Shepherd’s pie with cauliflower mash – paleo, SCD & autoimmune paleo

It’s the middle of winter in South Africa and it’s c-c-c-c-cold! Yesterday a gorgeous pink and orange sunrise warned us that there was foul weather afoot, and indeed, tonight the skies opened up and it’s¬†been bucketing down for hours here in Cape Town.

I wanted something hearty and filling for this chilly weather, and I also wanted to use what I had at home since pay day is only tomorrow ūüôā

I combined various recipes that I found for paleo shepherd’s pie, tweaking them based on the ingredients I had, and the result was deeeelicious! K wasn’t crazy about the cauliflower topping but that just meant more for me!

Oh, and apologies for the photo. We were so eager to tuck in that I only remembered to photograph it later… when this was¬†all that was left!

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Shepherd’s pie with cauliflower mash – paleo, SCD & AIP

Paleo/SCD/AIP shepherd’s pie with cauliflower mash

Ingredients

  • Coconut oil
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 2 medium or 3 thin sticks of celery, chopped
  • 400g mince (I used ostrich but you could use beef or any other)
  • 2/3 cup red wine or beef stock/broth
  • 1 heaped tsp tamarind paste (or 50g tomato paste if you’re not AIP)
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped finely
  • 250g button mushrooms, sliced thickly
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Salt & black pepper

Method

1. Place the cauliflower into a pot and boil until very soft, about 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, add onions, celery and carrots to a large pot with a knob of coconut oil. Fry on med-high heat, stirring often, until veg has softened – about 5 to 7 minutes.

3. Add mince and break up with a spoon. Add wine/stock and stir until evaporated/absorbed. Add tamarind paste/tomato paste and stir to incorporate.

3. Add rosemary, thyme, black pepper, salt and a good shake of cinnamon.

4. Add mushrooms and peas (from frozen is fine) and allow to simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Add a dash of water if the mixture becomes too dry or catches on the bottom of the pot.

5. While the meat simmers, add salt, pepper and a knob of coconut oil to the cauliflower, and mash until soft.

6.  Transfer the meat to an oven proof dish and top with the cauliflower mash. Bake at 180C for 10 minutes and then grill until the mash browns on top, about 5 minutes. Tuck in!

The great thing about this recipe is that you can tweak it based on what you have at home and it’s still bound to be delicious. You can also use sweet potatoes for the mash instead of cauliflower. Give it a whirl and let me know what you think.

Day 82: I DID IT! (and a delicious, easy SCD/paleo recipe)

My meal: Cauliflower mash, ostrich bolognaise, cooked baby spinach, roast baby tomatoes

Ostrich bolognaise with cauliflower mash, wilted baby spinach and roast baby tomatoes

Tonight, after nearly three months on this diet, I achieved something I never thought possible: I got K to eat an SCD meal! And not only that, but she ate a whole bunch of things she’d never have agreed to if she’d known ūüėČ

The reason that this is such a massive milestone for me is that when it comes to food, K likes what she likes. She’ll eat fruit and veg… but she prefers meat and potatoes. And while I¬†love nuts and seeds and dates and bananas, she’d rather go hungry than eat them.

Tonight, I made a delicious bolognaise that I served on cauliflower mash. The meal was completely SCD legal (obviously) and apart from two tiny differences between our meals, we ate the exact same thing. Another reason that this is significant is that I cook two different meals every night. Being able to make one meal for both of us – at least some of the time – will be such a big time saver (except now I have to share my delicious food – damn!).

The recipe

Sneaky me:¬†I snuck tons of veg into the mince and K had no idea. It’s a great tactic for kids too. If you’re still in the early phases¬†of SCD, like me (I consider phase 3 fairly early still), make sure you cook the veg really well. There is no oil in this recipe, very little fat, and it’s packed with nutrients.

