Roasted Garlic Baba Ganoush (THM S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

This was my first time making Baba Ganoush, and let me tell you just how EASY and flavorful this dish is.

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Bana Ganoush is a Levantine dish that’s based on cooked eggplant, tahini, olive oil, and spices.

Eggplant can be notoriously bitter, however I roasted it along with a whole head of garlic to bring out its sweetness. Roasting caramelizes the sugars in the vegetables, making them slightly smoky and a little sweet.

Don’t be intimated by roasting vegetables! Just follow my straight-forward method, and you won’t have any issues.

Let’s start with the base of our Baba Ganoush – the garlic and eggplant.

Start by preheating your oven to 400, then slice your eggplant. Don’t over-complicate it – I cut the stem off of it, then cut it into 4 big wedges. That’s it! The skin will come off later, so don’t worry about peeling or anything.

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Next prep the garlic by cutting off the top of your whole garlic bulb. Again, don’t worry about anything else – leave the skin on, leave the bottom stem on (that’s how it stays together). 20170315005437_IMG_2706

Spray it with a little coconut oil, then wrap the bulb in a small piece of aluminum foil.

I wrap it taller than I do small because that makes it easy to peek on the bulb (without burning yourself) while it cooks. Place it and the eggplant on a large baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Give the eggplant a light spray of coconut oil as well.

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Pop it into your oven, and roast away! The garlic will roast the longest, for about 30-40 minutes (depending on the size of your bulb). The eggplant, on the other hand, will only roast for about 20-25 minutes, and it’s easy to take that garlic bulb right off the sheet and leave it on the oven grates to finish roasting. Once the eggplant has some deep color, place it into a heat-safe bowl and cover with aluminum foil (you can totally recycle that piece you used on the baking sheet!) or plastic wrap. This helps finish cooking the eggplant, while also lifting the skin away from the flesh of the eggplant making it easier to peel.

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With the garlic, I primarily go by smell to know when its done. When you start smelling the roasted garlic, check on it about every 10 minutes until you see a deep, golden color.

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Look at that! Golden, a little crispy on the edges, and soft. Roasted garlic almost makes a paste because it’s so soft, and I’ll show you my easy-peasy way to get all those roasted cloves out of your bulb in just a minute.

Back to the eggplant! Once its cool enough to handle, take a sharp pairing knife to begin peeling the flesh away from the skin of the eggplant. I started on the skinny, pointy end of the wedge and made a small cut right between the skin and flesh. Then run your knife close to the skin, allowing the flesh to gently peel away. It’s OK if it doesn’t come off all in one piece, you’re pureeing this anyway – no one has to know!

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Peel away all that soft eggplant flesh, and place it right into your food processor.

Next is the garlic. Take the whole roasted bulb into your palm and angle it over the food processor. Squeeze the bulb from the bottom, and all the cloves begin to release from their skins out through the top.

Easy, right?!

Now, it’s time for the rest of your ingredients.

Squeeze of half a lemon – hold it cut-side up so that the seeds stay with the lemon, instead of going into your processor.

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Then the tahini – if you’re unfamiliar with tahini, it’s just sesame seed butter. I found it very easily in the bulk section at my local Sprouts. It’s nothing but sesame seeds!

I spiced this really simply with a little bit of smoky ground cumin, a few leaves of fresh parsley, salt, and pepper. [I know, super complicated, right?]

Place it all into your food processor, and get ready to whirl!

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Start it whirling, then stream in about 1/3 c of olive oil (EVOO, in my world).

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The Baba Ganoush is ready when it reaches this loose paste-like consistency. Think, a loose hummus.

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Gorgeous! Transfer it to your serving bowl, sprinkle with a tiny bit of smoked paprika, more fresh chopped parsley, and a quick drizzle of EVOO.

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Seriously, how beautiful is that? AND…it’s ALL veggies! No dairy, no beans, no problem.

You can serve this with cut veggies (cucumbers, mini sweet peppers, grape tomatoes, fresh zucchini, cauliflower, I could go on…) even some baked low carb pita triangles or parmesan cheese whisps would work. Any way you serve it, it’s equally delicious.

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This dip has a smokiness from the roasted eggplant and cumin, then you get a little sweetness from the roasted garlic and tahini, and it has a fruity quality with the raw EVOO. Simply divine!

Make this Baba Ganoush for your next party, and your guest will be begging for your recipe.

