Shepherd’s Pie: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Soy-free, & Egg-free

shephard's pie - gluten, dairy, soy & egg-free

One of our favorite frozen dinners from Trader Joe’s has been their pre-made shepherd’s pie. Unfortunately, now that I have cut wheat gluten, soy & dairy out of my diet for the baby, those frozen dinners are no longer an option for me. I decided to try making my own version, with none of the offending allergens, and we loved the end result! The best part…it made enough for dinner that night, and the other half frozen for another night. It was a little more time consuming than most of the dinners I usually make, but since we love it so much, it was definitely worth the effort.

I started with making this soy sauce alternative, recipe found here. I modified the ingredients a little and used 1 1/2 cups of organic beef broth instead of the boullion cubes and water.

For the shepherd’s pie, I started with the recipe from Alton Brown, found here. However, many of those ingredients listed are on my avoid list. Below is my list of modified ingredients. I used ground turkey instead of ground lamb since that was what I had on hand. I also made a couple of other changes, to add even more veggies into the recipe. 🙂

For the potatoes:
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
1/4 cup almond milk
2 ounces Earth Balance soy-free margarine
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 Ener-G Egg replacerFor the meat filling:
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 carrots, peeled and diced small
3 stalks of celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 container ground turkey
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free All Purpose Flour
1 can tomato paste
1 cup beef broth
1 teaspoon soy-alternative sauce
2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup frozen English peas

I didn’t have to make many changes to the process Alton listed. The only notable change was with the potatoes. Since I added almond milk instead of half and half, they were a little runny. After combining the potatoes, almond milk and margarine, I brought it all to a low boil and cooked for a few minutes until thickened.Read more at:

Turkey, Quinoa & Mixed Veggies Casserole


One thing that I used to make fairly regularly for dinner before our son was born was a turkey and couscous casserole. Since there are quite a few things that I am now avoiding eating after noticing reactions from the baby via my breastmilk, I am trying to modify some of my old standbys so they are now free of wheat gluten, dairy & soy (as well as no egg or chicken for my own allergies). Since couscous is made from wheat, I decided to try using quinoa instead. Very similar to the couscous I am used to using, but it has the added benefits of being higher in protein and gluten-free!

I started by cooking four servings of quinoa in water in a medium saucepan. In a separate pan, I added some olive oil, two cloves minced garlic and half a package of ground turkey. I cooked the turkey until opaque, then added in about a cup and a half of beef broth. After that, I added in a variety of veggies: red and yellow baby tomatoes, chopped yellow squash (blanched and frozen from the garden), peeled and chopped sweet potatoes, and baby spinach. Once the quinoa was finished cooking, I added that into the mix as well, added salt & pepper to taste, and cooked for a few more minutes. Super easy, and I had extras to save for later!

Lemon Rosemary Turkey

I made this recipe with a bone in turkey breast, but it could easily be made with chicken as well for a more affordable (and easier to find) option. Unfortunately, I am allergic to chicken, so I get excited when I find a small cut of turkey like this in our local store.


1 bone in turkey breast
4 large lemons
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
salt & pepper
green/yellow beans

1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Use a fine cheese grater to get the zest off all of the (washed) lemons.
2. Juice all of the lemons.
3. Finely chop rosemary leaves.
4. Place turkey breast in casserole dish, and pour lemon juice over turkey.
5. Sprinkle top of turkey breast with lemon zest, chopped rosemary, and a sprinkling of salt & pepper.
6. Cook covered in preheated oven for approximately an hour and a half. Time will vary depending on the size of the meat you are using. The important thing is to cook it until the inside reaches a minimum of 165 degrees F.
7. Halfway through the cooking time, take out and baste turkey with juices from casserole dish. At this point, I also added in the frozen green & yellow beans (preserved from our garden!).

That’s it! This was a super easy dinner, and the turkey came out so delicious and juicy. 🙂


Turkey Spaghetti Marinara

Super easy and “lazy” dinner tonight. 🙂  Just a little spaghetti, some ground turkey, my homemade marinara sauce (from one of my last few jars from last year), and a little shredded Parmesan cheese.  I need to make some more sauce soon since we are starting to run low!


Turkey & Saffron Rice Dinner

I decided to try something a little different last night for dinner!  Another fun experiment. 🙂  I was really in the mood for some saffron rice, and did not believe all the recipes I saw online that it gets its yellow color from yellow food dye.  It took some time (and a lot of stirring) to get the saffron to give the rice the nice golden yellow color, but it was definitely worth the wait.  I also added a little butter and a pinch of salt to the jasmine rice that I started with, and finished by adding in a little fresh chopped parsley.

The turkey mixture was a fun experiment that turned out amazing.  I started with a little peanut oil in the bottom of the pan, and added in ground turkey, and chopped tomatoes and onions.  I mixed all my seasoning together in my mortar and pestle to grind up before adding.  I used 1/4 tsp of each:  mustard seed, cumin seed, caraway, coriander, thyme, savory, ground white pepper, black pepper, and salt.  I also added an 1/8 tsp of cinnamon and chili powder.  This is definitely an experiment that I will be making again in the future!

Turkey & Saffron Rice DInner Recipe

Stuffed Tomato Recipe

Yesterday was our one year wedding anniversary!  After we went to church, we wanted to go out to brunch to celebrate.  Since it was an unusually warm day, it seemed like the whole county drove out by the beach, and we circled around for a ridiculously long time trying to find parking anywhere before we finally gave up and decided to give up and eat at home.  One of the downsides of living in a beach city is trying to find parking anywhere on a warm day.

I had been planning to make these stuffed tomatoes sometime soon, and decided to take on another one of my cooking experiments to plan out this recipe.  I think it is by far one of my favorite “cooking inventions” yet.  The tomatoes I have growing right now are not big enough for what I planned to do, so we grabbed these from the farmer’s market.  I can’t wait until my big huge heirloom tomatoes start growing and I can make this recipe with those!

I started with cooking 1 cup of cous cous in 2 cups of vegetable broth.  I always use vegetable broth instead of water for a little extra flavor.  Then I sliced up a few shallots (the last of my garden harvest from last year), and sauteed them in a little olive oil.  I diced up two garlic cloves and added those in as well, and added a little salt.

Next I added in about a 1/4 of a package of ground turkey meat into the skillet, a little freshly ground pepper, along with some freshly chopped herbs:  a few sprigs each of rosemary and oregano.  Once the meat was almost fully cooked, I added in some chopped mixed leafy salad greens, and cooked until those were softened.

After the two stuffing components were finished cooking, I added the cous cous in with the meat mixture, and cooked on low for a few minutes to blend the flavors.

Then I sliced off the tops of the tomatoes, and scooped out some of the insides (saving for another meal later).  I scooped in the filling mix, and placed them in the toaster oven on broil for about 15 minutes (no need to turn on the oven on a warm day!).  To finish, I made a little arugula pesto with the little bit of arugula leaves I have starting to grow, some olive oil, shredded Parmesan cheese, and some toasted pine nuts and one clove of garlic.  I put all of that in my mini food processor, and then surrounded the tomatoes with a circle of the pesto.

The pesto was perfect for dipping the tomato in.  The flavors all blended together wonderfully and made a perfect light lunch!  I am very pleased with how this came out!

Stuffed Tomato Recipe Stuffed Tomato Recipe