Adam came home from work at 5:30 the other night and I was sitting on the couch reading to Finn. He looked around, so perplexed. I asked him, “have you ever come home from work and I’ve been sitting with Finn?” We both kinda laughed and realized it, no, it had never happened! (we also had just gotten home from a long walk with friends, to boot!) 5:30pm at our home, and I’m sure in many of yours, is pretty chaotic. Everyone is hungry, tired, trying to decompress from the day. So how did I pull this off you ask? Well, Sweet Potato Shepard's Pie!
This was quite the ah-ha moment for me. Making dinner ahead of time - Adam made the sweet potatoes before work and I made the base during nap - and not cooking at dinner time is something to really celebrate! I actually enjoy cooking dinner at dinner time. Sure it’s chaos, but sometimes, I turn on Mr. Rodgers for Finn, pour a glass of kombucha (or wine!) and take a few minutes to get grounded, a “meditation in motion” I like to call it. Other times I don't enjoy it and it's stressful, but I do what I can ahead of time to try and avoid the sheer chaos.
My goal? To have a totally hands-off dinner once a week. Some of my other easy, totally make-ahead meals are: Curried Red Lentil Soup, Turkey Chili, Savory Sausage & Veggie Soup.
Sweet Potato Shepard's Pie
Ingredients (for the meat base):
2 TBSP ghee or coconut oil
1 large onion, diced
2 tsp. chilli powder
1 lb grass fed beef (or ground turkey, chicken)
1, 14oz can diced tomatoes
2 TBSP tomato paste
1 cup frozen peas
3 cups spinach, kale or chard
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients (for the mashed sweet potato):
Preparation for mashed sweet potatoes:
Place diced potatoes in a medium pot. Fill pot ¾ with water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 10 minutes or until you can easily pierce the potatoes with a fork.
Drain potatoes in a collander and place back in the pot. Add butter and salt. Mash with a masher, or a fork if you don’t have one. Place to the side to cool.
Preparation for base:
Melt ghee in a medium pot or dutch oven. Once melted, add diced onion and saute for 5-6 minutes.
Add chilli powder, sea salt, pepper and saute for another minute.
Add meat, and saute until cooked, about 8-10 minutes.
Add tomatoes, tomato paste and peas, cook for 3-4 minutes.
Turn off heat and add greens.
Pour mixture into an 8x8 baking dish, or a pie dish if you don’t have an 8x8. Add sweet potatoes on top to cover.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. (You’re prepping this ahead of time and eating later, bake for 45 minutes because you'll be baking it cold).
I usually make at least 2 of these at once - doubling all of the ingredients. I’ll often freeze the extra or give it to a friend!
If you have any extra base and sweet potato, make a mini pie on the side!