Roasted Garlic Baba Ganoush

  • Servings: Multiple, Makes about 12oz of dip
  • Time: about 1 hour
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients


Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Cut the eggplant into 4 wedges, leaving the skin on. Cut the top off the bulb of garlic, leaving the bottom stem intact. Spray both with coconut oil. Wrap the garlic in a small piece of foil, and place the eggplant onto a foil-lined baking sheet.
  3. Roast the eggplant for about 20-25 minutes, and the garlic for about 30-40 minutes. Place the eggplant into a bowl and cover with foil or plastic to continue the cooking process.
  4. Once the eggplant is cool enough to handle, separate the flesh from the skin with a nice, sharp pairing knife. Place it into a food processor fitted with its blade.
  5. Hold the garlic bulb over the processor, and gently squeeze from the bottom to release the cloves of roasted garlic.
  6. Add the cumin, parsley, tahini, salt and pepper to the food processor and begin a constant blend.
  7. Stream in the EVOO until a paste-like consistency happens. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
  8. Place into a serving bowl and garnish with smoked paprika, parsley, and a drizzle of EVOO.
  9. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days.


 

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Low Carb Salmon en Papillote (THM S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

This is one of those meals that sounds (and looks) super fancy, but takes minimal effort (win!).

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“En Papillote” is a French dish that simply means “in parchment.” Wrapping each portion of fish in parchment paper is so smart because 1) each packet makes its own little lemon butter sauce which coats the fish and veggies and 2) the only clean up is throwing away paper (easy, right?!).

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Let’s start by talking about the fish. You do not want to go cheap on the salmon here – you want fresh, vibrant flavors and it’s hard to get that from frozen filets. I always get this large plank of fresh salmon from Costco. They take great care in butchering the fish by removing all the pin bones (I’ve never gotten one bone from Costco fish) AND the skin. I’m not partial to fish skin, so I appreciate that they take care of that part for me. At the end of the day, where you get your salmon is entirely up to you, just make sure it’s good because you’ll need about 2lbs of it. (I’m going to show you a fantastic lunch or dinner rollover meal later!).

Slice the lemons, squash, and mushrooms, then filet the plank of salmon into individual portions (I got 7 portions from mine). To filet the fish, use a sharp, long knife to make deep, long cuts. That way your filets won’t look like you’ve been sawing away at the fish.

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Cut 1 10-12in piece of parchment paper for each portion of fish, and pile them all up to make your assembly easy.

I made a shortcut by using frozen green beans for the bottom. I didn’t thaw them out or cook them before putting them into the parchment packets, and they were perfectly cooked after roasting.

Assemble the packets by taking a piece of parchment paper, piling a portion of green beans on the bottom. Stack on the sliced squash and place the mushrooms around the sides. Season the veggies with salt and pepper. Carefully lay the fish filet on top, season it with salt and pepper, tear off a few pieces of fresh dill, lay the sliced lemons over the fish, then top with a pat of soft butter.

Next, you’ll get to wrapping the fish, nice and snug. Take the longest ends of the paper up together, make about 1-inch fold and keep folding and creasing down to the surface of the fish. Grab one of the small ends, pinch and crease it then tuck it under the fish – same goes for the other end.

That’s it! keep wrapping and rolling until all of your portions are wrapped. This can be done up to 1 day ahead of cooking. You don’t want the fish sitting too long with the lemon, because it will start to cure.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 375, and place the packets onto a large baking sheet. They won’t leak (so long as there aren’t any holes in your packets), so you shouldn’t need extra foil or anything. Pop them into the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes.

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The best part is that this is a complete meal in a packet. You can transfer the packets straight from the baking sheet to a plate, then tear open the tops to reveal your beautifully roasted salmon and vegetables.

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Just look how gorgeous that is! I topped it with a touch of fresh chopped parsley and called it a day. The lemons roast down and become a little sweet, so squeeze those babies over the top of your fish. The butter and lemon drip down to the veggies, making them perfectly seasoned and buttery. The salmon is flaky, soft, and just a little crispy on the outside.

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My kids enjoyed this meal as is (they LOVE salmon), and I had a side green salad with mine. It was a beautifully light S meal!

Salmon en Papillote (THM S)

  • Servings: 6-7
  • Time: 40 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • roughly 2lbs fresh salmon, cut into individual portions
  • 1lb frozen whole green beans
  • 1 medium yellow squash, sliced
  • 1 cup white mushrooms, sliced
  • 3-4 lemons, thinly sliced (3 pieces of lemon per fish filet)
  • 6-7 tsp soft unsalted butter
  • 2 sprigs fresh dill
  • salt and pepper
  • parsley for garnish, optional
  • parchment paper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Prepare the parchment packets by tearing one 10-12inch piece of parchment per fish filet. Stack them up and begin assembling.
  3. Green beans on the bottom, followed by sliced squash and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Gently lay one fish filet over the top, and season with salt and pepper. Tear off a few fronds of fresh dill, and lay them over the fish. Fan the lemons over the top, then top with a pat of butter.
  4. Wrap the fish into snug packets, and lay onto a large baking sheet.
  5. Roast the packets at 375 for 20-25 minutes.
  6. Place the packet directly onto a plate, cut or (gently) tear open near the top, and garnish with fresh parsley.

Thin Mint Mini Cheesecakes (THM S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

I wanted to think of a fun, green dessert to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this weekend, but was having trouble with inspiration. Then my husband suggested his favorite – mint chocolate. My mind got to churning, then I settled on mini mint chocolate cheesecakes, and I could not be happier!

