Shepard’s Pie

SHEPARD’S PIE

With the winter solstice upon us, I’m always very thoughtful this time of year.  I feel a bit more inward and reflective about my year, my life, what I’m ready to let go of and what I’m ready for more of.  I also tend towards more warming and comforting dishes and this is a regular go to in our house.  My kids and husband ask for this recipe regularly and there are rarely any leftovers ever, ha!  I also love to utilize this recipe when I want to make something in advance that the family can easily heat up if I’m not home.  This is also always a staple that we take on our ski trip every single year as it really hits the spot after a long day on the slopes.  I swear there is something about this dish that gives you a big hug or whispers “I love you.”  I mean at least it feels that way to me lol.   I also gave a vegan alternative to adapt this recipe.  I have not tested the vegan adaptation but I’m sure it would be absolutely delicious.  There are really two recipes here as well as the top layer is my garlic mashed potato recipe which is another dish we use regularly and is so versatile.  It can be used in a myriad of ways and is so yummy.  The garlic trick really takes the potatoes to a whole other level.

My hope is that this recipe might just soften your winter just a bit,  give you some warmth, gratitude and bring your family together in a special way.  I really believe winter is a time of nourishment for the soul.  It is a time where nature sort of huddles, sleeps a bit or takes a nap as it gathers and replenishes itself for spring.  I feel like that is something we should be mindful of in our own lives as we were meant to mirror nature.  We are nature and it can guide us so cheers to inward replenishing!  Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday and a beautiful winter solstice!

EQUIPMENT

Saute pan

Medium to large stock pot with lid

Electric beater

Blender

Wooden spoon

Measuring cups

Measuring spoons

Large casserole dish

INGREDIENTS

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 onion peeled and minced

1 lb ground turkey, beef or lamb or 4 cups of cooked lentils 

1/4 cup Worcestershire   

2 cans of sweet organic corn

4-5 large potatoes peeled and cut into pieces

Pinch of sea salt 

4 cloves of garlic peeled 

2 tbs butter or vegan butter 

Pinch of sea salt 

Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup buttermilk or non dairy milk such as unsweetened almond milk if making vegan 

METHOD

Preheat oven to 350 

For Ground Meat Layer or Cooked Lentils:

Take a large skillet and add olive oil then set your stove top to medium heat.  Once hot add onion and sauté for 8 minutes till onion becomes translucent.  Now add ground meat and sauté for 8 minutes till almost fully cook then add Worcestershire and cook another 5 minutes, then set aside.  If using lentils, add cooked lentils along with Worcestershire and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add the ground meat or lentils to a large casserole dish then set aside briefly.  

For Corn Layer:

Now take one of the cans of corn and place in your blender and turn to high till the corn is fully blended.  Now use a spatula and add one of the whole kernel cans of corn evenly over the ground meat or lentils.  Then, using your spatula again spread the corn that you creamed in your blender over as the next layer.  Set aside briefly.  

For Potato Layer:

Take a medium/large stock pot and add cold water and a pinch of sea salt.  Then add potatoes and garlic and place the lid on the pot then turn the stove top to high heat.  Once the water boils reduce slightly and cook 30 minutes till potatoes are tender.  Drain the water from the pot leaving the potatoes and garlic, then add the butter, sea salt, black pepper and buttermilk.  Beat with a high speed electric beater till the potatoes are whipped smoothly.  Now use a spatula and add the final layer of the garlic mashed potatoes by evenly spreading the potatoes over the corn layer.  

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes till bubbly and golden brown.  We like to serve ours with a splash of extra Worcestershire sauce and a big salad.  Enjoy!!!

 

MY NEW COOKBOOK

For more easy, delicious recipes like this, my new cookbook Empowerful can be ordered at the below link.  It makes a great holiday gift too!!!

https://www.amazon.com/EmPowerful-Finding-Empowerment-Everyday-Connection/dp/1978475969/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535032588&sr=1-1&keywords=Empowerful+book

 

If you enjoy my recipes, I would love to see your pictures and creations! Please tag me and your favorite recipes on social media on Facebook at Chef Emery or on Instagram @chef_emery

Happy Holidays from my kitchen to yours!

