie

Using the Savory inspired seasonings – Check out my “healthified” Shepherds Pie recipe over here (http://www.mesadevida.com/how-to-make-shepherds-pie-healthy/) Simply use the meal kit and proceed with the rest of the recipe

 

Want some more inspiration? Vary the ingredients and make chicken and black bean chili, taco soup, top a whole grain pizza crust, add some cheese and have a wonderful pizza, make homemade “healthified” nachos with some homemade organic whole grain baked tortilla chips and a bit of low-fat cheese, make with savory seasonings and fill up a whole grain bun, top with Provolone cheese and melt for a Philly-cheesesteak inspired sandwich…the sky really IS the limit! Don’t forget…top with fresh herbs for more flavor and nutrition too!

 

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