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Cheesecake is one of those desserts that’s pretty straight forward and easy to prepare.  However, not everyone has a spring form pan laying around their house – what to do? Mini cheesecakes in a muffin pan! Honestly, I think that’s almost better than one big cheesecake. You have better portion control, no slicing, and it’s easier to store. Of course, if you REALLY wanted to, you can make this exact recipe in a 10-inch springform pan instead of a muffin pan.

Start by combining the ingredients for your crust in a small bowl: almond flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, Pyure or THM Gentle Sweet, and salt. Whisk to combine.

Then pour in the unsalted butter and combine it with your hands. The mixture isn’t terribly wet, but you do want it sticking together slightly. Think of damp dirt – that’s what you’re going for here.

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Line your muffin pan with paper or silicone liners. Begin pressing the crust mixture into the bottom of your liners. You want to firmly press it down so that the crust stays together once the liners are off, and it gets a little crispy. You definitely don’t want to skip the liners here, because then the crust will not crisp or stay together, and you’ll have a hard time getting the cheesecakes out of the pan.

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Next, prepare your green, minty cheesecake filling.

Combine the softened cream cheese, vanilla extract, eggs, Pyure or THM Gentle Sweet, and peppermint extract until thick and creamy. Begin adding your green food coloring about 8-10 drops at a time, until you’ve achieved your desired hue.

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Use an ice cream scoop to scoop even portions of the filling onto your crusts.

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Pop them into a 350 degree oven to bake for 25-30 minutes. They won’t get too golden (if they do they’re over-baked!), so look for a little color towards the centers and they should feel firm (with a tiny giggle) in the middle.

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Let them cool at room temperature for about 10-12 minutes, then pop them into the fridge for 2-3 hours to cool and set.

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After they’ve had a chance to firm, make the ganache topping. Start by heating the cream over low heat in a small sauce pan. Chop the 85% dark chocolate or Lily’s chocolate chips and add it to a heat-safe bowl. When the cream is hot, and bubbling a little, pour it over the chocolate and whisk until smooth and creamy.

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Begin spooning the warm ganache over the tops of your cheesecakes. You want enough for each one, so don’t get too happy about it in the beginning. Spread one generous tablespoon of ganache over the top of each cheesecake. If you have leftovers at the end, then you can go back and fill as needed.

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Once they’re all covered, pop them back into the fridge for another 45 minutes, or until serving. The ganache will be firmly set, but still soft to a fork (or mouth ^_~).

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These mini cheesecakes are the perfect, impressive yet low-maintenance dessert. They look so pretty, and don’t take a ton of effort.

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The filling is luscious and creamy with just a hint of mint, while the crust is coarse and chocolatey. Then you have the rich ganache on top that’s smooth and soft.

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The perfect treat to celebrate a holiday, or any day!

Thin Mint Mini Cheesecakes (THM S)

  • Servings: Makes 22-24
  • Time: 1 hour plus cooling time
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients


Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the crust ingredients except for the butter in a small bowl. Pour in the melted butter and combine with your hands.
  3. Press the crust firmly into the bottom of your lined cupcake pan.
  4. For the filling, combine the eggs, cream cheese, vanilla, and Pyure until creamy. Add the peppermint extract and combine. Begin adding the green food coloring, 8-10 drops at a time, until your desired hue is achieved.
  5. Add the filling by using an ice cream scoop to portion out the filling into each crust.
  6. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until firm to the touch (not too browned).
  7. Cool for 10-12 minutes at room temperature, then remove to the fridge for 2-3 hours to finish cooling and setting.
  8. Make the ganache by heating the cream over low heat in a small sauce pan. When it’s hot and bubbling a little, pour it over the chopped chocolate in a heat-safe bowl. Whisk until smooth and slightly thickened.
  9. Spoon the ganache over the tops of the cheesecakes and spread to the edges. Cool the cheesecakes in the fridge about another 45 minutes for the ganache to set.
  10. Store in the fridge until serving.

Paleo Sausage and Veggie Omelette Bites (THM S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

If you’re looking for a make-ahead breakfast that’s both tasty and healthy, then look no further! These omelette bites are super easy to prep and delicious fresh or re-heated.

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I am about to blow your mind with how easy breakfast can be! These omelette bites take maybe 45 minutes total, and will save you hours in slaving over breakfast during the week. You can reinvent them daily by adding cheese, salsa, avocado, or any other fixin’s you enjoy.

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Start off by browning your breakfast sausage. I used Johnsonville mild breakfast sausage, but any variety you like will do.

The low carb veggie mix I used was frozen chopped spinach (thawed and squeezed out), a few strips of red bell pepper, zucchini, seeded and chopped tomatoes, grated radishes (they’re SO good sautéd in a little butter, almost like slightly sweet hashbrowns), and sliced scallions. I softened the zucchini, bell pepper, and radishes together with the thawed and squeezed spinach in a little butter until the radishes started to soften. I let all of that cool while I chopped the tomatoes.

