Eugh (my new favorite obnoxious word)! I am still ill; I seemed to have picked up some crud walking around in the cool rain at Yale. My coworkers all seem to have a similar cruddy wipe-you-out-a-Mac-truck-just-hit-you sniffle too. Running around on that crazy schedule and different diet must have lowered our immune systems enough to catch the crud. Joy. Anyways, since I am at home and feeling crappy, I have been thinking of a few relatively easy recipes that will help heal and get me back on my low carb, dairy, gluten, egg, soy, nut, corn, potato, rice, and tuna-free diet. I have bison in the fridge - which I adore - but I've been getting a bit bored of the usual spicy meat, sundried tomato, collard, red cabbage, and kale sautees for lunch. I racked my brain for Cindy-edible, yummy, healthy, low carb, ground meat meals. I know what you're thinking: "well that ought to be easy, you do it on a daily basis!" Hey, it's hard to get back into the swing of things when you're feeling monkey-stomped and spoiled from a week of no-kitchen-available dining out :)
Karina, since you're on a similar diet and are reliant on Steve and others to help out, I was really hoping that this recipe would be okay for you and easy enough that someone could prepare it for you. Steve's smashed potatoes and meatloaf must have penetrated my brain as I slept, dreaming of sugar plums and ... bison? Well, this is an attempt to contribute. I'm sure you have similar recipes and food already :) Personally, I'm bored with meatballs, sauteed meat, burgers, etc; I wanted a nice thick slice of meat pie. ~smacking lips vigorously~
You can use grass fed ground beef, ground lamb, or venison if you'd like, but all I have right now is bison.
Vegan Low Carb Garbanzo and Flax Pie Crust*:
1/2 c. garbanzo flour
3/4 c. ground flax seed
1 T. xanthan gum
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 c. water
Mix everything thoroughly in a mixing bowl until it becomes a thick paste. Spray an 8" pie plate with nonstick cooking spray. Put the dough in the middle and form a crust with your mixing spoon by pressing the dough into the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Let cool completely. We used this as the crust for the meat pie, but it is also a great crust for pies if you switch out the spices, as in my Vegan Flax Pie Crust used in this delicious Low carb pumpkin pie.
* You can use any crust you'd like (or none at all, but I think it'd be a bit runny and fall apart without a crust). Gluten Free Bay has been on a delicious looking pie extravaganza lately and he uses the Natural Feast brand gluten-free frozen pie crusts, I believe. Gluten free bakehouse also makes pie crusts in the frozen section of Whole Foods, but I am not sure as to their kosher status since I don't use any premade crusts at this point. If you have allergies or suspect issues with flax, then I'd go with these premade crusts or no crust.
Bison and Spinach Pie Filling:
1/2 lb grass fed ground bison
1/4 lb frozen (or fresh) spinach
3 unsulfured sundried tomato pieces, chopped
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/4" chunk fresh ginger, minced
1/4" chunk fresh horseradish root, minced
1 small jalapeño with seeds, minced
1/4 onion, chopped
1/4 organic carrot, grated
1/2 15 oz. can drained* Muir Glen fire roasted organic diced tomatoes with green chilies
1/2 small can green chilies, drained
1/2 T. hot sauce or to taste
optional drizzle of organic maple syrup or agave nectar to contrast the spice
~3 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 can whole green chilies, halved to layer on top
*I recommend saving the juice for another occasion like soup or as a nice liquid kick for scrambled eggs or sauteed veggies.
fresh basil leaves, chopped
cayenne pepper and/or crushed red pepper flakes, optional
Dairy Free "Shepard's Pie" Variation/Additions: (I didn't use these this time, but I will in the future)
1 T. xanthan gum, to thicken the mixture into a set "pie"
1 T. Earth Balance Vegan butter
1 c. mashed and cooked cauliflower or the typical not low carb mashed potatoes option (we're out of cauliflower too)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and get out either your prebaked and cooled flax and garbanzo crust or your other premade pie crust. If you are choosing not to use a crust, then liberally coat the pie plate with nonstick olive oil spray. Be aware that not using a crust may mean that the filling just falls apart; the no-crusters might want to add an egg or two to keep everything together (but I didn't use eggs here).
Spray a large skillet with nonstick spray and add the olive oil, chopped onion, minced garlic, ginger, horseradish, and the bison. Turn to medium heat (5). Season and crumble the meat as it browns. Cook for about 5-7 minutes or until bison is almost done - remember not to overcook the bison since it is so lean and will become chewy.
After chopping/mincing the carrot and jalapeños, stir them into the bison in the last minute or so of browning. Stir in the drained fire roasted tomatoes and mix well. You can either mix in the frozen spinach or you can save it for a topping layer as I did; it doesn't matter. Fill the crust with the bison veggie mix and top with the spinach (if you didn't mix it in already) and layer the whole green chilies over the top.
Bake the pie for about an hour at 350 degrees. Let cool completely, then slice and serve with a nice side salad or light vegetable broth soup.