Thursday, March 28, 2013

Truly Healthy Shepherd's Pie

Truly Healthy Shepherds Pie

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Okay, maybe it's a couple weeks late, but whatever...  Darren and I love rich, fatty foods in the late winter.  However, being on the wedding DIET, we really needed to focus on eating healthy.  Looking at that big pile of buttery mashed potatoes over the meaty, gravy-y goodness (gravy-y??) made us really crave some shepherds pie!  It also made me sick to my stomach to think of the amount of calories!  This pie is rich and filling without being overly fattening.  I subbed out the mashed potatoes for a garlicky, rich cauliflower mash and I decided to toss out the gravy and sub in some tasty low fat cream soup.  It's still absolutely delicious and, for a substantial serving, it's only around 400 calories!  So indulge on, you Irish, not so Irish, and wish you were Irish!  Eat the Blarney out of it!!

Shepherds Pie with Cauliflower Mash

For the Mash:

1 Head fresh cauliflower (about a pound of the "meat"- not including the leafy part)
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp margarine or smart spread
1/4 c low fat milk
salt and pepper

For the Pie:

1 lb lean ground beef or ground turkey (I use turkey)
3 c fresh chopped veggies (whatever you like!  I take this opportunity to clean out my produce drawer.  Sugar snap peas, green beans, carrots, onion, celery, broccoli, even a bit of leftover cauliflower!)
1 can condensed low fat cream of "whatever" soup (I used celery, but you can pick mushroom, chicken, broccoli...)
1 tbsp dried thyme
salt and pepper

Cut the cauliflower away from the leafy greens.  Chop it up however you want, it'll all get blended up anyway.  Toss it into some boiling water and cook it until it's tender, about 5-7 minutes.  drain it and toss it in a blender.  Add the garlic powder, margarine, and milk.  Blend to desired texture.  season with salt and pepper. (Hint: if it's not blending well, add more milk then boil it off later)  Set the mash aside.  Don't feel bad if you eat half of it while you're waiting for the rest to be done, I know I wanted to!

In a large deep skillet, saute the ground meat until fully cooked.  Set that aside.  In the same skillet, cook the veggies on medium to low heat until tender.  Don't cook them all the way or they'll turn to mush during the baking process.  return the meat to the pan and add the cream of "whatever" soup.  Mix until well incorporated.  Add thyme and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  In a 9x9 glass baking dish or 9 inch round Corningware, spray a little bit of cooking spray.  Layer in the meat/veggie/cream/awesome then top it with whatever mash you didn't eat while you were waiting.  Place it in the oven and bake until the top is a little browned and the filling is bubbling, about 25 minutes.  Allow to cool a little and set up before serving.  Serves 4 as a one pot meal, serves 6 as a side dish.  


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