Personally, I seed tomatoes before throwing them into a dish like this for 2 reasons: 1. the seeds add a lot of water and moisture, and 2. they’re mushy. I would mush rather have the firm flesh than the seeds. Usually the seeds kind of fall away naturally as I’m chopping, and it isn’t a whole lot of extra work.

Also slice the scallions thinly, then toss with the spinach mixture with salt and pepper.

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Toss the sausage with the veggies, then let’s get to the filling.

I chose paper liners for my muffin pan, which had some drawbacks. On one hand, I wasn’t scrubbing egg out of every hole in my pan. On the other hand, I had to peel the liners off each one which was a bit of a pain. All of that to say, if you have silicone liners – use them, or spray the pan REALLY well.

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So, I’m madly in love with this 24-ct muffin pan. It makes a world of difference filling just one BIG pan instead of a few tiny ones. Also, for my limited-space kitchen I just don’t have room for a ton of small pans, so one large pan is just the ticket.

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Pile in a heaping spoonful of the sausage and veggie mixture into the bottom of each cup, then scramble the eggs.

I like my eggs with a little hot sauce, but if you don’t you can leave it out. Just make sure you season liberally with salt and pepper. I also used unsweetened, plain almond milk to scramble the eggs. You can also use cream or half and half, if that’s your thing. I have to watch the dairy, because my husband can’t handle too much of it and I want him to enjoy these also. I scrambled the eggs, milk, and hot sauce together in my big 8-cup measuring cup. It has a pour spout, making it easy to fill each cup without making additional dirty dishes.

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Fill each cup about 3/4 of the way full. You want a little space, because the eggs will puff as they bake.

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When all the cups are filled, pop them into a pre-heated 375 degree oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden.

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Delicious! The eggs are perfectly fluffy with bright, fresh veggies and a little spice from the sausage. They are the perfect morning pairing with some buttery avocado and fresh berries.

Sausage & Veggie Omelette Bites (THM S)

  • Servings: Makes 24
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 14 eggs
  • 1/3 c unsweetened, plain almond milk
  • few dashes hot sauce
  • 1lb bulk breakfast sausage
  • 1 c frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of its water
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1/4 c grated radishes
  • 1/4 c diced red bell pepper
  • 1-2 vine tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 2-3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Brown the sausage and set aside to cool.
  3. Sauté the zucchini, bell pepper, radishes, and spinach together for about 5-7 minutes or until the radishes begin to soften. Turn off the heat, cool slightly, then add the tomatoes, scallions, and a touch of salt and pepper. Toss the sausage into the veggie mixture and set aside.
  4. Line your muffin pan with either paper liners or silicone liners. Add one big spoonful of the sausage/veggie mixture to each cup.
  5. Scramble the eggs with the almond milk, hot sauce, salt and pepper.
  6. Pour the egg mixture a little at a time into each cup, filling it 3/4 of the way.
  7. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned and firmly set.
  8. Enjoy right away or refrigerate in zip-top bags for mornings during the week. Reheat gently in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds.

Sunday Bolognese (THM S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Bolognese is basically an Italian meat sauce. It has a different flavor than traditional marinara, and usually has some vegetables in it as well. I call this my “Sunday Sauce” because you can make it on Sunday, and it tastes just as good (or better!) on Friday.

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This sauce comes together in one, big pot on your stove top, and it’s low-maintenance (lots of simmering, not a ton of stirring).

When I make Bolonese, I always make extra for freezing. It’s perfect with Dreamfields Noodles, spiralized squash/zucchini, eggplant steaks, Lazy Lasagne (Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook page 140), or any other Italian fare you can dream up. My kids love this sauce, and will eat anything I put with it.

Start with 1 1/2 – 2lbs ground beef. I used 85% lean, but you can go for whichever variety your family likes best. Sauté it with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and some dried basil. When the meat begins to brown, start breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon or spatula. When the meat is mostly cooked, add the shallots, garlic, celery, grated carrot, and onions. I use a fine hand grater to get small strings of grated carrot. The best thing about using a hand grater, as opposed to a box grater, is that you can hover it over the pot and grate straight down into it. No extra step of transferring it from the cutting board to the pot. Plus, when it’s cut that small there’s no need for peeling.

When the vegetables begin to soften, de-glaze the pan with one heaping cup of red wine. Don’t fall for the “cooking wine” tricks here – you want to use something dry, bold in flavor, and that you would enjoy drinking. If you don’t enjoy the taste of it uncooked, then you really won’t like it once it’s reduced and concentrated. I used a Côtes du Rhône because I still had some left over from my Coq Au Vin, and it was just enough for this recipe. The Côtes du Rhône gave my sauce a bold, deep flavor, and I highly suggest it if you can find it in your grocery store. (I found mine at Costco for around $10).

