Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Farmer's Market Coleslaw

Radishes Squared - Colored Pencil drawing by Nicole Caulfield

What happens when you go to the farmer's market to get radishes for a drawing? You get cabbage too and make coleslaw! These radishes and the baby cabbage I got at the Brattelboro Farmer's Market in Vermont are so yummy it is ridiculous. The radishes are Easter Egg Radishes and come in 4 pretty colors. 

2 cups shredded cabbage
10 radishes cut into thin slices
1 small container of chobani plain yougurt
1 tbs mayonaisse
1 tsp Splenda (or your choice of sweetener)
salt & pepper

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Spinach Chickpea Salad

I don't know about where you live but we just had some really HOT days! & here in New Hampshire most people do not have air conditioning! My hubby came home from work the one day and I directed him straight to the freezer of Mealpods. There was no way I was going to cook!

Its cooler again but still perfect for refrigerator salad meals. This is a Spinach Basil Chickpea Salad adapted from the Mediterranean Chickpea Salad on My Recipes. Yum. This recipe makes about 4 servings so double it if you want leftovers in the refrigerator for the week.

1 15 oz can chickpeas drained and rinsed well
1 handful (about 1 cup loosely packed) fresh basil leaves chopped small 
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic minced
lemon zest of 1/2 a lemon
 4 oz mozzarella cheese cubed

2 cups cherry tomatoes quartered
1/2 bag baby spinach
salt & pepper
2 tbs fresh lemon juice

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl to marinate at room temperature. 
2. Add in last four ingredients. Cut the sinach if you like or serve the chickpea mixture on top. 
3. Refrigerate covered. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Father's Day Freezer Fill!

I have to admit that my freezer of Mealpods was down to the weird things... the recipes that weren't winners or that just were better fresh. So for part of my father's day present I emptied the frezzer and filled it with 3 recipes (48 pods total) that my husband loves.

Can't Fail Gluten-free Penne Pasta with Zucchini and Peppers

This is a no brainer recipe:

2 boxes gluten-free penne noodles
5 zucchini cut into thick chunks
1 cup diced sweet peppers
garlic powder
Italian Seasoning
1 tbs olive oil
1.25 lbs 90% lean ground beef (or other of your choice)
2 jars of the best marinara you can buy

The trick to this recipe is having the ratio of veggies to noodles high on the veggies.
I used 2 boxes of gluten-free penne pasta noodles and made a sauce with my favorite jarred marinara sauce. It is a local (boston) sauce company called Strega. I buy their marinara sauce at my local grocery store and I just love it. It is not an organic product but the ingredients are real foods. I actually love their ingredient label:

Italian peeled tomatoes, tomato puree, fresh basil, citric acid, sea salt, fresh garlic, extra virgin olive oil, crushed red pepper, love, respect.

Okay so to two jars of Strega Marinara I browned about a pound - a pound and a quarter of 90% lean ground beef. I also chopped up some big chunks of zucchini and peppers. I wanted the veggies to be really high in ratio to the meat and pasta so I bought a big bag of zucchini. I just cooked them for a little bit in some olive oil keeping them still crispy and added it and the meat to the sauce. Yum. I seasoned the zucchini and the sauce with some garlic powder and Italian seasoning.

I also made some meatlof cupcakes (how could I resist) which I posted before. Here's the link to the recipe which is a bit different than other meat cupcakes because there are folded egg whites in it as well as baking powder.

& my husband's all time favorite Mealpod and one that he made up himself Honey Curry Chicken with Brown Rice and Carrots. Here's the link to that recipe. Not the prettiest photo and I now make it with way more carrots and less rice to keep the ratios better.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Summertime Hours

Sorry for the lack of posts. It is the end of school here in New Hampshire and as a teacher and Mom it gets kind of crazy. I did take pics of a couple of things and will post soon! Sis is busy busy with summer activities already but I'll try and get her to post too.

I am thinking that for the summer our goal will be once a week posts.

For now I will leave you with a colored pencil drawing I just finished: "Berries Squared." :-) Off to fill up the freezer with my husband's favorite meals for Father's Daywhich I have posted before. Maybe I'll share them with you again if I have time to photograph while I cook.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Broccoli Chicken Salad

This recipe is from 2 sources. 

