Cottage Pie

Master the basics

Eating clean gets a lot easier once you have mastered a few essential recipes. This recipe is basic, not like basic unicorn basic, more like beard and flannel basic. Back to the point (which isn’t Unstable unicorns), having basic skills and recipes in your arsenal means you will never be left with only UberEats as your weeknight options. Once you master this recipe, the possibilities are endless. 

A fresh spin on a classic

The traditional cottage pie was a way to use leftover roasted meat from the Sunday dinner and topping the pie with mashed potato to make the leftovers go a little further. Obviously, the person who first came up with the cottage pie didn’t have a hungry family like mine to feed; having leftover meat does not happen in my house often. My version of cottage pie comes with a big helping of beef mince to keep my hungry boys happy.

Lower carbs big flavour

I wanted to make a lower-carb version of the traditional cottage pie by swapping out the mashed potatoes for mashed cauliflower. The cauliflower mash is a great way to reduce carbs without trading off on flavour. 

Cottage pie recipe

Ingredients

  • 750g minced beef
  • 2 tsp. oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 cups vegetables to serve

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/ 350 degrees F.

In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.

Add the onion, carrot and celery to the pan, cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender.

Make sure to stir the vegetables often.

Add the mince to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes or until mince is browned, stir regularly to break up the mince.

Reduce heat to medium-low, add the sauces, and season to taste.

Cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove the mix from the heat and set to one side.

To make your mash topping, chop the cauliflower into chunks and place in a steamer*

Steam the cauliflower until it is tender, remove from the heat and allow it cool a little.

Use a food processor to blend down the cauliflower with the butter until you get a smooth consistency.

Spoon the meat mixture into a large baking dish and top with the cauliflower mash.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until piping hot and the mash is golden.

  • Servings: “6
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

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Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 750g minced beef
  • 2 tsp. oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 cups vegetables to serve

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/ 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the onion, carrot and celery to the pan, cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender.
  4. Make sure to stir the vegetables often.
  5. Add the mince to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes or until mince is browned, stir regularly to break up the mince.
  6. Reduce heat to medium-low, add the sauces, and season to taste.
  7. Cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes.
  8. Remove the mix from the heat and set to one side.
  9. To make your mash topping, chop the cauliflower into chunks and place in a steamer*
  10. Steam the cauliflower until it is tender, remove from the heat and allow it cool a little.
  11. Use a food processor to blend down the cauliflower with the butter until you get a smooth consistency.
  12. Spoon the meat mixture into a large baking dish and top with the cauliflower mash.
  13. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until piping hot and the mash is golden.
  14. *if you don’t have a steamer, you can use a colander over the top of a pan of boiling water

Nutrition

Per Serving:249 calories; 10.1 g fat; 1.1 g carbohydrates; 20.1 g protein

Equipment

  • Frying pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Vegetable steamer
  • Tongs
  • Food processor
  • Spatula
  • Baking dish 

Nutritional disclaimer

Nutrition information is provided as an estimate based on the ingredients used and available in my area (New Zealand). The nutritional information is here to help you understand the recipe; I use MyFitnessPal to generate my estimates. For more accurate nutritional information, please use a nutritional calculator with the ingredients in your area.


Brussels sprout carbonara

The only reason I like winter 

I’m serious, Brussels sprouts are the only thing I like about winter. I hate the cold; I hate the rain and the wind and the shorter days, sprouts are the only highlight of the season for me. 

Brussels Sprouts are hands down my favourite vegetables; I would have them every day. Sadly, I can’t have them every day, so I just have to make the most of them when they are in season. 

Brussels sprout carbonara
Brussels sprout carbonara

What could be better? 

I like Brussels Sprouts on their own, but if I can sneak them into a meal, I like it more. In my world the combination of Brussels Sprouts and carbonara sauce are perfect. The saltiness of the bacon with the creaminess of the sauce and caramelised Brussels Sprouts make a complete meal. If you don’t like Brussels Sprouts but are willing to give it another go, I would highly recommend you give this recipe a go. 

Brussels sprout carbonara recipe 

Brussels sprout carbonara ingredients
Brussels sprout carbonara ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup cream
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 300g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup bacon, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 300g Brussels sprouts, shredded
  • 300g chicken breast, sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Take a large bowl and add the eggs.

Take a large bowl and add the eggs
Take a large bowl and add the eggs

Add the cream and whisk.

Add the cream
Add the cream

Add the salt and pepper and whisk.

Add the salt and pepper and whisk
Add the salt and pepper

Add the parmesan to the eggs and cream.

Add the parmesan to the eggs and cream.
Add the parmesan to the eggs and cream.

Take a large non-stick pan over a medium heated.