Finally, add the whole can of crushed tomatoes with their juice and a touch more salt and pepper. Place the lid on your pan, and let it simmer on medium heat for about 10-12 minutes. Then remove the lid and continue simmering until sauce is reduced and thickened.

Turn off the heat, taste and adjust for seasoning, then add one large handful of fresh chopped parsley.

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What you end up with is a bold, hearty, sauce that’s slightly fruity from the red wine. It’s perfect to use right away, or you can cool and package it up for Italian night later in the week (all it will need is some heat). Like I said earlier, this sauce only gets better with time, so there are no disappointing leftovers here.

Sunday Bolognese (THM S)

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 – 2lbs ground beef (I used grassfed 85% lean)
  • 1 heaping cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1 large stalk celery, finely diced (leafy greens included)
  • 1/2 medium carrot, finely grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes with basil
  • 1 large handful chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Start by browning the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat, breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon or spatula. Season with garlic powder, dried basil, salt, and pepper.
  2. Add the onions, shallots, garlic, celery, grated carrot, and a touch more salt and pepper. Continue sautéing until onions begin to get soft, about 5-6 minutes.
  3. De-glaze the pan with the red wine, then add the crushed tomatoes and a little more salt and pepper. Cover and let simmer over medium heat for about 10-12 minutes. Remove the lid and continue simmering another 10 minutes, until sauce is thickened and slightly reduced.
  4. Turn off the heat, add the parsley, taste and adjust for seasoning. Serve immediately, or cool and store until future use.

One Pot New Orleans-Style Gumbo (THM S/E)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

I’m a spicy gal and although I wasn’t born in Louisiana, creole cuisine of New Orleans speaks to me on a spiritual level.

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Gumbo is one of my favorite, warming meals because it’s spicy, hearty, and still packs a veggie punch. Also, this is one of those meals that you can cook (a bunch of) one night, and when you’re eating its leftovers a few nights later the flavor is even deeper – it only gets better with time! However, my favorite part of this meal is definitely that it only takes one (big) pot. Because I still hate doing dishes ^_^.

Start by heating a large Dutch oven over medium low heat, and add the sliced smoked sausage. I used andouille, which is a creole spicy sausage. If you’re not into the spice, any smoked sausage will do. Since it’s already cooked, you just want to sauté it enough to get some color and crispness on the outside.

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Take the sausage out, add some coconut oil if needed, and begin sautéing the cubed chicken. It doesn’t have to cook all the way through since it will simmer in the gumbo later. Just make sure it has some good color on it, and season with salt and pepper or a touch of Cajun seasoning.

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Take the chicken out, then start on the shrimp. I bought easy-peel shrimp from my fish counter at Sprouts, which are already deveined. You can keep the tails, or whole shell, on if you wish. I find it easier to remove the whole shell, tail included, prior to cooking. Add more coconut oil to the pan, if needed before adding the shrimp. Again, season with salt and pepper and sauté away. Cook them about 1 minute on each side, just to get good color. They won’t be fully cooked yet, but once you add them back to the gumbo they’ll finish cooking without becoming overcooked.

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Remove the shrimp. Next comes the vegetables! Don’t worry about the brown bits on the bottom of your Dutch oven – that’s flavor, and the stock we add later will pick it all up.

Chop some mirepoix – celery (leafy green parts included!), onion, green bell pepper, and garlic.

Add a touch more coconut oil, turn the heat down just a touch and add the vegetables. Sauté until onions just start to caramelize, about 5-7 minutes.

And, I’ll go ahead and tell you, I’m a bad Southerner – I greatly dislike okra. Unless it’s pureed, in a cookie, or otherwise hidden beyond recognition I cannot stomach it. HOWEVER. You are welcome to add okra to this lovely gumbo if it is your thing. If you do add it, go ahead and do so at this step.

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De-glaze the pan with one 15-oz can of fire roasted tomatoes. I like the smoky flavor of fire roasted tomatoes, but you’re welcome to use any kind you prefer. Mine also were seasoned with garlic and onion. Add in the chicken (or vegetable/seafood) stock, a bay leaf, sausage, chicken, Worcestershire sauce, and a few dashes of hot sauce. Place the lid on your pot and let it simmer for about 10-12 minutes.

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Once it’s finished simmering, turn off the heat, add the shrimp back to the pot, cover again and let stand for about 5-7 minutes. This will allow the shrimp to continue cooking through slowly.

Serve the gumbo as is or over a big pile of cauliflower rice. For my cauliflower rice, I pulsed half a large head of cauliflower in a food processor until it was in small pearls. Then I served it raw underneath the hot gumbo – easy peasy! I liked it raw because it didn’t become mushy from cooking and retained a nice textural contrast like rice.

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As is, the gumbo is a great S. However, if you want to have the rice and make it an E – that’s completely achievable. You can either choose a smoked turkey/chicken sausage with less fat, or leave it out completely and make this a chicken and shrimp gumbo – your call. Just make sure any time you’re adding coconut oil that you do so with a spray to keep the fat in check.

