Sage Shepherd’s Pie (AIP Paleo, Anti-Inflammatory Keto)
Chilly winter days can mean deep cravings for hearty comfort foods that fill your belly and warm your soul. Traditional shepherd’s pie (a wondrously baked meat-potato-veggie combo) certainly fits the bill. However, if you’re like me, it’s a big no-no. The nightshades, dairy, eggs and other potentially-inflammatory ingredients in the traditional dish gives me achy muscles and digestive ickiness. Waa-waa.
So, here’s where we throw a pity-party, right? Nope . Enter this Savory Sage Shepherd’s Pie! Ta-da! It’s AIP Paleo-friendly and AIK Anti-Inflammatory Keto Approved. Even if you, dairy and eggs are BFF’s, you won’t miss ’em in this hearty meal.
Why this Meal is a Winner:
Subbing mashed cauliflower for potatoes means this meal is perfect if you’re following an AIP Paleo protocol to heal your body or an AIK Anti-Inflammatory Keto way of eating to look and feel your best. If ya have trouble getting your little ones to eat more veggies, the “hidden” squash and radishes are a win. Trying to just eat healthier, then try this out! Heck, if ya just like warm, comforting food, this is for you, too! (I know. I know. Some of you are not believing me because of the radish part, right? Trust me. You won’t even know they’re there.)
It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and oh-happy-day nightshade-free, too! Boom! But don’t let that make you think it skimps on flavor. The first time I made this for dinner, my husband’s immediate response was, “Can we please eat this every single week?!” That’s rave reviews from a recent-radish convert, my friends. And, I will confess, while I was going to merely taste my new concoction that evening, I ended up eating waaaaaaaay more than my fair share. Couldn’t-put-down-the-spoon. So, be forewarned if you think you’re gonna end up with leftovers with this dish. It doesn’t last long in our house!
Speaking of leftovers, you could actually MAKE this AIP Paleo/AIK Anti-Inflammatory Keto Shepherd’s Pie by utilizing some of last night’s holiday fare. This dish is perfect for reusing bits and pieces stored in the fridge after a big meal.
- Protein: You can easily substitute the ground beef with leftover holiday turkey, roast, steak or even roasted chicken. Got leftover breakfast bacon? Add it in as a secondary protein source. It would be a super-yummy addition when sautéing your veggies. (You’re right. Scratch that. Who has leftover bacon?!) Or if you’re just flat out feeling adventurous and want to try something new, consider using ground bison, ground lamb or even good ole ground turkey (that’s a good one for those of you wanting to keep your proteins on the lean side).
- Veggies: Throw in leftover green beans or asparagus. You’ll need at least 2 cups veggies to mix with your protein. In addition, you’ll probably still want to sauté up some onions and mushrooms if you have them. Consider adding those celery sticks from that veggie tray into your skillet sauté. (You could even add a couple of carrots, but keep in mind it’ll alter the overall carb.)
- Topping: If you just so happen to have an over abundance of mashed cauliflower from last night’s dinner, then SCORE you can add it here. But that doesn’t happen at our house. So, you’ll probably just need to make the mashed cauliflower. But, you may be able to finish offFor those who are earning their carbs by busting a move at the gym, you could try leftover baked sweet potatoes mashed and spread on top. Using a Japanese sweet potato would mean the topping was still white instead of classic sweet potato orange. If you’re dealing with candida or are trying to shed some holiday pounds or just flat out that starchy carbs give you the bloat, stick to the cauliflower mash.
- The fish sauce helps give this a bit of that umami flavor that traditional dishes might rely on tomato paste or Worcestershire sauce to achieve. I like the purity of Red Boat fish sauce. Warning, it is stout stuff; go easy. And if you have histamine problems, maybe skip it in favor of good ole coconut aminos–a soy sauce replacement. I can have histamine issues, but do fine with the small amounts of fish sauce here. Feeling daring? Use both the fish sauce and coconut aminos to a double punch of flavor.
- Running low on sage? Try subbing fresh thyme and/or rosemary.
- No broth? No problem. Just boil or steam the cauliflower in water. You’ll miss out on some of the flavor from the broth, but it’s not a deal breaker.
Okay, no excuses. Following an anti-inflammatory lifestyle doesn’t have to be bland or boring. Grab a skillet and get to cookin’! Let me know if you try some of the leftover suggestions and substitutions and how they work out for you.