Recipe: SCD bolognaise with cauliflower mash, roast baby tomatoes and baby spinach

Ingredients

  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 3 baby zucchini, peeled and grated
  • 3-4 leeks, white part only, sliced finely
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 2 heaped tsp minced garlic
  • 500g ostrich mince (or venison or extra lean beef mince)
  • 1 small jar / 50g tomato paste (make sure it contains only tomatoes)
  • Two medium tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped (seeds removed if you are in the early stages)
  • 200ml tomato puree (I used bottled, pure tomato puree)
  • A good glug of red wine (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • A few handfuls of baby¬†tomatoes (I used baby roma)
  • Several handfuls of baby spinach, washed
  • 1 medium cauliflower head
  • Grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Add the carrot, zucchini, onion, leek and 1 heaped teaspoon of garlic to a pot, add a few drops of hot water, and heat. Stir constantly over high heat for about 10 minutes, adding water as you need to, until veg is cooked and soft.

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Bolognaise: The best way to hide veg that kids or girlfriends won’t eat ūüėČ

Add the mince and tomato paste to the pot. Break up the mince with a wooden spoon or fork, and continue to cook on high heat, stirring all the time.

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Now you need to disguise all that veg…

Add the wine and stir until reduced. Throw in the chopped tomato, tomato puree and the second teaspoon of garlic, as well as a good pinch of salt and several cracks of black pepper. Stir to incorporate.

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One medium tomato contains 40% of your recommended daily vitamin C intake

Reduce heat to low, stir until the pot has simmered down, and then cover and leave to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. The longer you leave it, the better the flavour – but it smells so good it’s hard wait!

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Be patient – it needs to¬†simmer for at least 20 minutes! But you can ‘taste’ for seasoning purposes of course ūüėČ

Meanwhile, place the baby tomatoes into a pot with a little water, and cook on medium heat until the skins have just begin to burst. Set aside.

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Keep a close eye on these!

Next, pour some boiling water over the spinach (or leave¬†it raw if you’re able and prefer it) and leave to soften. Then grate the cauliflower into ‘rice’, like this:

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Use the smallest holes to grate the cauliflower

I know there’s a much easier way to do it using your the food processor, but I’ve still not figured out how to do much more than blend things and make banana ice cream with mine! Anyway, it’s a great bicep workout ūüôā Grate it all until it looks like this (discarding the thick stems in the middle):

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Cauliflower ‘rice’

Cook the cauliflower in the microwave, covered, for about 12 minutes. Add a dash of water before cooking if you need to.

Now it’s time to plate! Spread a spoonful of cauliflower mash onto the bottom of each bowl, then scatter the spinach leaves on top. Top with¬†the¬†bolognaise, then¬†place a few cherry tomatoes on top. K also got a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, which is SCD legal, but I can’t eat it because I’m lactose intolerant. And here’s what¬†our meals looked like:

K's meal: Cauliflower mash, raw baby spinach, ostrich bolognaise and roast baby tomatoes

K’s meal: Cauliflower mash, raw baby spinach, ostrich bolognaise and roast baby tomatoes

My meal: Cauliflower mash, ostrich bolognaise, cooked baby spinach, roast baby tomatoes

My meal: Cauliflower mash, ostrich bolognaise, wilted baby spinach, roast baby tomatoes

Oh my gosh guys, it was amazing! And there were NO leftovers (sob).

K’s verdict

Here are some things that K said during the meal:

“Oh my gosh this is so good. I don’t know why you’ve been complaining about SCD food.” (luckily this was punctuated with a grin and a wink).

“I love it.”

“…nmmmnonmmmmsshluuuurrrpnommmmmm…”

“Is there more for seconds?”

“What’s the squashy type thing that was in there?”

“I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU MADE ME EAT ZUCCHINI. YOU’RE EVIL.”

“I’m too full for dessert.”

So I did pretty well, and it’s another dish I can add to our weekly rotation. I am SO proud of myself for taking¬†a bunch of ingredients that K would never normally eat, and turning it into something that she actually¬†loved – AND it was SCD legal! BEST. EVER.

Please feel free to share you recipes or links to your blogs – I love finding new SCD recipes and I need all the inspiration I can get!