Either way you make it, this gumbo is a spicy, hearty, and delicious shake-up to your weekly routine. The leftovers just get better with time – this is a meal you can make on Monday and still enjoy on Friday.

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New Orleans Style Gumbo (THM S/E)

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1-lb andouille sausage, sliced (or any smoked sausage – For E choose a chicken or turkey sawusage, or omit)
  • 1/2 lb chicken breast, cubed
  • 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 stalks celery, leafy greens included, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1-2 c cut okra (optional)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 15-oz can fire roasted tomatoes seasoned with garlic and onion
  • 1 1/2 c chicken/vegetable/seafood stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Cajun seasoning to taste
  • 1 tsp gluten free Worcestershire sauce
  • 6-10 dashes hot sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • cauliflower rice (for S) or cooked brown rice (for E), for serving (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat and sauté the sliced sausage until browned and crispy. Remove to a plate.
  2. Add coconut oil, if needed, toss the chicken with a touch of Cajun seasoning and brown on all sides. Remove to a plate (with the sausage is fine).
  3. Toss the shrimp with salt and pepper, then brown for about 1 minute on each side. Remove to a plate with the chicken and sausage.
  4. Add more coconut oil, if needed, then begin sautéing the onions, bell pepper, celery, garlic, and okra (if using). Cook for about 5-7 minutes, until the onions begin to caramelize.
  5. Add the tomatoes, stock, Worcestershire, bay leaf, hot sauce, chicken, and sausage back to the pot. Cover and simmer on medium-low for about 10-12 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat, add the shrimp back to the pot, cover, and let stand for about 5-7 minutes.
  7. Serve over cauliflower rice, brown rice (for an E), or as is.

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Low Carb Chunky No-Tato Soup (THM S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

There is nothing more comforting in these cold Winter months than a big bowl of soup. And who doesn’t love a good loaded “potato” fake-out?

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This soup comes together in one pot, however you will need a blender or food processor to get it nice and smooth.

The base of this soup is cauliflower. What I love about cauliflower is that it’s basically a blank canvas – it’s very versatile and you can make the flavor whatever your heart desires. I added some extra flavor by putting some onions, celery, and garlic into the broth with the cauliflower.

All of those soften together in a large Dutch oven. Rapidly simmer all the vegetables together in chicken (or vegetable) broth for about 12-14 minutes, or until everything is super soft.

While that’s happening, peel and dice a small bunch of radishes. [I know, peeling radishes is totally a pain in the rear. Trust me, if you don’t want those things turning pink, just peel.]  Boil them in some salted water for about 8-10 minutes until fork tender. Drain when finished

If you want to use some cooked bacon as a topper, you can use some leftover from the morning or you can cook some fresh in a separate pan.

Puree the vegetables and broth together until smooth, and place it back into the warm pot. Add the nutritional yeast, cream, and seasoning.

Turn off the heat, add some fresh chives and the cooked diced radishes, then serve.

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As far as toppings go, use whatever you like for a loaded baked potato – sour cream, chives, cheese, bacon, etc. I used smoked gruyère cheese, bacon, and chives. Gruyère is a rich, soft cheese you typically see atop French onion soup. I had some left over I was also using for biscuits that night, so feel free to use whatever you like – blue cheese, cheddar, mozzarella, pepper jack.

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This soup was DELICIOUS. Comforting, creamy, and satisfying. The bacon and smoked cheese added a little salty bite, while chives brought some freshness to the soup. My kids gobbled it down, and my cauliflower-skeptic husband scarfed down not one but TWO bowls of it. HA.

I’ll call that a win!

Chunky No-Tato Soup (THM S)

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1 large head cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 large red onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 3 stalks celery with leafy parts, diced
  • 1 32oz container broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 small bunch of radishes, peeled and diced
  • 1 c water
  • 1 c cream
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • seasoning blend to taste (salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, ground celery root, parsley)
  • 3 Tbsp fresh chives, chopped
  • Toppings of choice:
  • cooked bacon
  • cheese (cheddar, blue, pepper jack, parmesan, gruyère, etc.)
  • additional chives
  • sour cream

Directions

  1. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven. Add the cauliflower, onion, garlic, celery, salt and pepper. Saute over medium-low heat until the onions start to develop some color, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add the broth and water, cover, bring to a rapid simmer, and continue rapidly simmering covered for 12-14 minutes until vegetables are fully cooked and very soft.
  3. While that’s happening, bring the radishes to boil in a small pot of lightly salted water. Boil them for 8-10 minutes, or until fork tender. Drain and set aside.
  4. When the cauliflower is fully cooked, puree the mixture in one or multiple batches in a high-powdered blender or food processor until smooth.
  5. Add the puree back to the Dutch oven and turn the heat down to low. Add the cream, nutritional yeast, cooked radishes, and any additional seasoning.
  6. Turn off the heat, add the chives, and serve.