Take a large non-stick pan over a medium heated.
Take a large non-stick pan over a medium heated.

Sauté the bacon.

Sauté the bacon
Sauté the bacon 

Add the shallots to the bacon.

Add the shallots to the bacon
Add the shallots to the bacon

Sauté until the shallots start to colour.

Sauté until the shallots start to colour.
Sauté until the shallots start to colour.

Add the mushrooms to the pan.

Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for around 3 minutes.
Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for around 3 minutes.

Cook for around 3 minutes.

Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for around 3 minutes.
Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for around 3 minutes.

Add the garlic to the pan and cook for another minute.

Add the garlic to the pan and cook for another minute.
Add the garlic to the pan and cook for another minute.
Add the garlic to the pan and cook for another minute.
Add the garlic to the pan and cook for another minute.

Transfer the mix to a bowl and set it to one side.

Transfer the mix to a bowl and set it to one side.
Transfer the mix to a bowl and set it to one side.

Cook the chicken in the pan the bacon was cooked in.

Cook the chicken in the pan the bacon was cooked in.
Cook the chicken in the pan the bacon was cooked in.

Keep the chicken moving as it cooks.

Cook the chicken in the pan the bacon was cooked in.
Cook the chicken in the pan the bacon was cooked in.

Make sure to cook the chicken through.

Cook the chicken in the pan the bacon was cooked in.
Cook the chicken in the pan the bacon was cooked in.

When the chicken is cooked, add the bacon and mushroom mixture back to the pan.

While the chicken is cooking start cooking the sprouts.
While the chicken is cooking start cooking the sprouts.

When you have cooked the sprouts add them to the pan with the chicken and bacon mixture.

When you have cooked the sprouts add them to the pan with the chicken and bacon mixture.
When you have cooked the sprouts add them to the pan with the chicken and bacon mixture.

Mix well.

Mix well
Mix well

Add the cream and egg mixture to the pan and turn off the heat.

Add the cream and egg mixture to the pan and turn off the heat.
Add the cream and egg mixture to the pan and turn off the heat.

Mix well to coat all of the chicken and sprouts in the sauce.

Mix well to coat all of the chicken and sprouts in the sauce.
Mix well to coat all of the chicken and sprouts in the sauce.

Serve while hot.

Serve while hot.
Serve while hot.

Brussels sprout carbonara 

  • Servings: 4
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

A winter take on the classic Italian dish



Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 cup cream 
  • 3/4 cups parmesan cheese 
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed basil, chopped 
  • 85g bacon, diced 
  • 2 garlic, cloves crushed
  • 1/4 cup shallots, chopped
  • 300g Brussels sprouts, shredded 
  • salt 
  • fresh black pepper, to taste 

Directions

  1. Take a large mixing bowl whisk together the eggs and cream with the salt and pepper.
  2. Take a large non-stick pan over a medium heated.
  3. Sauté the bacon and shallots until the bacon is starting to colour
  4. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for around 3 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for another minute.
  6. Transfer the mix to a bowl and set it to one side.
  7. Cook the chicken in the pan the bacon was cooked in.
  8. When the chicken is cooked, add the bacon and mushroom mix back to the pan.
  9. While the chicken is cooking start cooking the sprouts.
  10. In a pan over high heat melt a little coconut oil.
  11. When the pan is hot, add the shredded Brussels sprouts.
  12. Keep the sprouts moving in the pan, so they do not burn.
  13. You want the sprouts to develop a deep caramel colour. 
  14. When you have cooked the sprouts add them to the pan with the chicken and bacon mixture.
  15. Add the cream and egg mixture to the pan and turn off the heat.
  16. Mix well to coat all of the chicken and sprouts in the sauce.
  17. Serve while hot.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 442 calories; 35 g fat; 13 g carbohydrates; 22 g protein

Equipment 

  • Bowl 
  • Non-stick pan 
  • Whisk 
  • Wooden spoon 
  • Measuring cups
  • Scales 
  • Knife
  • Chopping board

Nutritional disclaimer

Nutrition information is provided as an estimate based on the ingredients used and available in my area (New Zealand). The nutritional information is here to help you understand the recipe; I use MyFitnessPal to generate my estimates. For more accurate nutritional information, please use a nutritional calculator with the ingredients in your area.


Scotch Eggs

It may surprise you to learn that Scotch eggs aren’t Scottish at all; they are actually English. The traditional Scotch egg is made with sausage meat, coated in breadcrumb and deep-fried until they are crisp on the outside. While I don’t have anything against a deep-fried meal, I was never a fan of the sausage meat that was probably mostly sawdust and the eggs with that horrible sulphur ring; no, thank you.

