My 5PP Shepherd’s Pie

So, DH loves meat & potatoes.. who can blame him! I so sat down today with our traditional Shepherd’s Pie recipe today and broke it down to make it MyPP friendly. It came out amazing and makes HUGE portions!


My 5PP dinner!

My PP recipes will read like this in the ingredient list “Ingredient (total points plus score for that amount of ingredient)” so “1/4 cup nonfat sour cream (1)” means that there is one whole point in 1/4 cup fat free sour cream while “16 oz boneless skinless chicken breast (12)” means that whole pound has 12 points. This way, you can break it down with a lower point ingredient if you need to meet your daily allowance.



  • 2 large potatoes, approximately 1 pound after peeling, and cut into 2-inch pieces (11)
  • 1/4 cup nonfat sour cream (1)
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-calorie margarine (2)
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt (0)


the filling bubbling away

the filling bubbling away

  • 1/4 c water (0)
  • 1 cup onion, chopped (2)
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 cups frozen peas & carrots (0)
  • 16 oz boneless skinless chicken breast, diced small, or use a ground poultry (12)
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch (2)
  • Herbs to taste – Mrs. Dash, Tony’s, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, etc (0)
  • 2 cups chicken broth (0)


  1. Preheat oven to 400º F.
  2. Place potatoes in a large saucepan and pour in enough water to cover potatoes. Set pan over high heat and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes, until potatoes are fork-tender.
  3. Drain potatoes, transfer to a large bowl and add sour cream and margarine; mash until smooth, season to taste with salt & pepper.
  4. Set aside.
  5. Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup water in a large skillet over medium-high heat. This will replace 2 points of oil for sauteing!!!
  6. Add onions and celery. Cook until soft, stirring. About 3 minutes.
  7. Add vegetables and chicken. Cook until chicken is cooked through, breaking up the meat as it cooks, about 5 minutes.
  8. Add cornstarch, herbs, salt and pepper; stir to coat.
  9. Add broth and bring to a simmer; simmer until mixture thickens, about 3 minutes.
  10. Transfer filling mixture to a baking dish (small rectangular or pie plate). I used an 11″ x 7″ Pyrex glass baking dish.
  11. Spread mashed potatoes over top and using the back of a spoon, make decorative swirls over the top.
  12. Bake until potatoes are golden, about 30 minutes.
  13. Divide into 6 servings and serve with a salad!

HOT & fresh out of the oven!

My PP Break down:

  • Approximate recipe points (30)
  • Approximate PP per serving (5)

Gluten Free Tamale Pie


This seems like a lot of work, but it’s worth it! I used this recipe years ago and I haven’t made tamale pie since. Why not? I don’t know. I love it! I think we just got in a food rut and I forgot.

This time I’ve adapted this to gluten free from “Authentic Mexican Tamale Pie”  By Galley Wench on I didn’t change the recipe much. I omitted beer (though there are now GF options!) and searched high and low for all other ingredients to be GF.  I’ll let you know how the GF version tastes, I’m making it tomorrow with some other AWESOME gluten free framily! (No, I’m not on Sprint, but these people are too awesome to just be friends! So I stole it! :p )

It starts as a spicy Mexican chili you can serve with corn tortillas or use for the tamale filling.

Chili Filling Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef, lean
  • 1/2 lb lean pork sausage
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans
  • 1 large fresh poblano pepper, diced
  • 1 medium diced onion
  • 2 garlic cloves (pressed)
  • *1 chipotle chile, in adobo seasoning, seeded & diced (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon ground ancho chili (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa (I use Hershey’s Dark cocoa)
  • 12 ounces beer, dark (or broth, as needed)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • 1 lime, juiced

*I went with San Marcos brand chipotle peppers. The label is chipotle peppers, tomato puree, onions, vinegar, canola oil, sugar, salts, paprika, and garlic. Sounds safe?

 Tamale Dough Ingredients

  • 8 -10 dried corn husks (optional)
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 3 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 cup canned low sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 3/4 cups packed coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • Cilantro Cream (Just process ¼-1/2 cup cilantro, 1cup sour cream, and the juice of one lime.)
  • sour cream
  • cilantro
  • simple side salad

Chili Filling Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a large pot brown ground beef, sausage, onion and garlic, breaking meat into small pieces. Drain of excess grease.
  3. Add poblano pepper and cook for about 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, 1 cup beer/broth and one can of black beans.
  5. Add ground cumin, chili powders, chipoltes, adobe sauce, oregano, and cocoa.
  6. Bring to a boil, cover and turn down to a simmer and cook for 35 – 45 minutes, adding more beer/broth as needed (keep in mind that the mashed black beans will be added as a thickener).
  7. Drain the remaining can of beans and lightly mash.
  8. To thicken, add the crushed black beans and adjust spices and liquid as needed.

NOTE: YOU CAN PRE-COOK THIS TO THIS POINT! STOP AND CHILL!! Just start at step 9 tomorrow or the next day when you are ready!

  1. Bring to a simmer again for 5 minutes.
  2. Squeeze in juice of one lime before serving as mexican chili or using as chili filling.