Oxoxoxo Chef Emery

Hi there! The photos of this recipe and content above are copyright protected.  Please do not use my photos without prior written permission. Please do not copy this recipe and share it on your own site. If you wish to tell people about this recipe, please provide a link back to the recipe here on my blog rather than copying the recipe. If you make significant changes to a recipe, you are welcome to rewrite it in your own unique words and provide a link back here for credit.  Thank you!

 

Seasonal Holiday Cranberry Sauce

SEASONAL HOLIDAY CRANBERRY SAUCE

We are all getting into the spirit of holidays and I really love this time of year.  It always has this cozy feeling and I get really excited about all the traditional holiday recipes.  I have to say cranberry sauce is one of my favorite additions to the thanksgiving table and the color alone of these gorgeous vibrant seasonal cranberries get me every time!  It is not limited to Thanksgiving either, be sure to use this at Christmas or with any holiday roast!  There is a reason too that cranberries are in season this time of year as the are packed with powerful antioxidants and rich in vitamin C making them a powerful immunity booster.  We sure could use all the help we can get during flu season with all the holiday hustle and bustle and I’m always amazed how nature supports us.

I absolutely love this recipe because the tartness of the cranberries is paired with a touch of citrus.   I also like to cut the sugar in half as I really don’t think cranberry sauce needs all that sugar and it allows the true flavor of the cranberries to reveal themselves while still not becoming to tart.  This recipe is super easy, delicious and quick and in my opinion and so much better than the cranberry sauce that comes in a can.  I also like to double the recipe and then tie the glass containers with a bow to give out as gifts or to bring to a party.

EQUIPMENT:

Medium saucepan

Measuring cups

Measuring spoons

Microplane or zester for grating

INGREDIENTS:

Zest of one organic lemon

Zest one organic orange 

Pinch of sea salt

1 tsp cinnamon

Grated fresh nutmeg, the equivalent of 1 tsp (optional)

1 1/2 cup organic sugar

1 1/2 cup water

1 package organic cranberries 

METHOD:

Put all of the above ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil then let reduce for 30 minutes till the liquid reduces to about half and sauce is nice and thick.  Let cool and then store in glass containers and place in your refrigerator.  Can be kept in an airtight glass container for up to 7-10 days in your fridge.

For more easy, delicious recipes like this, my new cookbook Empowerful can be ordered at the below link.  It makes a great holiday gift too!!!

https://www.amazon.com/EmPowerful-Finding-Empowerment-Everyday-Connection/dp/1978475969/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535032588&sr=1-1&keywords=Empowerful+book

If you enjoy my recipes, I would love to see your pictures and creations! Please tag me and your favorite recipes on social media on Facebook at Chef Emery or on Instagram @chef_emery !

Oxoxoxo Chef Emery

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Gluten Free Blueberry Cornmeal Oatmeal Crunch Muffins

Gluten Free Blueberry Cornmeal Oatmeal Crunch Muffins 

Up here in Maine, we wait all year for the bounty of local maine blueberry season.  We literally freeze them by the boat loads to stock up for winter so we can enjoy these delicious berries all season long.  If your not familiar with these special berries, they are incredibly small and delicate yet so sweet and flavorful.  My daughter especially likes to eat them in the morning on their own.  I personally love them in smoothies, tarts, breads, salads and you guessed it muffins!

This muffin recipe is so quick, easy and will not disappoint!  The sunflower seeds add this extra fabulous crunch and they are bursting with blueberry flavor.  I particularly love them as a snack on the go or for breakfast and they are next level toasted in your toaster oven with a touch of cultured grass fed butter https://www.organicvalley.coop

or smear of almond or cashew butter https://onceagainnutbutter.com

Serves 4-6 ( Makes 1 dozen muffins)

Equipment:

A One Dozen Muffin Tin

Two Large Mixing Bowl

One Small Mixing Bowl

Measuring Cups

Measuring Spoons

A Wooden Spoon or Fork for Mixing

The Method:

3 eggs

3 tbs extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of sea salt

1 tsp vanilla extract @simpleorganicfoods

3 tbs unsweetened coconut yogurt @so_delicious http://sodeliciousdairyfree.com

1/2 cup real maple syrup

2 cups gluten free oats (I love qia by @naturespathorganic ) https://www.naturespath.com/en-us/

1 tsp Ceylon cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

1 cup cornmeal #nongmo

2 cups wild Maine blueberries

1/2 cup raw shelled sunflower seeds (optional)

