Cottage Pie Variations

I posted this shepherd’s pie and the variations back in 2013. I still love the original recipe and those variations, but there is more you can do with these pies.

Also, my daughter Zowie pointed out to me that, while these were called Shepherd’s pies while I was growing up, and therefore while she and her sister were growing up, they are actually cottage pies. Why? Because our versions are not made with lamb. If yours are, please continue to call them shepherd’s pie.

These pies can be baked in pans of varying sizes, and they allow for some amount of experimentation. I recently decided to make some for work meals, and these are some of the food combinations I came up with. They are so easy to make.

 

 

  • Ground beef, peas, mashed carrot, and mashed potato.
  • Shredded chicken, corn, mashed squash, and mashed sweet potato.
  • Ground beef, corn, peas, mashed carrot, mashed squash, and mashed sweet potato.
  • Shredded chicken, corn, peas, mashed squash, mashed potato.

I’m trying to get in as many vegetables a day as I can.

I love the little pie plates I bought. They allow you to make serving size pies for easy lunches, and can be packed into lunch sacks once covered. I use reusable methods for doing this, such as bees wax wrapping. I’d like to find some mini baking pans with lids.

Making a cottage pie is easy.

First, cook the meat and add some to the bottom of the baking dish with 1 or more tablespoons of water, broth, stock, or vegetable cooking liquid. Then add mashed, frozen, or canned vegetables, like this:

cottage pie 14

Next you want to add a top layer of your choice: squash, white potato, or sweet potato. And sprinkle on any herbs you want.

cottage pie 9

You can also add a dollop of another topping if you’d like. Be creative. Try new things.

Last, you’ll want to bake the pie(s) at about 350 degrees until they are warmed through. At least 15 or 20 minutes.

Tips

  • Grow what you can to save money.
  • Use store coupons or wait for sales to save money. Better yet, use sales and coupons together.
  • Eat in-season when possible for the freshest food, and to maybe save a little money.

Serving Suggestions

Enjoy the recipe!

Shannon

Chocolaty Good Banana-Cranberry Cereal

Have I mentioned just how much I love these healthy cereals I’ve been posting. I probably have…

They are so simple to make using different types of ingredients. This is a easy one that I made using cranberries to celebrate the autumn season. Oh, and I was also having a chocolate craving.

Ingredients

1 small banana, sliced

slivered almonds

dried cranberries

unsweetened coconut flakes

chocolate almond milk

  1. Place the banana slices into a bowl.
  2. Add a few slivered almonds and small handful of dried cranberries.
  3. Sprinkle unsweetened coconut over the top.
  4. Pour milk over everything.

Tips

  • Try different types of nuts, according to what is on sale.
  • Use coupons or wait for sales on the almond milk.

Serving Suggestion

  • Serve with bacon or sausage.

Warmest wishes!

Shannon

Banana-Pear Smoothie

For this smoothie, I used the leftover pear and banana from the Pear and Blueberry Cereal I shared with you yesterday. Smoothies are a great, healthy way, when done right, to add essential nutrients to your diet. I love coming up with new combinations of ingredients for these drinks.

I finally broke down and bought this wonderful blender. I love it because the whole set-up sits nicely to one end of my my shelf. Remember: at this point I am renting a room, so things that take up as little space as possible are what I’m looking for.

This personal blender comes with two serving size cups and two half-size cups, so I can easily blend up just what I need of whatever foods I’m working with. The larger cups are perfect for smoothies.

Ingredients

1 egg

1/2 banana, sliced

1/2 pear, chunked

a handful of still frozen spinach from the freezer

almond milk

  1. Pour a little milk into the cup. Maybe 1/8 blender cup or so.
  2. Crack the egg into the cup.
  3. Add the fruit.
  4. Add the spinach.
  5. Pour a little almond milk in, no further than the fill line, depending on how thick you want the smoothie.
  6. Cover and invert, placing the cup into the blender.
  7. Turn and blend a few seconds at a time, until well blended.
  8. Remove from the motor.
  9. Turn right-side up, remove the cover, and enjoy.

