Skinny Shepherd’s Pie


Happy Wednesday!



I have to admit – I am absolutely LOVING my new Clean Eating cookbook.

I’ve been making things out of there like crazy!

It’s all so delicious and it feels really good to use real, natural ingredients all the time. 🙂

My most recent was shepherd’s pie.

Who doesn’t love shepherd’s pie?!

Well, most dietitians don’t because it’s usually packed with fat and excessive, unnecessary carbs.

Hey, that’s what usually makes it taste so good, right?!

Um, yeah but the regret and potential tummy ache isn’t worth it.

So…make this one instead!

Bison is packed with nutrition – protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and iron. If you can’t find it, you can certainly use grass-fed beef if you can’t find bison, but don’t let the fact that it’s bison scare you away. Bison and beef are practically the same in flavor.

Adding cauliflower to the mashed potatoes ups the nutrition content and helps eliminate excess carbs. And, the cauliflower has a rich flavor when mashed and baked – you’ll never miss all the butter!

I promise!

Comfort food without the guilt.  Sounds like heaven to me. 🙂


Skinny Shepherd’s Pie
makes 8 servings

2 Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed well and quartered
2 cups cauliflower florets
1 teaspoon each sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup skim milk
Olive oil cooking spray
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground bison
1 cup sliced carrots (peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced into half-moons)
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon whole wheat flour
1 cup low-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon low-sodium Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 cup frozen peas

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

taters n cauliflower

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil on high heat. Add potatoes and cook for 8 minutes. Add cauliflower and cook for an additional 7 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain and transfer to a large bowl; add salt, pepper, and milk and mash with a potato masher until smooth. Set aside.

3. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Add onion, garlic, bison, and carrots and cook for 8 minutes or until no pink remains, stirring often and using a wooden spoon to break up bison.


4. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat oil on medium. Sprinkle in flour and whisk until no lumps remain, about 1 minute. Gradually add broth, whisking constantly, until mixture is smooth and begins to thicken. Add Worchestershire sauce and thyme, whisking to combine.


5. In a 10×15-inch casserole dish, add bison mixture, broth mixture and peas; stir to combine.

bison mixture

Spread mixture in an even layer, then top with potato-cauliflower mixture in an even layer. Run a fork over the top in a crosshatch pattern or use the back of a spatula or spoon to create a swirl texture.

ready for the oven

Mist top with cooking spray, transfer to oven and bake until filling is bubbling and top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

all done

Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

serve it up


Nutritional information per 1-cup serving:
Calories 191; Total Fat 5g, Saturated 1g; Carbohydrates 19g; Fiber 3g; Sugars 3.5g; Protein 16g; Sodium 332mg; Cholesterol 41mg

Talk to me: What’s your favorite comfort food dish?

– jennifer

Stuffed Potatoes with Roasted Veggies

Hello, hello!

Can you believe it’ll be a whole new year in just 2 days!?!

I have BIG plans and goals for 2014. BIG!

I can’t wait to share them with you!

Okay, honestly, it’s not like I’m going to wait long. Tomorrow’s the day!

Can you wait until tomorrow?

I’m not sure I can – I’m so excited and PUMPED about them!

I’d share them today but I have something tastier to share with you. 🙂

Remember that little “gift to myself” I bought when I was out doing last minute Christmas shopping?


Well, I have been totally LOVING it.

And, *sneak preview alert*, it’s helped shape part of my plans for 2014. 🙂

There are some really delicious recipes in this book!

OH! That reminds me! This book came with 2 trial issues of Clean Eating Magazine! Hang on a second – I have to run the card out to the mailbox so I can take advantage!! BRB!

Okay. I’m back. Thanks for waiting. Phew! So glad I remembered to do that!

Anyhow, I found a recipe in there for stuffed potatoes with roasted veggies.

Um, yeah. So TOTALLY making that.

And I did!

With a few small tweaks, of course. Because, you know, that’s how I roll.

Actually, one was because my grocery store was lacking.

The other  two were by choice.

The recipe calls for Yukon Gold potatoes.

I love Yukon Gold potatoes. LOVE. Alas, my grocery store did not have any. 😦

So, I used Russets. A fair substitute but the cooking time/process changes a little. I set my crockpot to high per the recipe and, while the veggies cooked perfectly, the potatoes did not finish. I had to microwave them for about 9 minutes afterwards. Which is fine. Frustrating, but fine. So, just be aware of that if you use Russets instead of Yukon Golds.

The recipe calls for yellow onion. I chose to use red onion instead. I thought the flavor of the red onion would be better. I also increased the cayenne pepper to 1/2 teaspoon. It just seemed to be the right thing to do. And honestly, don’t tell the peeps at Clean Eating, but I think I was right. It was amazing!

And, I served it with a side of bacon. Because, well, it’s bacon!

Bacon. Is. Awesome.


Stuffed Potatoes with Roasted Veggies
Makes 4 servings

Olive oil cooking spray
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 red onion, cut into 8 wedges
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 carrot, scrubbed well and thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 6-ounce Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed well
¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon each sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
½ cup shredded low-fat sharp cheddar cheese
¼ cup crumbled low-fat bleu cheese

1. Coat a 6-qt slow cooker with cooking spray. Add bell pepper, onion, corn, carrot, cayenne, and oil; stir to combine. Using a fork, pierce potato in several spots, wrap in foil and place over top of pepper-corn mixture. Cover and cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low.


