The dinners in our family have been needing a little more variety, so I recently tried something new: Shepherd’s Pie. However, instead of the typical potato topping, I used mashed cauliflower. It was delicious and it will definitely be a repeat in our family.
It is a good recipe to include (or hide) a variety of vegetables. I typically add shredded carrot any time I use ground beef. In this recipe I also included Broccolette (or broccolini), a natural hybrid of broccoli and Kai-lan (a Chinese kale). You can substitute with broccoli and/or kale instead.
If you are a meat eater, this is also a good recipe to include organ meat, since the look and flavor will be hidden by the flavor of the overall dish. A good rule of thumb is to substitute one fourth of the ground meat with the organ meat. For example, instead of one pound ground beef, use 3/4 pound ground beef and 1/4 pound ground beef liver. (Another good recipe to include/hide ground organ meat is spaghetti.)
Indigenous peoples have been eating organ meats for centuries, often matching the organ with a problem in their body. If someone had a heart issue, for instance, he/she would eat animal heart. Even wild animals will eat the organs of their prey first — they instinctually know their value.
Today, the most commonly available organ meats are liver and heart. Eating these provide many health benefits. They are full of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, as well as other vital nutrients. Eating organ meats is a great way to quickly rebuild nutrients when you are deficient.
What I typically do is purchase a full beef liver and keep it in my freezer. Then, when I want to add it to a recipe, I hand grate the amount I need while it is still frozen, putting what I don’t use back in the freezer. (Don’t let it thaw out.)
For all your meats and organs, you want to make sure you are purchasing farm raised, grass fed options (and not grain finished). In fact, if you are eating conventional grocery story meat you may be doing yourself more harm than good, since this meat comes from confined animals typically fed genetically modified feed and given antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals.
To find a good local meat source, click here and check out the links under “Grass Fed and Wild Caught Meats” and “Organ Meats.”
Cauliflower Shepherd’s Pie
- 1 medium to large organic onion
- 2-3 cloves organic garlic
- 1 tbsp. virgin organic coconut oil*
- 1 lb. ground beef (or 3/4 lb. ground beef and 1/4 lb. ground beef liver) or ground lamb
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt or Himalayan salt
- 1/2 tsp. organic ground cumin (or spice of choice)
- 1 large organic carrot, grated
- 1 bunch organic broccolette, approx. 2 cups chopped
- 1 cup cooked organic peas
- 1 medium head of organic cauliflower
- 2 tbsp. ghee or coconut oil* (or raw butter if tolerated)
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt or Himalayan salt
Set oven to 350F degrees. Cut cauliflower into chunks and steam until soft, about 10 minutes. Let drain and set aside.
Melt 1 tbsp. coconut oil in large pan. Add garlic and onion and saute for a few minutes. Add meat, salt, and cumin and continue cooking on medium heat, breaking up chunks of meat as it browns. Before the meat is fully cooked, add the chopped broccolette and shredded carrot. Continue stirring on medium heat until vegetables are soft and the meat is cooked.
Make cauliflower mash using either a potato masher or a food processor. Combine the cauliflower, 1/2 tsp. salt, and ghee (or butter) and mash/process until smooth.
Using a 8″ x 8″ baking dish, layer the ingredients. Evenly spread the meat mixture at the bottom, then the peas, and then the cauliflower, smoothing the cauliflower mash evenly across the top.
Bake for 20 minutes. Serves 4 to 6 people.
* Click here to see my favorite coconut oil. I purchase it by the gallon when it is on sale. (I recently obtained one gallon for $79.00 with free shipping.) You can sign up on their website for notification of sales.
This article was written by Sharon Harmon, founder of Life Design for Health. She has a passion for helping people find their way back to optimum health. Please contact her if you would like to know more. There is a great deal of health-related information in her blog articles and on her website.