1 tbs coconut oil for greasing muffin tin

Take a large bowl and add eggs, olive oil, sea salt, vanilla extract, coconut yogurt, and maple syrup. Whisk well then set aside briefly. Take a small bowl and add oatmeal, cinnamon, baking powder, cornmeal and toss well with a fork then add to wet mixture combining well.  Now add blueberries and sunflower seeds (if using). Grease a one dozen muffin tin and add batter. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes till golden brown. Remove and cool. Serve with cultured butter, nut butter or simply on its own.  I love to cut one in half and reheat in my toaster oven for a grilled effect!

Tag your recipes #chefemery and for more great recipes like this, order my new cookbook “Empowerful” available now at Amazon and Amazon books.

Order here:

https://www.amazon.com/EmPowerful-Finding-Empowerment-Everyday-Connection/dp/1978475969/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1533423204&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=empowerful+cookbook

Enjoy from my kitchen to yours!!  Please follow me on instagram at chef_emery and if you loved this recipe please share it on facebook and instagram.

oxoxo

Chef Emery

Gluten Free Organic Granola with Lemon Zest, Pistachios, Cashews and Black Pepper

Granola is super easy to make yourself and to be honest, once you do you may never buy it in a store again.  I think my favorite part is that when you make it yourself, you can adjust the nuts and spices to what your in the mood for and what is in season.  Think sliced almonds with dried cherries in spring, sunflower seeds and bee pollen with macadamian nuts in summer, pumpkin seeds and cinnamon with dried persimmon in the fall, dried coconut with walnuts and orange zest in winter just to name a few ideas.   It can be sprinkled on your favorite smoothies, used to make yogurt parfaits with fresh berries.  It is a great topper for ice cream and makes a fabulous garnish for french toast, waffles and pancakes!!  I love it on it’s own too as a snack with a few wedges of dark chocolate!  Yum!

The options are honestly endless and this will become a regular in your meal prep arsenal!  I know personally I make this every two months or so to have as a quick healthy snack on the go. This recipe in particular is so lovely.  The subtle combination of sea salt, lemon zest, black pepper with the cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg is really unique.  The pistachios add a gourmet flair that makes this just a little bit fancy which I love.

RECIPE:

Preheat your oven to 350.

8 Cups Gluten Free Organic Oats ( I personally really love Qia Gluten Free Oatmeal )

2 tsp Organic Cinnamon

1 tsp Organic Cardamom

1 tsp of Organic Fresh Nutmeg

The Zest of 1 Organic Lemon ( make sure to wash the lemon before zesting )

1 tsp Organic Black Pepper

1 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt

2 tbs Organic Chia Seeds

1 Cup Organic Raw Cashews

1 Cup Organic Raw Pistachios

1 Cup Organic Pumpkin Seeds

1/2 Cup Real Organic Maple Syrup

1/2 Cup Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil

1 tsp Real Organic Vanilla Extract

 

In a large bowl, add gluten free oats, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper ( freshly ground if possible ), sea salt, chia seeds, cashews, pistachios and pumpkin seeds.  Using a microplane, zest the lemon over the bowl along with the fresh nutmeg ( I highly recommend using fresh nutmeg as you will notice a significant difference in flavor ).  Use a fork to fully combine all of the ingredients.

Take a small sauce pan, add coconut oil and place heat on medium.  Melt coconut oil.  Once melted, pour the coconut oil over the oats.  Then pour maple syrup and vanilla extract over the oats. Using a fork or clean hands, fully combine all of the ingredients.  Once combined, take one large sheet pan or two medium sheet pans and pour the granola mixture evenly onto the pans.  Place in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 200 and continue to bake for one hour.  During the baking time, make sure to use a metal spatula and turn the granola over so that it cooks evenly and does not burn.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Once cool, this is when you would add dried fruit if you were using it.  Then pour into an airtight container and store in a cool dry place.  Granola will last for approx. 2 weeks.