A new take

I decided to try something a bit different and develop a clean eating take on the traditional recipe. As ever when coming up with clean eating, there are challenges to developing a recipe that tastes great and isn’t awful for you.

Challenges to overcome

The first challenge was getting the perfect boiled egg; the trick is cooking the eggs enough to cook the egg white without overcooking the yolk. For Scotch eggs, go for a slightly runny yolk; this will give you a perfect yolk when the egg is baked. The next challenge is getting the meat to pack a flavour punch. I love having access to good quality pork; thankfully, it isn’t hard to get free-range pork here in Auckland. I find that free-range pork has far more flavour than high intensity farmed meat; it is always best for taste. The right blend of garlic, sage and Worcestershire sauce gives the meat a real step up in flavour. Finally, getting a nice crispy coating that isn’t deep-fried, I find that coconut flour and egg coating is a great alternative to breadcrumbs, and you don’t have to deep-fry it to make it crispy. 

Instant pot

I recently purchased an Instant Pot duo crisp which is a slow cooker, pressure cooker and air fryer, plus more all in one. The last time I made up some Scotch eggs, I decided to bake them in the Instant Pot rather than putting them in the oven. I love the versatility of the Instant Pot, and it is quickly becoming my favourite kitchen appliance.

Scotch egg recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs hard boiled and peeled
  • 500g minced pork
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. dried sage
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
In a bowl add the garlic powder and sage.
In a bowl add the garlic powder and sage.
Add the pork mince and Worcestershire sauce.
Add the pork mince and Worcestershire sauce.
Mix everything together well.
Mix everything together well.
Take a portion of meat and flatten it in between your hands to make a meat patty
Take a portion of meat and flatten it in between your hands to make a meat patty.
Place a boiled egg in the middle
Place a boiled egg in the middle.
Form the meat around the egg.
Form the meat around the egg.
Make sure the meat completely covers the egg.
Make sure the meat completely covers the egg.
Repeat with the remaining meat and eggs.
Repeat with the remaining meat and eggs.
In another bowl beat the two remaining eggs. Place the flour on a plate and season it with some salt and pepper then mix.
In another bowl beat the two remaining eggs. Place the flour on a plate and season it with some salt and pepper then mix.
If you are using an Instant Pot place the wire rack inside the pot and put the coated eggs on the rack.
If you are using an Instant Pot place the wire rack inside the pot and put the coated eggs on the rack.
Spread out the eggs in the pot,
Spread out the eggs in the pot,
Bake for 15 minutes
Bake for 15 minutes
Scotch eggs sliced and ready to eat.
Scotch eggs sliced and ready to eat.

Scotch eggs

  • Servings: 4
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

This grain free version of Scotch eggs is perfect for protein packed snacking or a trying something different for lunch.



Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs hard boiled and peeled
  • 500g minced pork
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. dried sage
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Directions

  1. Make four perfect boiled eggs. 
  2. Peel the four eggs and set them to one side.
  3. In a bowl mix the pork mince, garlic powder, sage and Worcestershire sauce.
  4. In another bowl beat the two remaining eggs. 
  5. Place the flour on a plate and season it with some salt and pepper then mix.
  6. Take the meat and divide it into four portions.
  7. Take a portion of meat and flatten it in between your hands to make a meat patty.
  8. Place a boiled egg in the middle of the meat.
  9. Form the meat around the egg.
  10. Make sure the egg is completely covered.by the meat.
  11. Repeat with the remaining eggs.
  12. When the eggs are done start to dip and coat them.
  13. Dip the meat covered egg in the beaten eggs.
  14. Then roll the egg in the coconut flour, be sure the egg is completely coated.
  15. Repeat with the remaining meat and eggs.
  16. If you are going to oven bake your Scotch eggs I recommend frying them off first.
  17. Heat a frying pan and a little olive oil, over a medium heat.
  18. Fry off the meat until it is browned all over.
  19. Transfer the eggs to a baking tray lined with baking paper or a silicone liner.
  20. Bake in a preheated oven at 175 degrees C/ 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes.
  21. Serve warm or cold.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 371 calories; 14.6 g fat; 18 g carbohydrates; 38.9 g protein

Equipment

  • Saucepan
  • Slotted spoon
  • Mixing bowl x2
  • Plate
  • Frying pan
  • Tongs
  • Baking tray
  • Baking paper or silicone liner

Nutritional disclaimer

Nutrition information is provided as an estimate based on the ingredients used and available in my area (New Zealand). The nutritional information is here to help you understand the recipe; I use MyFitnessPal to generate my estimates. For more accurate nutritional information, please use a nutritional calculator with the ingredients in your area.