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AIP Paleo Shepherd’s Pie

Besides now having an excuse to eat bacon every day, going AIP paleo has been a bit of a stretch for me. Thankfully, learning how to tweak recipes is a personal hobby of mine. In the past, I’ve cooked meals that were vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, gluten-free vegan, raw vegan, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free – you name it! The thing I haven’t done so much? Cooked meat. So I started researching a little over a month ago to be ready for the change.

Not only is eating AIP difficult at a restaurant, it can be pretty tricky at home, too. Especially for a graduate student who doesn’t have spare hours to slave away in the kitchen every day!

wpid-20150902_213912.jpgAutoimmune Protocol (AIP) Foods to Avoid – all grains, beans, legumes, dairy, soy, nuts, seeds, eggs, nightshades, processed sugar, and starchy vegetables!

However, you won’t believe the plethora of recipes available for every fashionable diet trend! Can’t eat soy? Type in soy free next to your keywords in the internet search bar. Can’t eat eggs? Type eggless. Have a gluten sensitivity? Type GF! I’m pretty sure some type of recipe for your favorite meal exists for every kind of food allergy (Internet Rule #38?)

Today’s treat is actually an original recipe by yours truly. I took the basic recipe for Shepherd’s Pie and made it AIP-friendly. Enjoy!

AIP Paleo Shepherd’s Pie
(for two – share with a friend or box up tomorrow’s lunch!)

Ingredients for the top layer
2 sweet potatoes
1-2 TBL coconut oil
½ tsp salt
Pinch ground ginger
3 TBL coconut milk
Water for boiling potatoes

Ingredients for the bottom layer
1 TBL coconut oil
½ pound ground meat (I chose pork and turkey)*
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground oregano
½ tsp ground majoram
½ tsp dried sage, rubbed into pieces in your palm or with a mortar & pestle
1 tsp dried rosemary, rubbed into pieces in your palm
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (I used this Paleo Leap recipe, omitting the mustard, onion, and black pepper)
½ cup bone broth (I used this PaleoMom recipe, again omitting the onion)
1 TBL arrowroot powder
1 cup frozen or fresh early peas**
¼ cup thickly sliced carrots (optional)

*Note: I recommend using ground beef or ground pork as your base. Otherwise, you risk the meat getting too dry.

**Note: Some people will categorize all peas as legumes. However, as early peas are still in the pod (like green beans), I consider their nutrient makeup to still be green vegetable. If you are also avoiding peas, you may omit them in this recipe or try another vegetable. I recommend using spinach or kale.

wpid-img_20150902_215703.jpgSet your oven to 400°F and pull out a 9×5-inch baking dish.

  1. Peel your sweet potatoes and cut into chunks. Place in medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil over high heat and allow to continue boiling.
  2. Heat up the 1TBL coconut oil in your skillet over low-medium heat (I prefer cast iron). Mix together your ground meat, salt, and herbs. Crumble the meat mixture into the skillet and cook until browned, stirring occasionally. This should take 5-8 minutes.
  3. Combine Worcestershire sauce, broth, and arrowroot powder. Once the meat is cooked through, add the sauce. Let this simmer until the sauces thickens into a thin roux, stirring frequently. This should take 2-3 minutes.
  4. While the meat layer is cooking, check on your boiling sweet potatoes. They should be soft enough to mash. Once soft, drain the potatoes and mash them with a fork. Add your desired amount of coconut oil, salt, ginger, and coconut milk. (Because I am not using Paleo for weight-loss, I prefer to use additional oil to increase my caloric intake.) Mash together until smooth.
  5. Add the peas and carrots to your meat mixture. Cook another 2-3 minutes. (If you are using a leafy green vegetable in place of the peas, wait until the last minute to add them.)
  6. Pour your meat layer into the baking dish. Top with sweet potato mixture, and bake 15-18 minutes. Enjoy!wpid-img_20150902_215918.jpg

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