One this amazing looking broccoli salad I found on Pinterest made by Eatyourselfskinny.com  http://www.eat-yourself-skinny.com/2011/03/sweet-broccoli-salad.html

The other inspiration was my sister's chicken salad recipe my Mom, Aunt and I kept on making Sis make for us. We even made her make it in our hotel room in Hawaii a couple of years back. :-)

Okay in my recipe - mix together in no certain order:

cold cubed cooked chicken breast
broccoli floret (just the tree top part)
red grapes
chopped walnuts
red onions
your choice mayonaisse or greek yogurt or coleslaw sauce
1 tbs splenda sugar replacement 
a teensy bit of cumin

You may notice I did not include any amounts. That is because I was so darn hungry I just winged it by sight. I tried to have more broccoli than anything else and I used only a little bit of mayo. I suggest adding it a tbs at a time until you like the looks of it. I like mine pretty dray as you can see. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Easy Kielbasa Skillet

Easy Kielbasa Skillet
Prep Time: 10 min                
Cook Time: 20 minutes            
Yield: 6


14 oz kielbasa, sliced into rounds
1 lb mini red potatoes, sliced into wedges
1 medium onion, cut into half moons
½ cup chicken broth
2 tbsp coconut oil


Precook potatoes in oven or microwave until soft, but not mushy.

Slice kielbasa into small discs and brown in skillet, then remove.

While kielbasa is cooking, slice potatoes into wedges and onion into half moons. 

Add coconut oil and heat, then add potatoes and onions and brown until they are slightly crisp. 

Add kielbasa back to skillet, then pour broth over everything and simmer for 20 minutes

Allow to cool, then portion for freezing.

Nutrition:  305 calories, 23g fat, 631g sodium, 15G carb, 2g fiber, 10g protein

nutrition information estimated at Livestrong.com:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mini Zucchini Meatloaves

So, I disappeared for awhile, my guess is that no one really noticed.  My sister likes to pretend it matters, though.  My daughter's activity schedule has gotten just a bit out of control and my evenings are no longer my own.  My work filter does not allow for posting on blogger, except during a 1 hour window at lunch, which lately has not been used much for lunch.  All of a sudden, every part of my life has been busier!

This is, of course, exactly what mealpods are perfect for.  Just because I have been super busy, does not mean that I have been eating badly.  I try and keep at least one week, if not two weeks of lunches frozen as mealpods, so I am covered in cases of circumstances that don't allow for my usual Sunday cooking schedule.

So, almost three weeks ago, I made a bunch of mini zucchini meatloaves and I've been enjoying them greatly.

Mini Zucchini Meatloaves
Prep Time: 10 min                
Cook Time: 45 minutes             
Yield: 4


16 oz ground beef
1 cup zucchini, grated
¼ cup onion, grated
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped finely
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped finely
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
¼ cup feta cheese
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper


Preheat oven to 350˚

Shred the zucchini and grate the Parmesan cheese and onion before starting to mix the beef.

Mix all ingredients in a bowl being sure everything is distributed evenly.

Portion into mini loaf pans and cook for 45 minutes. 

Allow to cool, then portion for freezing.

Nutrition: 356 calories, 20g fat, 813g sodium, 5G carb, 2g fiber, 39g protein

nutrition information estimated at Livestrong.com:

Friday, May 18, 2012

Lunch Roundup #12

This week's lunch Whole Spelt Pretzels, cheese stick,
hard boiled egg, snap peas, pineapple, chocolate 

Daughter # 2 wanted pretzels this week, so I took it as an opportunity to try them with Whole Spelt Flour. Spelt is not gluten-free but has much lower amounts  of it. It works well in some recipes but not so well in others as the lower gluten content changes the composition. 

I used the same pretzel recipe as before and just replaced the whole wheat flour with whole spelt flour. They turned out good, but a bit breadier or puffier than the whole wheat ones - a bit closer to pretzel bread rather than pretzel. I actually made both and the family seemed to like the spelt ones better as the bag emptied first. 

Whole Spelt Pretzels

3 cups whole spelt flour (more if needed)
1 package fast rise yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cup very warm water (125 to 130 degrees F)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon honey
4 tbs baking soda
egg yolk, slightly beaten
coarse salt 

1. In a stand mixer or food processor combine 2 cups flour, package of yeat, and salt. Mix and set aside. 
2. In a medium bowl add warmed water, and oil. 
3. Pour liquid into the flour mixture, plus add the honey. Mix well. 
4. Add remaining flour to turn into a dough - you may need to add more if sticky.
5. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for 5 minutes. 
6. Let sit in a large oiled bowl, covered,  for 10 minutes to rise. 

