TRUE STORY — I had my first Shepherd’s Pie a couple of months ago, and now I’ve kind of been wondering where it’s been all my life?
To some (and apparently my former self) the concept of Shepherd’s Pie might sound a bit strange or old-school (ground meat and veggies baked in a casserole dish?). But after testing it out in the kitchen several times I’ve come to the conclusion it’s kind of everything I’d want in a meal this winter.
This Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie Recipe in particular is cozy, simple to make, provides tasty leftovers and boasts a ton of health-boosting benefits. Namely —
+ A good source of essential fatty acids (primarily omega-3’s) which boosts brain function and provides the building blocks for healthy sex hormones (thanks to the grass-fed bison)
+ High in antioxidants (especially from the beta-carotene found in the sweet potatoes) that help to fight off free radical damage in the body, protecting your cells from damage, aging and inflammation
+ ZERO Added Sugar — making this a great choice for those embarking on #wholeJanuary or simply trying to eat more clean this month and beyond
+ Jam-Packed with Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) — which is effective in reducing body fat, preventing cancer formation, alleviating inflammation and even lowering blood pressure
+ Blood Sugar Balancing — the combination of quality protein (bison), fats (grass-fed ghee) and fiber (sweet potatoes and other veggies) helps to stabilize blood sugar, keeping your mood and energy levels sustained for hours and preventing the urge to snack or overeat later
So yeah, I’m definitely INTO it, and especially enjoy the swap of sweet potatoes for white (however you could still totally use white or substitute for cauliflower if you’re looking for more of a keto recipe).
Also because this dish is void of ALL sugar, dairy, gluten, grains and legumes it makes a fantastic option for people dealing with food sensitivities, inflammation, autoimmune conditions or hormone imbalances (such as Hashimoto’s or PCOS).
I recommend making at the beginning of the week so you have plenty of leftovers to enjoy throughout, but it’s also simple and hearty enough to whip up for hungry dinner guests (or cozy and romantic enough for a date night in).
Whatever way you choose to make it, I hope you truly enjoy.
Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie (Whole30 + Paleo-Friendly)
A cozy, nourishing and comforting dish at it's core, this classic is elevated in both taste and health benefits with the substitution of grass-fed bison, ghee and creamy sweet potatoes. It's also grain, gluten, sugar, legume and dairy-free -- making it an excellent option for those with blood sugar issues, hormonal imbalances, autoimmune conditions, food sensitivities, on a Whole30 or Paleo protocol, or are simply trying to eat more clean.
For The Filling:
- 1 lb grass fed ground bison
- 1 sweet onion, peeled and diced
- 3 large carrots, peeled and quartered
- 1 zucchini, quartered
- ½ cup frozen green peas
- 2 tbsp grass-fed ghee
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ⅔ cup tomato sauce (no sugar added)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 ½ tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp Italian seasonings
- 1 tsp sea salt
- black pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp fresh herbs, I prefer rosemary + thyme
For The Sweet Potato Topping:
- Flesh of 2 very large sweet potatoes (or 3-4 small), baked whole for 1 ½ - 2 hours at 400, until soft (discard skin)
- 2 heaping tbsp grass-fed ghee, melted
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- black pepper to taste
- Make sure your sweet potatoes have already been cooked prior to making. I prefer baking them whole the night before at 400 F for 1 ½ to 2 hours, until soft. You could also peel and boil for about 20 minutes to cut down on time.
- When ready to cook dish, preheat oven to 375 F.
- Add 2 tbsp ghee and diced onion to a large stove-top skillet and saute for 5 minutes over medium heat, until translucent.
- Add in ground bison, garlic and spices, and the rest of the veggies and cook until the meat is cooked through and veggies are soft (about 15-18 minutes over medium heat).
- While the filling is cooking, make your sweet potato topping by adding all of the topping ingredients to a food processor (or use a handheld mixer) and puree until well-mixed, creamy and smooth. Set aside once finished.
- Once filling has finished cooking stir in tomato paste and sauce. Mix well, then remove from heat.
- Transfer the filling to a 9x9 baking dish. Spread sweet potato mixture evenly over the top using a spatula. Feel free to top or garnish with additional herbs.
- Bake for 12 minutes at 375 in the oven, then remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes before serving.
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