Savory Sweet Potato Casserole

I was never one for the sugar-laden sweet potato casserole and truly, never understood it. That as a side dish and then pie for dessert? Made no sense to me, but traditions, I suppose. Even as a kid, I was never interested in that super sweet casserole, but honestly, it was probably more the sweet potato part that turned me off because I liked marshmallows, and brown sugar was okay in my book then too.

On the flip side, a savory sweet potato casserole is something I can totally get behind, and this one fits the bill. It has a nice mix of flavor and bite, plus some “cheesiness” from the nutritional yeast. If you’re not sure about the nutritional yeast, start with half the amount, taste, and add more if desired. Alternatively, you could use good-quality Parmesan cheese as a replacement, if tolerated and desired.

Meanwhile, I wish all of you a happy Thanksgiving tomorrow! If any of you make this recipe to go with your holiday meal, please let me know how you like it!

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium-large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter or ghee, plus extra for greasing dish
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chanterelle mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp granulated onion or onion powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp vegetable, chicken, or turkey broth
  • 2 eggs, preferably pasture-raised
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts, roughly chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 casserole dish with a little butter and set aside.
  2. Add sweet potato chunks to a large pot and add enough water to cover. Then, add a couple pinches of sea salt to the water. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until sweet potatoes are fork tender, about 6-8 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large pan over medium heat, melt 2 Tbsp of the butter. Once melted, add the onion and sauté 1-2 minutes. Then, add the chanterelles and garlic. Season with a little sea salt and black pepper. Continue to cook until mushrooms are softened. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Add the remaining 1 Tbsp butter to the pot with the cooked sweet potatoes and mash. Then, add the nutritional yeast, onion granules or powder, cayenne, nutmeg, Dijon, vegetable broth, sea salt, and black pepper. Stir well. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Lastly, add the eggs and stir into mixture.
  5. Pour sweet potato mixture into the greased dish. Sprinkle walnuts on top in an even layer. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes.
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Simple Supper Friday: Leftover Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

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Shepherd’s pie is one of Jesse’s favorite meals, so when I told him I was contemplating making it with some leftover Thanksgiving turkey, his eyes lit up. It has been a long time since I made shepherd’s pie and quite honestly, the last time was maybe even a year ago, when I shared my winter squash variation. I adore the winter squash version, but I think I like it even better with mashed cauliflower. Lately, I’ve been a little obsessed with buttery, mashed cauliflower anyway.

If you don’t have any leftover turkey on hand, don’t fret. It has been over a week now since Thanksgiving, so this is probably the case for many of you. Anyway, just use leftover chicken, a store-bought rotisserie chicken or even ground meat (this is what I normally use, actually). Make it work with what you have!

Meanwhile, it’s snowing here in Portland today. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw it coming down in yoga early this morning. It’s not much, but it’s still pretty and enough to commence panic in the city. Portland doesn’t know how to handle the littlest bit of snow and being from Michigan, I think it’s pretty darn funny!

Happy weekend!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed ghee
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 10 oz bag organic frozen broccoli florets
  • 3/4 cup homemade bone broth
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk (I used this)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2.5 cups leftover turkey meat (I used a mix of white and dark)
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 3 Tbsp grass-fed butter

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Directions:

  1. Place cauliflower florets in a steamer basket over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, with the lid on and tilted slightly. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer florets for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Remove from heat and set aside once done.
  2. Meanwhile, melt ghee in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots, and saute for about 3-4 minutes. Then, add the broth, coconut cream or milk, oregano, thyme, sea salt and pepper. Stir well and then add the frozen broccoli.
  3. After a few minutes, once broccoli has softened a bit, add the leftover turkey. Stir well to make sure everything is evenly distributed.
  4. Pour mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish. Then preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  5. While oven is preheating, place the cooked cauliflower in the food processor container with the butter. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides in the container as needed. Taste and add more butter, sea salt or pepper, if desired.
  6. Spread mashed cauliflower on top of the meat mixture evenly. By now, the oven is probably ready, so place the dish into the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until top has some golden brown color.
  7. Let cool a bit before serving. Enjoy!

Yields: 4 servings

Simple Supper Friday: Cheater’s Chicken Pot Pie

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Pot pie is the definition of comfort food, and perfect during the fall and winter months. It’s warm, filling and basically chicken soup with less liquid and dough on top. I’ve made pot pie with a full-on, grain-free almond flour crust in the past and it definitely involves a bit more work and planning. It’s the step that I usually want to skip, so this time I decided to come up with a shortcut. What I came up with still offers a buttery, slightly crispy topping, but involves no dough rolling period. Enter the cheater’s chicken pot pie with almond flour crumb topping. It’s a major time saver and nice if you don’t have all the dough ingredients on hand as well. I was very pleased with the result and hope you will be too!

Enjoy and happy Friday!

For the filling:

  • 2 Tbsp grass-fed butter or ghee
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large stalks of celery, chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1.25 cups butternut squash cubes
  • 1/4 cup chicken bone broth, preferably homemade
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk (I recommend this brand or this brand)
  • 3 cups leftover shredded boneless skinless chicken breasts and/or thighs
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 cup fresh green beans, cut into 1 or 2-inch pieces

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrots and celery, and stir. After a few minutes, add the squash. Stir and continue to cook.
  3. Stir in the chicken and add the broth. After a minute or two, add the sea salt, pepper, turmeric and fresh parsley.
  4. Next, add the coconut milk and green beans, and stir well. Cook 3-4 more minutes and if mixture seems like it needs more liquid, add a bit more broth.
  5. Remove from heat and pour mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle almond flour topping evenly over the top (recipe below) and place in oven, uncovered. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown on top.

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For the topping:

  • 1 cup blanched almond flour (I used this brand)
  • 3 Tbsp grass-fed butter or ghee
  • Pinch of sea salt

In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the almond flour and a pinch of sea salt. Mix well, until almond flour is coated in the butter (it will be in small clumps). Remove from heat and use atop of the filling, once it’s been poured into the casserole dish.

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