One of my favorite comfort foods in the fall and winter is Shepard’s pie. I just love the warm, melty, layered goodness of a Shepard’s pie but being on a low-carb diet has meant that I could not eat Shepard’s pie this winter. The recipe that I have always used for Shepard’s pie contains sweet corn, a lot of mashed potatoes, and brown gravy: all things that are high in carbs. The net carb count on my traditional Shepard’s pie has a whopping 27.5g. per serving! That is just under my entire day’s carb allowance, so because I was wanting Shepard’s pie I decided to make a low-carb version.
I will say that this recipe does not make an exact match for the traditional Shepard’s pie I am used to, but it was close enough that I felt like I was enjoying one of my favorite foods without indulging in all the carbs. This new recipe has only 7.9g. of net carbs per serving and it makes a lot! Since I am in the process of making a bunch of recipes to freeze, I split the recipe into two 8X8 square pans. I cooked one for dinner and froze the other pan before it was baked. However, if you are feeding many people or just want leftovers, the recipe fits nicely into a 13X9 cake pan.
No pictures this time, my family attacked it before I could take any.
Low-Carb Shepard’s Pie
3 lbs. hamburger
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 T. minced garlic
2 t. dried thyme
1 t. dried rosemary
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 lb. frozen green beans
4 lbs. frozen cauliflower
1/2 cup butter
8 oz. cream cheese
3 cups beef broth
2 t. xanthan gum
2 C. cheddar cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Fill a large soup pot with water and turn on high. Bring to a boil.
In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the hamburger with the onion, garlic, thyme, rosemary, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. When hamburger is cooked fully, drain off the fat. Set aside.
While hamburger is browning, add the cauliflower to the boiling water and cook until very tender.
Drain the cauliflower and place in a food processor. Pulse until cauliflower resembles rice.
Lay out a clean, thin dish towel and transfer the cauliflower rice to the middle of the towel. Gather the corners of the towel and begin twisting. Keep twisting to until the towel is tightly squeezing all the water out of the cauliflower.
When the cauliflower rice is drained, transfer it to a bowl and add the butter and cream cheese. You can also add salt and pepper at this time to flavor the cauliflower mash. Stir to melt the butter and cream cheese into the cauliflower. When the butter and cream cheese is thoroughly mixed into the cauliflower mash, set aside.
In a sauce pan, bring the beef broth to a boil. Once boiling, add the xanthan gum, stirring until completely dissolved. Take off the heat and mix into the browned hamburger.
In a 13X9 pan or two 8X8 pans, spread the hamburger and gravy mixture on the bottom. Next, spread the frozen green beans and then spoon the cauliflower mash on top of the green beans. Sprinkle the top with the cheddar cheese.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the green beans are heated through. Makes 12 servings.
*If freezing, do not bake. Cool completely and then cover with foil. On the foil write Shepard’s pie, the date, and cooking directions: thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
Calories: 487, calories from fat: 253, total fat: 28.1
The last couple days I have been doing some batch cooking to fill up my freezer with tasty, low-carb meals and snacks. Since mornings can be a hectic time for many people, my family included, I decided to start with a breakfast recipe. Before I started this low-carb WOE, I would spend a day baking a bunch of different muffins to freeze and they worked great as an on-the-go breakfast when paired with some fruit. Because this worked so well in the past, I wanted to create a muffin recipe that was tasty and still low in carbs. I came up with this chocolate chunk coconut muffin:
These muffins are not that sweet, but they were approved by all three of my kids 🙂 Each muffin has 7.8g. net carbs, compared to the 49.74g. net carbs that a medium sized commercially-prepared chocolate chip muffin contains! The recipe makes 12 muffins but can be doubled if you want to freeze some.
Low-Carb Chocolate Chunk Coconut Muffins
1 cup Hazelnut Meal/Flour
1/3 cup Coconut Flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Coconut Flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Splenda
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 eggs, slightly beaten
4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
4 squares 70% cacao dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and oil a muffin tin or line with muffin papers.
In a medium bowl, sift together the hazelnut flour, coconut flour, coconut flakes, salt, Splenda, baking soda, & baking powder.
In a small bowl, beat the eggs with the coconut oil, apple sauce, & almond milk.
Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
On a cutting board, chop the chocolate squares into small pieces, about pea size.
Add the chocolate chunks to the batter and stir until mixed throughout.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling 3/4 full.
Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes or until tops are springy when touched and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.
Cool in muffin tin for 10 minutes.
Serving Size 1 muffin
Calories 153, Calories from Fat 97,
Total Fat 10.8g, Saturated Fat 8.1g, Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 55mg, Sodium 190mg, Potassium 80mg,
Total Carbohydrates 10.2g, Dietary Fiber 2.4g, Sugars 6.8g, Protein 3.0g
* Nutritional Information provided by caloriecount.about.com
If you have never had bierocks, you are missing out. They are little pockets of flaky, biscuit-like dough filled with a tasty mixture of cabbage and ground sausage and baked until golden brown. My father-in-law makes bierocks for family gatherings and I love them, but being on a low carb diet means they are not something I can eat because of all the bread. Last week, I decided to make a sort of “deconstructed” bierocks so that I could get the flavor of this dish without all the carbs. I ended up making the filling of the bierocks in a skillet and serving biscuits on the side for my husband and children since they aren’t worried about carbs. We really liked this dish so I thought I would share the recipe.
1 lb. ground pork sausage
4 cups green cabbage, chopped
3 Tbsp. butter
2 tsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. onion, minced
In a large skillet over medium heat, brown pork sausage until fully cooked. Drian and transfer sausage to a separate bowl and set to the side.
Melt the butter in the same skillet. Once butter is melted, add onion and garlic to the skillet and cook until just translucent.
Add the cabbage to the skillet, sprinkle with the onion powder, and stir until everything is mixed and coated in melted butter.
Cook the cabbage until it is tender and golden brown, stirring rarely to promote browning.
When the cabbage is golden brown, add the sausage back into the skillet and stir everything together.
Let everything cook together for a few minutes, stirring often.
Serve alone or with a side of biscuits.
This recipe is pretty adaptable to individual tastes, spicy or mild sausage can be used, beef could be substituted for pork, more veggies can be added, or it can be topped with cheese.