 Tamale Dough Directions

  1. If using corn husk, place in zip lock bag with warm water and soak until soft, at least2 hours.
  2. Char chilies directly over gas flame or under broiler until blackened on all sides. Place in medium bowls, cover tightly with plastic. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel, seed and chop chilies, set aside.
  3. In food processor, blend Masa Harina, butter, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt until coarse meal forms.
  4. Add broth slowly blend until mixture is crumbly.
  5. Transfer masa mixture to large bowl.
  6. In food processor blend 2 1/2 cups corn, 1 cup cheese, baking powder, black pepper and 1 1/4 teaspoon salt until coarse puree forms.
  7. Stir puree and the rest of the corn into masa mixture until blended.


  1. If using corn husk; Remove from water, pat dry and line 9 x 11 shallow dish, overlapping to avoid leakage.
  2. Spray corn husk or baking dish (if not using husk).
  3. Spread half of cornmeal mixture on the husk or bottom of the dish.
  4. Spread warm chili on top of the cornmeal.
  5. Sprinkle green chilies on top of the chili.
  6. Evenly spread the remaining cornmeal mixture on top.
  7. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
  8. Loosely cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  9. Remove foil and return to oven and bake additional 25 minutes or until the cornmeal is firm and the chili bubbly.
  10. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes.
  11. Serve with garnishes.

Crockpot Potato Soup


  • 3 lbs shredded or diced frozen potatoes (thawed), or fresh peeled & diced. (Divide this into 2lbs and 1 lb.)
  • 1 16 oz bag frozen cauliflower, thawed & chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 1 large shredded carrot
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 lb diced extra-lean ham
  • 1-2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock (enough to cover, +/- more/less to desired consistency)
  • 1/2-1 cup flour (gluten free flour mixes work GREAT but you may have to simmer them longer to achieve a creamy texture)
  • 1/4 oil or butter
  • 2 cups half & half
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • seasonings to taste (salt, seasoning blends, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and/or herbs de provence are all good add in options)


  1. In crock pot combine 2 lbs potatoes, cauliflower, celery, onion, carrots, garlic, & ham.
  2. Add broth to cover by 1″ and cook on low 6-8 hours; It can remain on low afterwards until you are ready for step 3.
  3. In a nonstick skillet on stove combine butter/oil and enough flour to make a thin paste. Cook on medium-low for approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Whisk in half & half until completely combined then add parsley & black pepper. 
  5. Add to crock and season to taste.
  6. Stir in additional 1lb of potatoes.
  7. Allow to cook on high for another 30-60 minutes to thicken.
  8. When potatoes are cooked, stir in cheese and add broth until desired consistency.
  9. Allow to warm through again and serve.
  • If cooking on stove top, process remains the same but time is lowered to 1-2 hours in step 2 and 15-30 minutes in step 7.
  • If using gluten free flours an additional 1 hour simmer may be needed due to the texture of the grains.
  • The add in of the 3rd lb of potatoes is to add texture and the first 2 will cook down to a creamy consistency. If you prefer more texture you can divide 1lb for step 1 and 2lbs for step 6.
  • Never allow the mixture to boil after adding cheese and half & half. It won’t spoil the soup but it will spoil the look as it will separate.
  • The cauliflower is optional but is a great way to hide it from your kids.
  • This can also be created with chopped broccoli used in place of all or half oft he potatoes.

    Until later! Anne Marie

    What-a-burger Wednesday – Italian Beef & Pasta

    My darling husband is somewhat against tomato based sauces. This has effectively ended my go to meal- spaghetti.  He’ll eat it red sauces, but he doesn;t enjoy them. So, what’s the point?

    On another hand I have a friend in TN that is pregnant with twins, and tomato sauce just isn’t appealing to her right now. So I asked for some ideas. Her mom had done this a few days ago, and I’m sure I didn;t do it quite right, but it came out good.


    • 1 cup frozenseasoning blend
    • 2-3 garlic cloves, or 1 heaping teaspoon of minced garlic
    • splash of olive oil
    • 1 lb lean ground beef or turkey
    • 1/2 tsp Original Mrs. Dash seasoning
    • 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
    • 1/4 tsp dried basil*
    • 1/4 tsp dried thyme*
    • another splash of olive oil
    • salt & pepper to taste
    • 1 lb whole grain pasta in your choice of shape. I used spaghetti.
    • 4 beef bouillon cubes


    1. Saute frozen seasoning blend and garlic in olive oil for a few minutes.
    2. Add in ground meat & brown breaking into small pieces.
    3. Drain any fat from meat if necessary and return to pot.
    4. Add dried herbs and.another splash of olive oil.
    5. Stir well to distribute herbs and oil.
    6. Cover and reduce heat to low
    7. Meanwhile prepare a pot of water for boiling pasta, add boullion cubes and 1tsp of salt.
    8. When boiling add pasta (breaking if you prefer) and cook until al dente, as per package directions.
    9. Do not pour pasta cooking broth out, but drain pasta by using a slotted pasta spoon and add to meat mixture.
    10. Toss to combine, adding a few ladles of pasta cooking broth to add moisture.
    11. Serve with garlic bread and if you prefer add more broth to individual bowls.

    Carbs & Protein… perfect comfort food!!

    Even Mr. Picky loved this and Kaelyn ate two servings. I also meant to add some peas into the dish and forgot.. NEXT TIME!!

    *Note: If you use fresh instead of dried herbs, use 3-4x more and add them at the end of thge cooking process.