7. In a large pot or large skillet fill with 3 inches water plus baking soda. Bring to a boil.

8. Punch down the dough and divide into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a long snake (coil) about 10-12  inches long and wrap into a pretzel shape. Press the ends into the dough. 

9. Plop each pretzel into the boiling soda water for 30 seconds. Remove with a large slotted spoon and place on a well greased cookie sheet. 
10. Combine an egg white with a tbs of water and whip. 
11. Brush pretzels with egg yolk and sprinkle with salt. 
12. Bake at 400 degrees until Dark brown (like a pretzel). 

Make sure you let them cool all the way before storing. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Crab and Spinach Egg Muffins

My husband brought me a vintage Betty Crocker cookbook called Dinner in a Dish circa 1965. In it is a recipe that combines a cream sauce with crab, veggies, egg and the spice mace. Mace is like a strong nutmeg. I thought the flavor would go really nicely with the sweet crab and an egg quiche instead of a dripping cream sauce that won't freeze well. 

I just love the cover and the graphics inside. I may have to spend my garage saling this summer looking for old cookbooks.

Crab and Spinach Egg Muffins

1/2 cup millet
1 tbs butter
8 oz fresh spinach cut into small strips. 
1/2 onion diced
4 eggs
1/4 cup light cream (or add 1/4 cup milk)
1 cup milk
1 tsp orange zest
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice 
1 tsp mace

1. Cook your millet by dropping it in 1 1/2 cups boiling water. Turn down the heat to simmer for 30 - 40 mintues or until the water is soaked up by the grain. 

2. In a large pot add butter and melt on medium heat. Add in chopped onions and cook for 2 minutes. Add in spinach and wilt. Set aside. 

3. In a large bowl add 4 eggs, milk, cream, orange juice and mix with an electric mixer. Add in mace, zest, millet, sinach mixture, and chopped up cooked crab meat. 

4. Scoop into a heavily greased muffin pan - the cups almost full. 

5. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Vending Machine - Art

Instead of a lunch roundup this week I'll share my new piece of art. If only the grocery stores had healthy foods in the vending machines? the kids would ignore them and the adults would be scrounging for quarters.

8" x 10" Colored Pencil on Board

Monday, May 7, 2012

Zombie 5k Boston 2012

I did not cook any Mealpods this weekend, the freezer was full and I was... being chased by zombies. 

My friend and I ran the Boston area Run For Your Lives Zombie 5K. It had rained the day before so the track was muddier than I think they meant for it to be. The run started with a park ski hill: the runners had to climb up the foggy hill but the Zombies were brought up on the conveyor belt. I guess that is only fair. You can see me in the middle in red and my friend just behind me. 

We don't really have any pictures from the race except for the first foggy one because the whole course was on top of the hill - in a field and then in the woods - and spectators could not watch. Amazingly there were quite a few people with those waterproof headcams on during the race and I found a good video on YouTube. It was so muddy most people came in over an hour for the 5K because you had to shuffle through the slippery mud for a good portion of the race.

Youtube video by stealthbaz

My favorite parts of the race was the field at the beginning where you had to try and sprint past the zombies. When it was too muddy you were more afraid of losing a shoe than a flag. If you are not familiar with the Runforyourlives race, you get a flag belt with 3 flags and you have to run through the 5K obstacle course and past zombies. The zombies try to get your flags and if you make it to the end with at last one flag - you have survived and get bragging rights. I died... so I am officially part of the undead. I did enjoy trying to block my friend's flags after I lost all of mine and stare down the zombies. It didn't last that long though before I couldn't wedge my body between a rather aggressive zombie who ignored my undead self. I must have stunk of decay already and did not smell like food. 

The race is going to be in a bunch of other cities as well. If you would like to do it but are nervous about some of the obstacles I would encourage you to go anyway. You can go around any you would like to and no one really cares. 



After (after a little cleanup)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Lunch Roundup #11

This week's lunch: Concha Roll, Grilled Chicken, Snap Peas, Strawberries and Pineapple. 

