Friday, May 4, 2012

Cauliflower Shepherd's Pie

My mom brought me another huge batch of tomatoes to can. Yay!  This time she was here to help and we got so much done.  Here’s what we accomplished yesterday.

That’s 12 jars of tomato sauce and 15 jars of whole tomatoes.  That’s a lot of tomatoes!
Thanks to my mom I was able to get this done, clean the kitchen and fix an awesome dinner for us last night.  We were all a little exhausted but I’m so happy to have the boxes of tomatoes gone from my countertops!
So on to our dinner… Last week I was talking to my sister-in-law, Sarah, about birthday dinners (mine is coming up next weekend).  It’s a tradition in our family for my mom to make a special dinner around our birthday and we get to pick whatever our favorite meal is.  Sarah’s is shephard’s pie.  This isn’t exactly my favorite but it got me thinking about a healthier version.  One of my favorite things to do is switch up recipes and try and up the veggie and nutritional content.  I’ve seen people use cauliflower for mashed potatoes before so I thought I would give it a try.  It came out awesome and is chock full of veggies- carrots, zucchini, peas and cauliflower!
Did you know that cauliflower is one of the many cruciferous vegetables?  This category of veggies includes broccoli, cabbage and kale to name a few.  Cruciferous veggies have tons of health benefits so we like to load up on them at our house.  Studies have linked them to cancer prevention and even shown them to help stop the growth of cancer!  One of the reasons for this is the phytochemicals found in cruciferous vegetables which cause our bodies to make detoxifying enzymes.  These enzymes help remove carcinogens from our bodies.  Cruciferous veggies also reduce inflammation in the body caused by processed foods.  What’s not to love about these veggies?
So for this meal we traded out the traditional potatoes for cauliflower.  While potatoes do offer nutrients and vitamins, the cauliflower is a more nutrient dense choice.  Cauliflower is high in vitamin C, which makes it a great addition to your diet if you are feeling a cold coming on.  We are all suffering from a bug around here so we have been loading up on all forms of vitamin C.  This version is also made from whole foods, and is dairy, gluten and soy free!

Cauliflower Shepherds Pie

2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb grass fed ground beef
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp basil
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup tomato sauce
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup carrots, shredded
1 cup zucchini, shredded
1 cup peas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
Sauté onions for 2-3 minutes.

Add garlic and ground beef and sauté until fully cooked.

Add oregano, basil, broth, tomato sauce, vinegar and salt.
(recipe update: add 1 tsp arrowroot powder to broth if you'd like a thicker sauce)

Simmer for 5 minutes then add carrots, zucchini and peas.

Mix well and pour into a 9x13 baking dish.

Mashed Cauliflower
1 head cauliflower
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 tsp sea salt

Mince cauliflower using a food processor.
Combine cauliflower and water and steam until well done.

Mash remaining ingredients with steamed cauliflower.
(recipe update: I've found using my Vitamix to blend the cauliflower works really well!)

Spread mixture over filling and bake for 25 minutes.

 When the edges start to bubble it is done!

I served it on some spinach and it was perfect!

I was a little worried Aidric wouldn't eat this since he's not a fan of mixing up foods but he had no problem letting me shovel it in.

And after a few bites he was doing a happy dance!

 Kota came home a little later from her dance class and was pretty please with dinner too.


  1. I read all your posts in my google reader so I may not comment often, but I LOVE LOVE your blog! :-)
    I can't wait to try some of your recipes. I love your spirit for cooking.

    1. Stephanie, thanks so much! You made my day with your sweet words!

  2. I was just thinking that sheppards pie would be yummy this week, but we can't eat corn and that's usually what we put between the potatoes and meat. I think we might have to give this a try!


  3. This looks yummy! Do you need to thaw it before cooking it or can you bake straight from the freezer?

    1. I would thaw it so it warms up evenly. If you stick it in the oven frozen you'll probably end up with a cold center and crispy edges :)