Tips

  • Try different types of milk.
  • Use fresh kale or chard instead of the spinach.

Serving Suggestions

  • This will pack a wallop of a nutritional punch when served with a one-pan meal or stuffed squash.

Enjoy!

Shannon

 

Pear and Blueberry Cereal

I had so much fun experimenting with these healthy cereals throughout the spring and summer months. It’s hard to express just how refreshing these are after a long winter of heavy meals. And they are so tasty with the various flavors of the different ingredients. I love how I can switch things up according to what I have on hand at any given time.

Blueberries are one of my favorite foods, and I’ve come to appreciate pears over the last few years as an alternative to apples on occasion. The trail mix can be just about any type you can think up.

Ingredients

1/2 of a pear, chunked

1/2 of a banana, sliced

a handful of blueberries

2 tablespoons of trail mix

vanilla almond milk

  1. Place the pear chunks and banana slices in a bowl.
  2. Sprinkle a handful of blueberries over the top.
  3. Add the trail mix.
  4. Pour the vanilla almond milk over the top.

Tips

  • Switch things up a bit by using a different variety of pear each time you make this cereal.
  • Buy fruits when in season.
  • Try different types of trail mix.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with a slice of Paleo bread spread with homemade apple or pumpkin butter.

Enjoy your breakfast!

Shannon

Paleo Chocolate Sauce

Brownie delights are one of my favorite desserts. I can get them locally at Governor’s restaurant, but it will have far more sugar than any one person should ever have at one sitting. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve allowed myself one a year from there, because these desserts are amazing. But for home, I wanted a version that contained less sweetener.

This chocolate sauce is the one I use for my homemade brownie desserts, and it is delicious. I use honey rather than refined sugar, and am actually working a little at a time to see how far I can cut back on the amount of honey I can use before it gets to a point where the sauce is no longer sweet enough.

This chocolate sauce is great for many desserts, and for dipping fruit into.

Ingredients

1 cup coconut milk, canned, refrigerated. Mix the cream into the liquid before measuring.

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup of raw, unfiltered wildflower honey

  1. Pour the milk and honey into a saucepan and stir to combine.
  2. Add the cocoa powder while warming, and stir often until warmed.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the cinnamon.
  4. Pour into small canning jars cool.
  5. Cover and store in the refrigerator.

I’m not sure exactly how long this sauce will last, because I use it over the course of the week.

Tips

  • Even though it costs more, I use organic ingredients for this sauce. Since I don’t make it often, it’s not like I’m paying all out doors to make it frequently.
  • The taste of the organic ingredients is far superior to other options. If you’ve never had organic cinnamon, I do suggest you try it. Delicious!
  • Store coupons can help to bring the cost down some, as can gift cards.
  • I have a variety of small canning jars, lids, and rings that I reuse over and over again. If you’re not processing the foods, you can reuse the lids as often as you like.
  • I can sometimes save money by buying the coconut milk in bulk through Amazon.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve over brownies.
  • Dip fruits such as grapes, strawberries, apple slices, and banana chunks into the sauce.
  • Serve over Paleo ice cream.

Enjoy your desserts!

Shannon

 

 

Leftover Turkey Nachos

(Update 2017) As you can probably tell, I’ve spent some time this year experimenting with and trying out new versions of recipes. I’ve changed them here on the blog to reflect how I am eating now.

For the most part, I’m keeping the recipes healthy. But you’ll notice a few family favorites here and there that are not necessarily the healthiest. There are just some things I don’t want to change. Not just yet anyway.

While the overall focus of the blog has become eating healthy on a budget, there are still some recipes here that aren’t really all that healthy – only because I make them for get-togethers and such. I trust each of you knows what is healthy for you.

*****

This one is good as a snack, or as a movie night treat.

This recipe can be made with children who can either use a microwave or an oven.

Younger children will enjoy putting this together, if there is someone around who can pop them into the microwave or the oven.

