Cauliflower and BBQ Pulled Pork Shepherd’s Pie

24 11 2014

The next time you make BBQ pulled pork, do yourself a favor and make extra and freeze it to use later in this deliciously healthy casserole! Seriously, this is divine…giving you all the comfort and none of the guilt! Topped with a creamy mashed cauliflower, you’ll think you’re indulging in an over-the-top potato Shepherd’s pie, when you’ll really be devouring a meal loaded with veggies.

Cauliflower and BBQ Pulled Pork Shepherd's Pie

The following serves 4-6 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Half a small-medium onion, diced
  • 4 small-medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 heaping cup shredded cabbage
  • Kosher salt
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • BBQ sauce
  • 3-4 cups worth of leftover pulled pork that has been tossed in BBQ sauce (if you have some frozen, just defrost it first)
  • Low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • Splash of milk, I use almond milk, but use whatever you have
  • 1 heaping cup reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • Fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9 x 13 casserole dish with non-stick spray and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add cauliflower florets and boil for 8-10 minutes, until softened, but not mushy. Drain cauliflower in a mesh strainer, shaking out excess water. Return drained cauliflower to the hot pot and allow to sit for a few minutes, so that any remaining water evaporates.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add onions and carrots and cook for a few minutes until beginning to soften. Next add cabbage and stir to combine. Season with salt and for an extra kick, a pinch of red pepper flakes and even some of your favorite hot sauce if desired. Stir in BBQ sauce, either homemade or store-bought, about 1/2 to 3/4 cup (use less sauce if you have a smaller amount of pork, or more sauce if you have a larger amount – you just want the mixture to be heavily coated so it stays moist while it bakes). Add leftover pulled pork and toss until everything is combined. Add a splash or so of chicken stock to thin the sauce slightly, and cook for just a few minutes until the cabbage begins to wilt. Remove from heat.

Add cooked cauliflower florets to a food processor, along with sour cream, milk and salt to taste. Process until smooth. Add 1/4 cup of the cheese and process again. Taste and season with additional salt if needed. If you don’t have a food processor, you can easily mash by hand – it might not be as smooth, but you’ll still get the job done! 🙂

Add the pulled pork mixture to the prepared casserole dish, spreading out in an even layer. Top with the mashed cauliflower, spreading in an even layer over the pulled pork mixture. Top cauliflower with remaining cheese, you can even add more if you’d like.

Bake casserole, uncovered, until bubbling hot, 45 minutes to an hour. The cheese will be melted and starting to brown and the cauliflower with set like mashed potatoes. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes or so before plating. Serve garnished with chopped parsley or cilantro.


BBQ Macaroni Salad with Corn, Spinach and Scallions

21 08 2013

This BBQ macaroni salad is a great summer side dish that comes together quickly! I served it alongside grilled chicken brats for a speedy Sunday lunch with friends, but this side dish would compliment any grilled meat.

BBQ Macaroni Salad with Corn, Spinach and Scallions

BBQ Macaroni Salad with Corn, Spinach and Scallions

The following serves 6: (compliments of Cuisine Lite and This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1 and 1/2 cups dry whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 1 bag frozen corn kernels (about 2 cups)
  • Half bag of fresh spinach
  • 3/4 cup BBQ sauce (use whatever is your fav or whatever you have on hand)
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cook macaroni to al dente, according to package directions. Add the corn and spinach to the same pot 2 minutes before pasta is done cooking. Strain pasta, corn and spinach, reserving some of the pasta-cooking water.

Add the BBQ sauce and chili powder to the pot. Stir in some of the pasta water, a few Tablespoons. Next, stir in the macaroni, corn and spinach to combine with the BBQ mixture. If the sauce looks too thick, add some more of the pasta water to thin it out. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Top with scallions and serve. If making ahead of time, serve cold or at room temp….it’s a versatile side dish!

BBQ Chicken-Broccoli Pizza with Ricotta Cheese Sauce

7 12 2011

This is such a tasty BBQ chicken pizza recipe…and it’s easy to make! I like to serve this for dinner, but cut it up in bite-sized pieces and it would make a great appetizer too!

BBQ Chicken-Broccoli Pizza

Below is for 2 servings; two small Flat bread pizzas. If you’re cooking for more, just double or triple the ingredients:

  • 2 Flat bread
  • 1 cup part-skim Ricotta
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed (I used one large breast for 2 servings or leftover rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups broccoli or 3 cups broccoli rabe chopped
  • 1/4 cup purchased barbecue sauce (use whatever brand you like)
  • 1/2 cup red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Dried oregano, salt and red pepper flakes
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Cube the chicken breast and saute in 1 T. oil in a non stick skillet over medium-high heat. Toss in dried oregano, salt and red pepper flakes to taste (depending how spicy you like things will depend how much red pepper you add). Cook until brown, 4-5 minutes. Then add broccoli or broccoli rabe and 2- to 3 T. barbecue sauce and saute until wilted or cooked down a few minutes.

While the chicken is sauteing; stir Ricotta, 2 T. olive oil and salt to taste in a bowl and set aside. I cooked these on a pizza stone, but a baking/cookie sheet would work too.

Assemble your pizza spreading the Ricotta mixture on the Flat Bread first, followed by the cheese. Next add the sliced onion and then the chicken and broccoli mixture – dividing everything evenly between the two pizzas.

Bake until the crust is golden brown; 10 – 15 minutes. Just keep an eye on them to make sure the crust bakes and the cheese melts.

Before serving, finish with some chopped cilantro or parsley and the remaining barbecue sauce.