Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Recipes
This is not my photo but one of the only ones with sweet potato, this recipe is also amazing!
https://minimalistbaker.com/lentil-sweet-potato-shepherds-pie/

Now that the world is ending I’m certain there are many of you at home who need to start cooking but have no idea where to start. I was the same way when I first moved out on my own but I promise, cooking and creating recipes is not as difficult and scary as you think it is.

This recipe was literally a last minute throw together with things I needed to use and had lying around the house and honestly, that’s how a lot of my recipes come to be. I start with what I want and then make adjustments for what I have. This recipe is a pretty easy and quick one to just toss together if you’re tired or low on ingredients.

Ingredients:

1lb of ground beef

4 large sweet potatoes

1/2 yellow or white onion diced

6 tbsp of butter

1/4 cup of flour

1-2 cups of milk

1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup of frozen mixed veggies

4-6 cloves of minced garlic

Caraway seeds (to taste)

Salt and Pepper (to taste)

Cayenne pepper (to taste)



1. Traditionally, Shepard’s Pie is made with ground lamb, regular potatoes and gravy but I had none of those ingredients so I improvised with sweet potatoes, and creamed ground beef instead of gravy and ground lamb. Making sure your potatoes are soft enough to mash is probably the one thing that takes the most time so that’s what I got started on first. To speed up this process, make sure to chop your sweet potatoes into smaller chunks and add a little salt to the water and boil them for about 15 minutes.


2. While your potatoes are going, preheat your oven to 375 and get started on the creamed beef by first browning your ground beef. If you aren’t using lean meat you may need to drain your meat before proceeding. Basically, you don’t want a whole lot of grease and beef liquid in the pan or the creamed part won’t come out right so use your best judgement. Once your beef is mostly browned, add your caraway, onion and garlic and cook until fragrant – about 2-5 minutes – adding 2 tbsp of butter at this time.


3. Once your onion and garlic are fragrant add the remaining butter and melt down then sprinkle a good amount of flour over the beef and butter, whisking or stirring frequently. You should start to see the flour and butter crumble up within in the pan, if not, keep adding flour and stirring until you do.


4. Now that you have your flour chunks in the pan cook for a minute or two longer and then start slowly pouring and stirring in the milk. I used 2% Lactaid but you could use whole milk if you prefer. It is very important that you slowly mix the milk into the mixture so that the flour and butter will incorporate correctly and give you a nice cream sauce not a chunky, flour mix. Keep adding milk until the sauce is the consistency you want. I added almost 1 full cup of milk because I wanted extra sauce to cook into the potatoes, but you don’t have to do that if you don’t want.


5. Your sweet potatoes, by now, should be soft enough to drain and mash. Add about 2 tbsp of butter and a few splashes of milk while you mash your sweet potatoes so that they have a velvety and smooth texture. Add salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste.


6. Find a baking dish and spray with non-stick spray then line the bottom with sweet potatoes, defrost your veggies in a bowl draining excess water and add on top of the sweet potatoes, then add your creamed beef, top with remaining sweet potatoes and cheddar cheese. Place in oven for 7 minutes then broil on high for 3 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and golden, remove and enjoy!


And that is it! This recipe is really a very simple one to just toss together with whatever you have in the house! I hope you enjoy this and let me know if you make this and what you thought!

Easy Lo-Carb Carbonara

Recipes
Photo by Marie Dehayes on Unsplash

Here’s the thing about carbonaras, they’re easy to make but everyone over complicates it. This recipe is so easy that if you’re broke, tired, haven’t been to the grocery store in a while or maybe you’re just a terrible cook … you can still make it. Granted you have the necessary ingredients of course.

My only words of advice and caution are to constantly toss your pasta or spaghetti squash while pouring in your sauce mixture. This is very important because if you don’t the egg inside the sauce will literally begin to cook and you’ll have scrambled eggs. You don’t want that so keep that pasta moving! Also, towards the end of the recipe I would recommend taking your food off the heat about two minutes prior to pouring in your sauce mix so the pan and pasta or squash isn’t so hot that it does begin to cook the egg. I’ve found that the residual heat from all the cooking you’ve done prior to this step is more than enough to cook the sauce. Oh, one more thing, if you do choose to use squash you will need a thickening agent for the sauce so a combination of 1/4 cup of water, dash of salt and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch will give you the same consistency as pasta water just make sure to mix it well. And that’s it! So happy cooking and let me know how you like this recipe!



Ingredients

  • 1 large spaghetti squash or 2 cups of low carb pasta of your choosing
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
  • 4 cloves of chopped or minced garlic
  • 2 cups of pancetta or thick cut bacon cut into small-medium sized bits
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 4 teaspoons salt and pepper or to taste 

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375, cut spaghetti squash in half and lightly cover all surface area with melted butter or olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Cook until tender about 13-20 minutes or cook pasta as instructed
  • Slice bacon or pancetta into small-medium pieces and cook over medium heat in a large pot with butter until tender but not crispy, drain leaving some grease in pot
  • Return meat to pot and add garlic cooking on low heat until garlic is fragrant, about 5 minutes, turn off heat
  • Once spaghetti squash is cooked remove from oven and shred with two forks or strain pasta reserving 1/4 cup of pasta water
  • Put spaghetti squash on cheese cloth or paper towel and squeeze out excess water
  • Place pasta or squash into large pot with meat and garlic, toss to coat evenly
  • Combine egg yolk and about 4 tablespoons of parmesan and 1 tablespoon of pasta water or cornstarch slurry, mix well
  • Slowly add the egg and cheese mixture to pasta or squash tossing constantly
  • Add more pasta water, cornstarch slurry or parmesan cheese until sauce is how you want
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste, top with parmesan, bacon or pancetta and serve

That’s it guys, it’s really that simple and honestly the thing that takes the longest is cooking the spaghetti squash if you choose to use that. This sauce can be used on regular pasta too, it’s just a simple carbonara sauce so use it whenever and use it often!

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