2. Remove potatoes and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes. Add parsley, garlic, salt, and black pepper to pepper-corn mixture and stir to combine.


LOVE the colors in this dish!

3. In a small bowl, add cheddar and bleu cheese and toss gently until well blended. Remove potatoes from foil and cut each in half lengthwise.

4. Fluff potato flesh with a fork and top with cheese mixture and roasted veggies.


5. Om. Nom. Nom.

Nutrition per stuffed potato:
Calories 275; Fat 7g (saturated 2g, monounsatured 3g, polyunsaturated 1g); Carbs 45g (fiber 5g, sugar 5g); Protein 10.5g; Sodium 230mg

Question: What’s your favorite way to top a potato?

– jennifer

Too much of a good thing? plus Beef Goulash

Hello, hello!

Okay, okay, you had to see it coming. 🙂

Have you seen those AT&T commercials? Of course you have! Unless, of course, you live under a rock. You don’t live under a rock, do you? And, if you do and you’re still reading this, I’m impressed! And, thanks for stopping by!

Anyway, the AT&T commercials. LOVE. THEM. We actually rewind them to watch them over and over, especially if it’s a new one. Oh my gosh, they are so hilarious! This one is probably our favorite.

Hahahahaha! Hilarious.

Okay, I know you didn’t come here to watch commercials. I’m done. Really.

So, I read an interesting article yesterday from Women’s Health Magazine called 25 Reasons You Can’t Lose Weight. And, they’re good reasons, too!

For example, skipping breakfast is a total no-no. The saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” didn’t come from nowhere, you know! You need breakfast to jump-start your metabolism. Don’t have time for breakfast? Plan ahead! Make overnight refrigerator oatmeal or make a peanut butter and banana sandwich or by some of those Jimmy Dean delights sandwiches. Do something! Just make sure you include protein and fiber to give you energy and help fill you up. This will help prevent you from being SUPER hungry at lunch/dinner time and overeating. Really! You just have to trust me.

Another interesting one is not getting enough sleep. How on earth can sleep affect your weight?! Well, apparently, get too little and you’re going to be hungry. And, if you’re tired, you might reach for sugary things to give you that “boost” which ultimately comes with a crash later. Just not worth it. Plus, you won’t have the energy to get through your workout! I usually hit the sack around 8:30 – early, I know! – and I’m up at 3:30ish each morning. I’m a total morning workout person. LOVE it! But, that gives me about 7 hours and, with usually one bathroom trip in the middle of the night, I get between 6 – 6 1/2 hours each night. That may not be enough for you and I have been known to turn in at 8:00 to get a little more but it works for me. You need to listen to your body and be your own judge. If you find yourself reaching for a Snickers bar at 2:00pm to prevent an afternoon nap at your desk, you might need to get a little extra sleep. And, you should pack healthy snacks for your afternoon hunger monster – veggies and hummus, celery and peanut butter, apple and peanut butter, yogurt and granola, you know…YUMMY stuff! 🙂

The first reason on their list is overeating healthy foods. Wait? There’s such a thing as too much of a good thing?! Unfair, right! You know what my downfall is? Nut butters. Oh. Em. Gee. I love me some nut butters. Peanut, almond, cashew – I dream about them sometimes. And, they’re good for you! Right?

Well, so long as you buy the natural kind without all that extra added sugar and nonsense. Seriously, if you are still buying Jiff or Skippy, I highly recommend you try a peanut butter or almond butter that only has peanuts or almonds in it – no palm fruit oil, no sugars, no hydrogenated vegetable oils. The flavor is out of this world YUM! Anyway, I love them. I put a spoonful in my pre-CrossFit protein shake, I put it in my oatmeal (both refrigerator and regular), I eat it on waffles, pancakes, toast, with apples, bananas, celery … a spoon.

When you were a kid, did your mom (or dad) ever tell you that if you ate too much of something, you were going to turn into it? I waited and waited and waited for my sister to turn into a green pepper. Never happened. Talk about disappointing! How cool would that have been to have a “change-o” machine?!? Then, I could have been like “here’s my green pepper sister!” Oh. Nope. Not as cool as a puppy brother.

I wonder what life would be like if I turned into a nut butter? I wonder which nut I would be?!

So, made this in the crockpot yesterday. Was delicious to come home to after a tough afternoon CrossFit workout. I love it when dinner cooks itself and all I have to do is eat it. Now, if only it would clean up after itself. Then, life would be perfect.


Beef Goulash
makes 8 servings

1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 pounds lean beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 cups diced peeled baking potato (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large)
1 cup (1/4-inch-thick) slices carrot
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika (I used smoked but you could use regular if you can’t find sweet)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 (10-ounce) can double-strength beef broth (I used beef stock)


1. Combine flour and beef in slow cooker; toss well to coat. Add remaining ingredients and stir to mix. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours.

2. Grab a bowl and gobble it down. Om nom nom!

Calories 304; Fat 8.3g (sat 3g, mono 3.4g, poly 0.4g); Protein 25.4g; Carbs 31.3g; Fiber 3.2g; Cholesterol 72mg; Iron 3.5mg; Sodium 744mg

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light, March 2006


1. What’s your favorite commercial? Do you have one? Do you live under a rock?

2. How many hours of sleep do you get?

3. What are you in danger of turning into? How much fun would a “change-o” machine be?!


– jennifer