Fall is officially in the house!
In case you missed it, I’m a huge fall fan! It’s probably my favorite season. Something about the leaves changing, the smell of crisp morning air, and of course the leggings/boots/scarves/over-sized sweaters just does it for me. But it’s not the clothes and changes in nature I love—fall food is definitely something I look forward to as well!
Sometimes I feel like the Paleo/Primal lifestyle is pretty much meant for fall. With all grains being off limits, squashes and root veggies are one of the few sources of complex carbohydrate available. And what better time to eat butternut squash than in the colder months like now?
Last night, I was really craving something warm, hearty, and comfort-foody to say the least. I was talking with a friend about making butternut squash lasagna. But since I also don’t do dairy, this too would’ve been difficult. I decided instead to make my version of a shepherd’s pie.
Why Is This Shepherd’s Pie Recipe So Healthy?
Although by no means is this a traditional recipe, this shepherd’s pie recipe is actually really good for you and full of nutrients! Traditional shepherd’s pie recipes use ground beef that’s high in saturated fat and white potatoes that rank very high on the glycemic index (GI). I decided to give this shepherd’s pie a bit of a makeover. Instead of white potatoes, this shepherd’s pie is loaded with vitamin A from butternut squash which is just as creamy and decadent as mashed potatoes. Instead of ground beef, I actually made a turkey meat sauce with tomatoes and mushrooms to add some vitamin C and lycopene, a potent antioxidant found in foods like tomatoes and watermelon.
One last note about the meat sauce for this recipe. I actually used a batch from my freezer that I had made a few weeks ago. This saved me a lot of time, but there are plenty of ways you could do this. As long as your meat sauce is chunky and thick (not too runny), you could definitely use a frozen sauce. If not, I highly recommend making the sauce from scratch. This way, you’ll avoid excess sugar, artificial preservatives, and other nasty ingredients that could be lurking in your store-bought tomato sauce.