Copycat Chipotle Roasted Tomatillo Salsa & Baked Tortilla Chips

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Here’s another great Chipotle fake-out recipe – salsa verde.

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Verde salsa is usually considered mild, however this salsa at Chipotle comes with a *bite*. It’s smooth, a little smoky, and kicking with jalapeño heat.

Best of all? This recipe is so EASY. Just 5 ingredients and you’re on your way to spicy salsa goodness.

The base of this salsa is tomatillos. Tomatillos look a lot like green tomatoes, but they have a husk and their skin has a slightly sticky feel to it. They have a mild flavor, and become very soft once they’re cooked.

The easiest trick to getting the most flavor is to roast the tomatillos, jalapeño, and onions together.

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Leave the tomatillos whole, as well as the jalapeño, and cut the onion into large slices. Roast under a broiler for about 10-12 minutes on each side. The skin will get a little black (that’s fine!), and the vegetables will soften.

Once those are done in the oven, place them all into a heat-safe bowl and cover with foil or plastic wrap. This helps to finish cooking the veggies, and it releases the skin from the flesh of the vegetables, making them easier to peel.

When the vegetables are cool enough to handle, lightly skin the tomatillos (it’s OK if some of it stays on, the skin is very soft) and remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapeño.

Place the vegetables, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper into a food processor and pulse until your desired consistency is reached. I ended up adding some water to the mix to help get things a little smoother.

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It’s that easy!

Next up is salsa’s best side kick, tortilla chips.

These take barely any time at all! Start with gluten free tortillas.

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Take a small stack of the tortillas, and cut them into 8ths.

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Fan them out into one layer on a large baking sheet lined with parchment. Spritz them with coconut oil spray and season with salt.

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Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

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I told you it was easy!

These chips are an E, but the salsa is FP.

If you liked this recipe, check out my fake-out Chipotle guacamole!

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa (THM FP)

  • Servings: Makes about 2 cups
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 2lbs fresh tomatillos, shucked and rinsed
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 1/2 large red onion, cut into large slices or chunks
  • juice of 1 1/2 limes
  • 1/2 c fresh cilantro
  • salt and pepper
  • water as needed

Directions

  1. Place the whole tomatillos and jalapeño on a baking sheet with the onion slices and roast under a broiler for about 10-12 minutes on each side. The skin will be charred in places, and that’s good. Place the hot veggies into a heat-safe bowl and cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Let them steam until cool enough to handle.
  2. Skin the jalapeño and remove the ribs and seeds. Lightly skin the tomatillos. *NOTE: they will be very soft, so it’s OK if you can’t get all of the skin off.
  3. Place the vegetables into a food processor with the lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper. Pulse until desired consistency, adding water if necessary.
  4. Serve immediately or place into a covered container and store in the fridge until time to serve.
  5. *NOTE: tomatillos have a slightly gelatinous texture, so don’t be worried if your salsa looks a little stiff after refrigeration. Just give it a stir and all will be fine.

Baked Tortilla Chips (THM E)

  • Servings: Varies
  • Time: 12 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • Gluten Free tortillas (such as Mission)
  • salt
  • coconut oil spray

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Cut tortillas into 8ths. Place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet in one, even layer.
  3. Spritz with coconut oil and season with salt. Toss to combine.
  4. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes, until golden brown and crunchy.
  5. Serve immediately. Store in a plastic bag for up to 2 days.

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Low Carb Coq Au Vin (THM S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Who’s ready for another one-pot wonder?!

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If I haven’t said it enough already, I really love my cast iron Dutch oven. It’s perfect for my chili, stews, everything. This lady in red has been making dinner a lot easier lately.

If you haven’t had Coq Au Vin before, it’s a French country chicken stew. Most often, I see it with mushrooms and onions. However, you can add a wider array of vegetables if you like – celery, shallots, carrots, or parsnips would also be good here.

All those beautiful veggies and chicken pieces get cooked down in some dry red wine. I used Côtes du Rhône because the Barefoot Contessa tells me that’s a good red wine, and I’m not about argue. ^_^

I started by rendering the fat from a few slices of chopped bacon.

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Once the bacon starts to crisp, remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon and set to the side.

Season your chicken pieces with salt and pepper on both sides. I used chicken thighs and breasts.

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Crisp the chicken on both sides, in one layer of your pan. Brown the pieces in multiple batches if needed, then remove to a plate. The chicken does not need to be fully cooked yet, as it will cook through later.

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Add the mushrooms, carrots, red onion, and garlic to the pan with an extra pat of butter (or coconut oil) if the pan is looking dry. Saute about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms start to have a little color. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the xanthan gum.

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De-glaze the pan with the red wine, picking up any bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon.

Add the pearl onions, chicken pieces, bacon, and whole thyme sprigs. Top off with a little chicken stock if it looks like you still need more liquid. Cover, bring to boil, and reduce to simmer for about 20 minutes.