Enjoy! Chef Emery ❤️❤️ Oxox

 

Organic Grilled Peanut Satay Skewers

 

Summer is almost upon us are at least it is struggling to make an appearance up here in Maine.  We have had too many rainy days but my mind is already thinking about delicious meals that can get on the table quickly. Grilling is such a fantastic way to get dinner on the table fast with little clean up which I love.  Skewers are also a beautiful way to get kids involved and excited about cooking.  My daughter and son love helping put all the colorful veggies on the sticks.  It is a great way for kids to contribute and be a part of bringing meals to fruition, not to mention the sensory experience of touching, feeling and smelling food.

This recipe is super easy to do and incredibly versatile as you can alter the veggies to what is in season or your favorite ones!  It also can be adapted to be vegetarian/vegan by marinating organic non gmo tofu in the place of the chicken which is also so delicious.

Chicken Peanut Satay

1 lb of boneless skinless organic chicken breast  or organic non gmo tofu chopped into skewer pieces

1/2 cup organic peanut butter

2 tbs fish sauce

1/4 cup gluten free low sodium tamari

1/4 filtered water

2 tbs local raw honey

pinch of sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

Take a medium size bowl or a high speed blender and add peanut butter, fish sauce, tamari, water, raw honey, sea salt and black pepper.  If using a blender, place speed on high and blend till fully combined.  If using a bowl, place all the above ingredients in the bowl, then use a fork to whisk till all the ingredients are combined.  Chop the chicken into skewer size pieces then place in a large airtight container with a top.  Using a spatula, pour the peanut satay over the chicken and let marinate for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.

 

For Veggies

1 large organic red onion peeled and cut into skewer pieces

1 large organic vidalia onion peeled and cut into skewer pieces

1 organic zucchini washed and cut into skewer pieces

1 organic red pepper washed, cored and cut into skewer pieces

1 organic green onion washed, cored and cut into skewer pieces

2 organic portabella mushrooms washed and cut into skewer pieces

 

Wash and cut all of the above veggies into skewer size pieces then briefly set aside.

 

For Extra Peanut Sauce For Drizzling

1/2 cup organic peanut butter

1/2 cup filtered water

2 tbs fish sauce

1 tbs local raw honey

 

1 organic lime washed and cut into wedges for serving

 

Once again take a medium bowl or high speed blender and add peanut butter, filtered water, fish sauce and honey.  If using a bowl, whisk with a fork till all the ingredients are well combined then set aside.  If using a blender,  place all of the ingredients in to the blender and place the speed on high till all the ingredients are fully combined.  Use a spatula to spoon out of the blender and set aside.

Preheat your grill to high.  Now it is time to assemble.  Remove your chicken from the refrigerator and begin to assemble your skewers by alternating varying veggies with the chicken ( discard the peanut sauce that the chicken was marinated in.)  Once all your skewers are assembled, place on the grill and cook approx. 10 minutes on each side till chicken is fully cooked and veggies are roasted.  Depending on your grill, you may need to adjust the temperature to medium/high heat.  Once all of your skewers are cooked it is time to eat.  This can be served on it’s own with a big salad and/or rice.  Drizzle each skewer with additional peanut sauce and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.  The extra peanut sauce can be saved in an airtight container and stored in the fridge for 3-5 days and used as a fabulous quick dressing for salads.

Enjoy!  -Chef Emery oxoxox

For a great guide and tips on meal planning, grocery shopping and even more recipes go to my website at www.chefemery.com where my ebook can be purchased!  You will have an instantly downloadable guide to helping manage meal prep, my favorite go to products when shopping, plus a few fabulous recipes!

Please note: The photos of this recipe and content above are copyright protected.

Please do not use my photos without prior written permission. Please do not copy this recipe and share it on your own site. If you wish to tell people about this recipe, please provide a link back to the recipe here on my blog rather than copying the recipe. If you make significant changes to a recipe, you are welcome to rewrite it in your own unique words and provide a link back here for credit. Thank you!❤️

Gluten Free “Morning Glory” Muffins

My son and I baked these together on a day we were especially feeling sad about losing our favorite pet.  Cooking can be a truly therapeutic and calming experience for the soul particularly for kids. My son afterwards sighed and said “I feel so much better.”  As the aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg wafted through our house, we all just felt a little better.

Food can be such a powerful, sensory experience that connects us instantly with ourselves and nature.  When we touch, feel and smell real food, it is an opportunity to truly embrace the now and provides the mind with presence.  I know my son and I both felt that.