Ingredients:

tortilla chips (there are paleo versions)

shredded mozzarella cheese

shredded mild cheddar cheese

bite size pieces of leftover turkey

chopped kale or spinach

  1. Place chips on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  2. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top.
  3. Add chopped spinach or kale over the cheese.
  4. Sprinkle mild cheddar cheese over the greens.
  5. Add the turkey.
  6. Bake at 325* for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Tips

  • Try adding diced tomatoes.
  • Use different cheese combinations to see what your favorite is.

Serving Suggestions

Leftover Thanksgiving Mini Casserole Cups

(For when you do not have enough ingredients for a whole casserole) Children who can use an oven by themselves will find this easy. Younger children can put the casserole together for you to bake. To make this recipe even easier, you can prepare it when cleaning up after your Thanksgiving meal, and pop it in the oven the next day. You could also put it into the freezer to save.

Ingredients

leftover turkey

leftover vegetables

leftover mashed sweet potato

water

  • Put 1/2 tsp.  water in each muffin pan cup that you will fill, and then fill each one you wont use 1/3 of the way with water.
  • Put a few bite-size pieces of turkey in bottom of each cup.
  • Add 1 tbsp. leftover vegetables.
  • Cover the vegetables with mashed sweet potatoes.
  • Bake at 350* until warmed through.

Tips

  • Can be frozen. Flash freeze in muffin tins. Pop out and put into gallon size freezer bag. Get out as much air from the bag as you can.

Serving Suggestions

 

Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole

If you’re lucky you wont need to buy anything extra for this, making it a very frugal meal indeed. Children who can use an oven by themselves will find this easy. Younger children can put the casserole together for you to bake.

To make this recipe even easier, prepare it when cleaning up after the Thanksgiving meal, and pop it in the oven the next day. You could also put it in the freezer.

Ingredients

leftover turkey

leftover vegetables

leftover mashed potatoes (any kind)

water

  • Put 1/4 cup water in a baking dish.
  • Cover the bottom of the baking dish with bite size pieces of turkey.
  • Cover the turkey with leftover vegetables.
  • Cover the vegetables with mashed potatoes.
  • Bake at 350* until warmed through.

Tips

  • Squash could be used in place of the potato.
  • If there are varying tastes, or not enough potatoes to cover the casserole, top 1/3 with regular mashed potatoes, 1/3 with mashed sweet potato, and the last third with squash.

Serving Suggestions

Shannon

Slow Cooker Leftover Turkey and Gravy

This is an easy one to throw in the slow cooker the morning after Thanksgiving. It can be served over many things, depending on your diet goals. Try it on spaghetti squash, baked sweet potato, paleo biscuits, or brown rice.

Ingredients

leftover turkey in bite size pieces

1 or 2 cans of turkey gravy, depending on how much turkey is being used.

  1. Put turkey in the slow cooker crock, and cover with the gravy.
  2. Cover and cook on low for dinner, or high for lunch.

Tips

  • Buy gravy when on sale, preferably with a coupon for the best savings.

Serving Suggestions

Shannon

Autumn Turkey Soup

This is an easy recipe that can be served on a cold, autumn evening. Served in a pumpkin bowl, this recipe will add a decorative touch to the dinner table.

Ingredients:

water and/or vegetable stock or broth

bite size cubes of pumpkin

bite size cubes of two different kinds of squash

bite size cubes of potato

bite size cubes of sweet potato

chunks of leftover turkey

1 or 2 cloves of fresh garlic

fresh or dried parsley

fresh or dried rosemary

  1. Pour the liquid into a pot, and add the pumpkin, squash, and potatoes, as well as the diced garlic.
  2. Allow to cook most of the way, then add the turkey.
  3. Add the parsley and some rosemary to taste.
  4. Pour into pumpkin bowls and serve.

Tips

  • Purchase stock or broth on sale, as store brands.
  • Better yet, make your own.  This will save even more money.
  • Use leftover turkey from Thanksgiving to save more money.
  • Use organic herbs and produce from your garden for the ultimate savings.
  • Roast the pumpkin seeds and sprinkle them over the stew once it is poured into the bowls.

Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve with a fruit salad.

What autumn stews are favorites of your family?

Shannon