Upgraded Shepherds Pie

Growing up (in an Irish family) Shepherds pie was a staple in our house. In my adult life I have learned to appreciate the easiness and deliciousness of this meal, with a few alterations to make it more delicious and healthy. I especially love this recipe while I am pregnant as I can make it when I have random bursts of energy, then keep it in the refrigerator until dinner time comes (usually when I have NO desire to cook) so it works out perfectly!

Here’s what you’ll need for a 9” x 13” baking pan:

700 g of frozen vegetables (or fresh of your choosing)

6 medium sized potatoes peeled and sliced

5 tablespoons of Cayenne pepper -depending on how spicy you want it

5 tablespoons of Paprika

1 red onion cut up

500 g ground chicken

In a frying pan, cook the ground chicken and add onions and spices once chicken is nearly done.

While cooking the chicken, boil the potatoes and vegetables in separate pots.

Strain the vegetables and put aside. Strain the potatoes and mash until smooth.

Layer the chicken, then vegetables then mashed potatoes.

If you are preparing it in advance, seal it with saran wrap and put it in the refrigerator until ready.

Bake on 180 degrees Celsius for 40 minutes if coming from the refrigerator, for 20 minutes if baking immediately.

Comment below what you think if you make it!

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Chicken Caesar Wraps

This simple recipe is something I love to make from time to time as it is my go to comfort food. I have no idea why, something as simple as caesar salad and chicken are comforting to me, but they are -plus my husband also really likes this meal.

As I said, it is super easy, especially if you are using store bought caesar dressing and BBQ sauce.

Here’s what you’ll need for 6 wraps:
500g cut up chicken -you can also BBQ the chicken and then slice it up
1/2 cup caesar dressing (homemade recipe to come)
1/2 cup BBQ sauce (homemade recipe to come)
4 romaine hearts
60g parmesan cheese
croutons -we also like to add roasted onions to ours
6 tortillas
some olive oil for frying the chicken

First heat up the olive oil in a pan and cook the chicken slightly before adding the BBQ sauce (if you add it too soon, it will burn in the pan).

Add the BBQ sauce and cook until chicken is cooked through, usually 20-30 minutes depending on how thick you cut the chicken.

Add caesar dressing to lettuce and toss, add the croutons and parmesan cheese.

Serve with tortillas, salad and chicken and let guests make them themselves!

So easy, and really delicious!

If you cook it, make sure to leave a comment and let me know how you liked it!

Winter Wonderland

This has been one of my favorite things during the winter as Christmas approaches, even more so now that I am pregnant. As you have read, I am trying to avoid chemicals as much as I can, but I just love my house smelling of cinnamon and Christmas -so here’s my solution for a chemical free, all natural smell that will fill your house and make guests think you spent all day baking.

Here’s what you’ll need:
1/2 orange cut into slices
2 cups of water
5 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp of ginger
2 cinnamon sticks
3 star anise

Combine everything into a small pot and turn the stove on low. Mix it every 30 minutes or so and leave it on for as long as you’d like.

I generally have it on one hour before guests come or one to two hours in the morning to get the house smelling nice. I re-use these ingredients for about 4 days just adding more water when it gets low -do not let the water run out! After about 4 days the oranges have really disolved and you will need to make a fresh batch.

I have gotten so many compliments on the smell of our house from this trick and it is completely safe for asthmatics, children, elderly and pregnant women to inhale.

Let me know if you try it, and if you put any other things in that I am missing out on! xo

Gingerbread Molasses cookies

First off, let me start by saying that I am NOT a professional baker, nor do I claim to be! I’m sure that some of my baking techniques will make all you pro bakers cringe and if you are a pro baker, you may want to shy away now.
With that being said, I do have quite a few recipes that I have gotten from friends or family or found on the internet and tweaked to make them our own. Since I am allergic to nuts, I almost ALWAYS have to fix my sweet tooth with some home baked goods and I like to add a little bit of my own inspiration to things that others have inspired me to bake.
These cookies are, of course, inspired by Starbucks molasses cookies (which contain traces of nuts -as most baked products). I have done a few tweaks to a recipe a friend gave me and could eat the entire batch in a day if I were to let myself haha.
So here’s what you will need:
1 1/4 cups of butter
2 cups of sugar (plus another cup for coating the balls)
2 eggs
2/3 cup of molasses
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp of ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp of ground ginger
1/2 tsp of ground cloves

 

First cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (yes, I know I use the wrong mixing tool on my mixer, I just find that for this recipe, it makes the cookies fluffier and more light -it does require more patience to use this tool as you have to keep unclogging it, but I promise it makes a difference!)
Then add 2 eggs and beat together on medium until well incorporated (be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl as you mix).
Add the molasses and mix together.
In a separate bowl add the salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and flour together and mix well with a whisk. Again this makes the flour very fluffy.
Add the flour mixture into the butter mixture and mix well on medium.
Once fully mixed seal the bowl with saran wrap and put it in the refrigerator for 1 to 3 hours.
After cooled, make small balls with the dough, I usually make about 20 with this batch of dough but if you’d like them bigger/smaller adjust the size of the balls. After making the balls, if you wish to freeze them, now is the time. Place them into a well sealed container and they will store for 3-6 months. When you wish to bake them out of the freezer, allow for 1 hour defrosting time before the next step.
Roll each ball in a sugar and be sure to separate them about 1 inch apart on the baking tray, otherwise they will spread and become one big cookie!
Bake for 10-15 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.
Enjoy!! xo

Protein packed Chicken meatballs

I know there has been so much wedding talk on the blog, but one of my all time favorite things to do is cook!

Regardless if we’re dieting or not, these meatballs are a staple in our house -they are absolutely delicious and so filling! We eat them with salad if we’re watching our carbs (pre-wedding diet) or with whole wheat pasta when we aren’t. We also eat them for a snack from time to time as they are the perfect size to take on the go.

They are super easy to make and are packed with protein and low in carbs.

Here’s what you will need:
500 grams of ground chicken (what ever fat percentage you would like)
1 red onion
2-6 table spoons of paprika (depending on how spicy you like them)
2-6 table spoons of cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you like them)
1 egg white (you can add the yolk if you’d like, just be sure to add more oats)
60 grams of steel cut oats

First, mix the oats with the paprika and cayenne pepper, you can also add pepper and salt if you’d like.

Then dice the onion and add the onions to the mix and mix it all together.

Add the chicken and egg white -mix it all together.

Divide into what ever size you’d wish, I always make 16 balls out of a batch, usually enough to fit in the palm of m hand. If you’d like bigger/smaller, you’ll have to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Bake in the oven for 40 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.

For those interested, based on 16 balls the nutritional value is:

 Per ball
 Calories
 61
 Fat
 3 grams
 Carbs
 3 grams
 Protein
 9 grams
Enjoy!