On a practical note, these muffins are super satisfying and packed with good quality protein and healthy fats.  Only sweetened with a small amount of maple syrup and dried fruit, they are perfect for those seeking low sugar and naturally sweetened recipes and are fantastic for breakfast or a quick afternoon snack on the go.  The subtle sweeteness of coconut flakes and raisins coupled with the crunch of sunflower seeds and hints of cinnamon, truly make these special.

Preheat oven to 375

You will need a one dozen muffin tin plus cupcake liners.  Line the entire one dozen muffin tin with the cupcake liners then briefly set aside.

3 local organic eggs

3 tbs organic extra virgin olive oil

1 cup buttermilk or non dairy milk such as unsweetened hemp

1 tsp organic real vanilla extract

1/3 cup real organic maple syrup

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

2 cups gluten free flour (I highly recommend Pamela’s gluten free baking mix as it is the closest to mimicking real flour and has the baking powder in it)

2 cups organic shredded carrots

1/2 cup organic raisins

1/2 cup organic unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup organic raw sunflower seeds

Wash, peel and shred carrots ( approx 2-3 carrots) till you have 2 cups of shredded carrots. Set aside briefly.

In a large bowl, crack eggs and add to bowl.  Then add vanilla extract, olive oil, maple syrup and buttermilk or non dairy milk. Whisk well with a fork then add sea salt, cinnamon, fresh nutmeg and gluten free flour. Use a fork to whisk well till all the ingredients are fully combined scraping up the sides of the bowl.

Now add shredded carrots, raisins, coconut and sunflower seeds.  Fully combine all the ingredients then using a large spoon fill your muffin tin. This will make exactly one dozen.

Bake at 375 approx. 30-35 minutes till golden brown. Cool and enjoy! These can be stored in an airtight container and are good for 3-5 days.

These muffins are a little gift from me to you ❤️ .  A baking gift that took a super sad day and brought some ease to our tender hearts.

Much love – Chef Emery oxoxox

Please note: The photos of this recipe and content above are copyright protected.

Please do not use my photos without prior written permission. Please do not copy this recipe and share it on your own site. If you wish to tell people about this recipe, please provide a link back to the recipe here on my blog rather than copying the recipe. If you make significant changes to a recipe, you are welcome to rewrite it in your own unique words and provide a link back here for credit. Thank you!❤️

 

Never Underestimate the Power of Sheet Roasting

I can not say enough about how much I love sheet roasting as a chef.  It is a phenomenal way to quickly add depth and flavor to your meals with little effort yet is absolutely delicious.  Lately, I’ve been finding that food ( when and if I eat out ) is often over salted, over spiced, over sauced, overly sweet which covers up any room for the food to shine.  When we source food organically, locally, seasonally and sustainably, it really does not need a lot to taste absolutely delicious.  Sheet pan roasting is a wonderful way to easily do this!

Another reason I absolutely love roasting veggies is that it is so versatile.  In can be kept vegetarian by adding it to your favorite rice bowls or as a paleo recipe by pairing it with your favorite fish, grilled meat or roast.  I like to use lots of seasonal fresh herbs which are packed with wonderful nutrients and vitamins which adds a lot of dimension without extra salt, oil, etc.  I also have expressed before that organic fresh herbs have powerful properties that can be incredibly beneficial to our bodies and are a quick way to connect with nature.

Organic Tomatoes with Fresh Garlic, Local Shallots, Fresh Thyme, Herbs De Provence, Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Local Organic Fingerling Potatoes with Red Onion, Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Organic Cauliflower with Leeks, Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Preheat your oven to 450.  Then wash and slice the vegetables.  I pour 2 tbs of organic extra virgin olive oil over the whole pan of sliced vegetables.  Then add herbs of choice.  Get creative there are no wrong choices really.  You can use fresh cilantro, fresh dill, thyme, rosemary, fresh basil, fresh parsley.  Sometimes I like to add turmeric or curry powder.  I always then add 1 tsp sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Roast at 450 for approx. 25 minutes till veggies are golden brown.

The three recipes above are ideas but as I stated the options are honestly endless. Sweet potatoes roasted with shallots and cumin would be delicious or another favorite in our house is roasted brussel sprouts with cranberries.  Most importantly remember as Julia Child says, “You don’t have to cook fancy complicated masterpieces.  Just good food from fresh ingredients.”