Okay this might not be the most nutritious lunch. I made Mexican Concha rolls for my art class for Cinco de Mayo so I had to make them for my kids as well. Conchas are a sweet bread roll (like Portuguese bread) but topped with a sugar/flour/butter mixture. When we used to go to Mexico when I was younger, (& lived in Arizona) these rolls were in all the bakeries we went to. The bread is light and fluffy and the topping sugary and crumbly. They are called conchas because the designs bakers put on them resemble seashells. They use a metal stamp to stamp the design into the dough. I of course did not have one of these tools so I ended up using an apple slicer/corer which made more of a sun design on top of the rolls. The crumbly dough should have covered the whole roll, but the recipe I used did not make enough, so I had to skimp on each one. Oh well. 

Here's a tiny history of the conchas rolls also called Pan Dulce. Apparently the tradition of baking sweet breads was kept from the French Conquerors who were the very ones fought in the Battle on May 5th 1862. 

from food.com. I followed it exactly, but I would make extra of the topping. I ran out and it is better to have too much than too little. It calls for scalded milk which I had never needed before so I looked it up and you just have to heat up your milk right to the tip of boiling on med/med high heat while stirring constantly. The recipe says to let it cool which I took as just a couple of minutes in the fridge to get the high heat out of it. It was still warm when I used it. The recipe takes 3 hours total but it is not hard: the rolls just need to rise twice. 

I also watched some videos including this one that really showed the texture needed on the cookie topping. It also shows the stamps they use for the designs, but like I said, I used an apple slicer and it worked pretty well! 

I would have like to add some tortillas into their lunch to eat the chicken in, but I felt like the extra large sweet bread roll took up the whole grain percentage (and then some) of the meal. 

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Marinated Steak Tacos - Cinco de Mayo

It is Cinco de Mayo Friday so we are having Mexican food week. I actually do a unit on Mexico at school with my fourth grade art class and at the end we celebrate Cinco de Mayo by making our own tortillas in class. I can't wait for that tomorrow (I don't work on Fridays so we have to do it early). I put a link below to how to make your own tortillas too because once you make them yourself you will never want store bought ones again. 

At home, I could eat Mexican food every day. I really wanted to make my own tamales but I could not find any local corn husks, so I will have to do that another time and order the corn husks online. There are not many Mexican markets in New Hampshire!  I decided to make a marinated steak taco instead. The recipe is from this Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publications   - simply titled Mexican. I think this might be the same one on Amazon but the cover is different. It is FULL of great authentic Mexican recipes and little facts. I have been drooling over it for months and it was past time to try something from it. This recipe calls for flank steak, which is not my favorite, so I opted for a round steak that was sliced thin. You can use either. 

Marinated Steak Tacos 

  • 2 pounds thinly sliced steak round or skirt/flank steak
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tbs canola oil
  • 2 ts chilli powder
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 12 corn homemade tortillas

1. Trim fat from meat. Make sure your meat is extra thin (about 1/4" thick) and tenderize with a meat cleaver  until it is. 
2. Cut the meat into thin strips (about 2 inches wide) and put into a gallon sized ziploc bag. 
3. In a medium sized bowl combine the rest of the ingredients for the marinade: lime juice, canola oil, chili powder, minced garlic, and salt. Pour over the steak in the bag, zip it shut, and make sure the marinade coats all the meat. 
4. Place the bag in the fridge for 60-90 minutes.
5. Grill the meat over a charcoal grill or an electric indoor grill (like I did). 

Enjoy in a homeade corn tortilla (Mealpod Recipe), with Mexican Rice, Roasted Corn, and a little sour cream. 

I actually cheated on my Mexican rice since I was already making tortillas and the steak (you can't make everything the right way), by combining 2 cups rice cooked in a rice cooker, a half a jar of my favorite salsa - Green Mountain Salsa - and a bit of garlic to lessen the acidity of the salsa. It comes out mooshy instead of fluffy like when you do Mexican rice the right way, but it works! Check out the ingredients on the Green Mountain Salsa: 

INGREDIENTS: Ripe Tomatoes, Fresh Onions, Fresh Tomatillos, Fresh Pasilla Peppers, Fresh JalapeƱo Peppers, Fresh Cilantro, Apple Cider Vinegar, Fresh Parsley, Fresh Garlic, Sea Salt, Spices
ALL OF OUR PRODUCTS ARE: All Natural, No Preservatives or artificial colors or flavors. Gluten Free, Cholesterol Free, No GMO's (Genetically modified produce).
That is what a food label should look like! This stuff TASTES AMAZING too  and they actually sell it online by the case, which my Mom did buy one year and passed it out to her friends back home. 