Remove the lid after 20 minutes, and continue simmering another 10-15 minutes until some of the liquid reduces.

Shred the chicken roughly, if you like (it will be falling apart anyway). Turn off the heat, and add a handful of fresh chopped parsley. Don’t forget to remove the woody thyme stems – the leaves come off in the stew.

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YUM. Tender, delicious chicken in a rich red wine sauce with hearty vegetables. How can you go wrong?

I served this stew as-is for me. For my young creatures, I poured it over some cooked brown rice.

Low Carb Coq Au Vin (THM S)

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 1 hr
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 2lbs chicken breasts and thighs
  • 6 slices bacon, sliced
  • 8oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 medium-sized carrots, sliced diagonally
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 c dry red wine (I used Côtes du Rhône)
  • 1/3 c frozen pearl onions
  • 6-8 whole sprigs of fresh thyme (you’ll remove the stems later)
  • 1/8 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, or coconut oil
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh chopped parsley for garnish

Directions

  1. In a large cast iron Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until browned and crispy. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and brown the chicken in a single layer in the bacon drippings. Remove pieces to a plate and set aside.
  3. Add the butter to the pan, then saute the carrots, mushrooms, red onions, and garlic over medium-low heat until onions are browned and soft.
  4. Sprinkle with xanthan gum, then add the wine, chicken stock, pearl onions, and thyme. Add the chicken and cooked bacon back to the pan. Cover and simmer over medium heat (or in a preheated 400 degree oven), for about 30 minutes. Uncover, and continue simmering another 10-15 minutes until some of the liquid reduces down.
  5. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.

Clean Eating Shepherds Pie (THM E)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Only in my recent years I’ve come to have a love for shepherds pie. It wasn’t a dish I grew up with, but it’s grown into being a Winter staple in my household. It’s easy to prepare, uses simple ingredients, and can feed an army.

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I started this pie using low fat, grass-fed ground beef. It’s not traditional for a shepherds pie, however it lends a lot of great flavor. I then sautéed it with a little red onion, celery, cremini mushrooms, carrots, shallots, and garlic. I sprinkled the mixture with a little xanthan gum, then de-glazed the pan with about a cup of dry red wine and reduced the mixture for about 7 minutes.

When the wine is reduced by about half, turn the heat off, add the peas, parsley, and thyme then set aside.

Meanwhile, I had my creamy potato topping going in a separate pan.

I peeled and diced 5 medium white sweet potatoes. Yes, these things exist! I found them bagged at Trader Joe’s – they have purple skin and white flesh. I also peeled and diced two large parnsips to go with it. Parsnips have a slightly spicy flavor, which helps cut the sweetness of the sweet potato and they make for a very velvety puree.

I boiled those down together for about 12 minutes, in salted water, so that everything was nice and tender.

I drained them, then added them to my food processor with some chicken broth, fat free cream cheese, and a couple tablespoons of butter. Blend it all until smooth, season with salt and pepper, and you’re good to go.

In a large casserole dish (I used an oval casserole dish), place the beef mixture (with pan juices). Top with the potato/parsnip puree, then grate on about 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese.

The whole thing goes into a 400 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes, until it’s hot and bubbly and the top is lightly browned.

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And this is the beauty you get once it’s finished – deeply flavorful ground beef and veggies with a little red wine gravy topped with creamy and velvety potato-parsnip puree. So creamy and delicious, you’ll have a hard time believing it’s an E!

Clean Eating Shepherds Pie (THM E)

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 45mins - 1hr
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1lb lean ground beef (96% or higher)
  • 8 oz cremini mushrooms, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 small stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 large shallot, finely minced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 1 c frozen peas
  • 3/4 c dry red wine
  • 1/8 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp Herbes de Provence
  • 3 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
  • 5 medium white sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 large parsnips, peeled and diced
  • 2 Tbsp fat free cream cheese
  • 1/2 c low sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • coconut oil spray

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large sauce pot, cover the potatoes and parsnips with water, cover, and bring to a boil. Once they’re boiling, add a generous handful of salt and continue cooking for 10-12 minutes until very tender.
  3. Spray a large saute pan with coconut oil and heat on medium. Saute the ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, breaking the beef down into bite-size chunks.
  4. Add the celery, carrots, mushrooms, shallots, garlic, onion, and Herbes de Provence. Saute for about 5-7 minutes, until the veggies become tender.
  5. Sprinkle the mixture with the xanthan gum, add the red wine, 1/4 c of the chicken broth, and simmer for about 7 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by about half.
  6. Turn off the heat, stir in the peas, parsley, and thyme, and set aside.
  7. Transfer the cooked and drained potatoes and parsnips to a food processor. Add the rest of the chicken stock, cream cheese, butter, salt and pepper. Blend into a smooth puree.
  8. Add the beef mixture into the bottom of a large casserole dish. Top with the potato puree, sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake at 400 for about 20-30 minutes, until the top is lightly browned.