To make the tacos into a frozen Mealpod (after devouring several fresh) I mixed the rice and corn together and put it in the bottom of a Mealpod foil packet (simply a sheet of heavy duty foil) and placed two strips of steak on top. 

Other Mealpod recipes celebrating Mexican food:

Friday, April 27, 2012

Lunch Roundup #10

Pretzel-dog carrots, string cheese, strawberries and watermelon. 

Lunch Roundup # 10! For people new to our blog, and especially our new Paleo followers, this blog is written by my sister Melissa and I. Melissa is the Paleo poster, and while I try to not eat to eat too many grains in a week/day, my family and I don't follow Paleo. I will often make Paleo like meals and gluten-free ones mainly because I think the American diet has too many excuses to eat breads and grains, but my school lunch roundup usually has some sort of whole grain in it. 

I had to try my hand at making real pretzels (instead of breadsticks that resemble pretzels like last time). The difference is just boiling them for 30 seconds in water and baking soda, which seemed scarier than it ended up being. For the lunches I wrapped the dough around chicken sausage to make pretzel-dogs and with the rest of the dough I experimented with different shapes and sizes of pretzels. 

There are so many recipes on the web for pretzels to choose from. I used this recipe  from cdkitchen  that uses half whole wheat flour, and a bit of honey and they turned out great. 

For the dogs I used the recipe above (because I wanted a whole wheat recipe) but followed the directions on Joy The Baker for how to wrap the sausages. I started with cutting my sausage in half and rolling a long snake of dough around the sausage making sure that the seams get pressed closed. Take a look at Joy the Baker's post to see how that is done.  Getting it water tight is important because after you put the dough on them, they will need to be boiled for 30 seconds in a bath of water and baking soda. I used a large skillet filled with water as high as it could go without spilling when boiled, and added 4 tbs baking soda. Then I put the wrapped dog in the boiling water for 30 seconds on each side since it was not fully immersed. 

After boiling them, place them on a greased cookie sheet and brush them with egg yolk and water. Sprinkle with salt. Bake at 400 until they get a nice dark pretzel color. You will be tempted to take them out early - but don't! Wait until they LOOK like a pretzel! Believe me I took way too many out too soon including the one in the photo. The ones where I forgot about them in the oven (oops) turned out the best!

The pretzel dogs have about 200 calories, 2 g fiber,3 g fat from my estimation on Livestrong.com 

We did make plain pretzels too for a snack and I will be doing them again soon with some spelt flour expeiments!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Deviled Chicken Salad

Behold!  The mealpod in it's natural habitat!   Most of my lunches are eaten at my desk, in front of my computer, during the hour that our filter is turned off.   Today lunchtime caught me perusing one of my favorite Paleo recipe websites, Chowstalker!

This is one of my all time favorite Paleo recipes.  Combining egg salad and chicken salad makes it packed with protein and fairly low calorie.  If I wasn’t so lazy I would totally make my own mayonnaise. It’s supposed to be easy, but it is totally one of those things that scares me.  I usually eat it right from the container, at my desk, at lunchtime, but I have been known to occasionally eat it with gluten-free crackers or in a carved out tomato or green pepper.  That probably would make a gorgeous photo.  I should do that some day. 
Deviled Chicken Salad
Prep Time: 10 min               
Cook Time: 0 minutes            
Yield: 6


12 oz chicken breast, cooked and cubed
3 hardboiled egg, chopped
1 cup celery, finely chopped
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 bunch green onion, diced fine
salt & fresh ground pepper


·         Cube chicken and put in mixing bowl

·         Mix in chopped egg, celery and green onions

·         Fold in mayonnaise and mustard, mix gently until well distributed

·         Add salt and pepper to taste.

Portion 1 cup per mealpod and store in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

 6 PODs: 216 calories, 8g fat, 201g sodium, 3.5G carb, 0g fiber, 10g protein

nutrition information estimated at Livestrong.com:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chicken Drumstick Vesuvio

Like a lot of households, things have been kind of lean around here.  Gas and grocery costs seem to keep going up, but nothing new is coming in.  One thing I love about chicken drumsticks is they are CHEAP, but they are also easy to make and easy to eat.  If you grow your own herbs like my sister Nicole, it's even cheaper. This recipe freezes well and reheats even better, the freezing / reheating process seems to make the herbs really sink in.
 Chicken Drumstick Vesuvio

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 60 minutes            
Yield: 8


8 chicken drumsticks
4 average sized potatoes, cut into wedges
1 cup fresh green beans
1 tbsp fresh oregano
½ tsp sage
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup chicken broth
2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced


·         Preheat oven to 375

·         Cut potatoes into wedges

·         Place drumsticks, potato wedges and green beans into a 9 x 13 dish

·         Sprinkle with oregano, sage, salt & pepper

·         Drizzle with melted oil

·         Bake 30 minutes, stirring once, be sure to flip each drumstick

·         Sprinkle with garlic and chicken broth and continue baking another 30 minutes

Once cool, garnish with parsley and store as mealpods

Nutrition: 8 PODS 235 calories, 13g fat, 231g sodium, 16G carb, 2g fiber, 15g protein

nutrition information estimated at Livestrong.com:

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mini Sweet Potato & Beef Shepherd's Pies

Mini Sweet Potato & Beef Shepherd's Pies
My First Shepherd's Pie

I have wanted to try shepherd's pie for a while, so I went with the big guns and started with Gordon Ramsey's recipe and then made some little variations like adding peas along with carrots, and using sweet potatoes on top (minus the butter and cream). I actually did half the recipe with yukon potatoes for the kids, but I don't think they are going to like this recipe... toO much wine flavor, which was really yummy for me, but not for them. I am going to have to make a very dumbed down version for them next time if I want them to eat it... sigh.  

Since I made both white potato topped pies and sweet potatoed tops I could compare them. I found that I enjoyed the sweet potato ones so much more.  The sweet flavor went so well with the wine and onions. Also because sweet potatoes mash creamy without any additions (as well as have a bold taste), I didn't find I needed to add butter or cream. I don't do well with super rich foods so, yay, and it keeps the calories lower per serving. 

Mini Sweet Potato & Beef Shepherd's Pies Recipe

·  2 lb Ground Beef 93/07
·  1 cup Red Wine, Alcohol Will Be  Cooked Off
·  1 medium Onion, Sweet, shredded
·  1 cup Carrots Shredded
·  1 cup Green Peas (frozen, rinsed and drained)
·  2 tbsp Thick Classice Worcestershire Sauce
·  3 cloves Garlic Clove
·  1 1/2 tbsp Tomatoes Paste
·  2 tsp Thyme, Fresh·  1/2 cup chicken broth
·  6 medium or Sweet Potatoes/yams

1. Peel and boil potatoes until soft. Mash the sweet potatoes with a hand mixer until there are no lumps. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. 

2. Brown the ground beef over medium heat. Drain.

3. Mince/shred your onion using a grater on your food processor or just cut really small. Add to the ground beef along with garlic, thyme, shredded carrots (storebought), frozen peas rinsed and drained. Let cook for a couple of minutes.

4. Add red wine and let cook off. 

5. Add 1/2 cup - 1 cup chicken broth and let simmer until thickened. 

6. Add salt & pepper to taste and Hungarian Paprika for color. 

7. You can either spoon the entire mixture of meat into a casserole dish and then top with the mashed sweet potatoes, or you can use little ramekins. Mine hold about one cup total and I have 5 of them, so I made 5 individual pies, and then ut the rest in a casserole dish. You can either spoon the potatoes on or use a cookie press and squirt it on with a star tip like I did. I had JUST enough potatoes... shew! 

8. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. If the potatoes are not starting to get a little stiff and browned, switch to broil at the end. The sweet potatoes seem to take longer to brown than white potatoes. 

14 servings – about a cup of food – 166 calories, 4.5g fat, 2.4g fiber, 14.9g protein 

I love these little ceramic ramekins my Mom bought me. They hold almost one cup of "stuff" and have lids for easy storage. I found some similar ones on Amazon, Good Cook Ceramic Set Of 2 4 Ounce Ramekins, Red, but my Mom got mine at Marshall's. 

The five ramekins are for lunches - oops I mean 4 (I ate one) and the rest from the big casserole dish will be put into foil Mealpod packets and frozen.