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Healthy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

I’ve been pretty lucky in my life when it comes to traveling.  I’ve been to three different continents.  I’ve visited dozens of countries.  I’ve been able to see some pretty amazing things.  One of the things I love the most about traveling is sampling the local food.  Sometimes it can be dreadful (e.g. Meat Pies covered in Green Pea Soup from a Street Truck at 2am in Australia – of course, I did eat these after many hours of enjoying some adult beverages… but I digress).  On the other hand, it can also be delicious!

Shepherd's PieMany years ago, in a lifetime that is thankfully far, far away (when I had an active license to practice law in the State of Arizona), I traveled to a tiny town called Dingle, located stunningly on the Dingle Peninsula in southwestern Ireland.  While at dinner, I asked the server what was the best thing on the menu and she answered quickly and unequivocally: the Shepherd’s Pie.  No clue what that was (although, I really hoped it wasn’t made from actual shepherds…) but I ordered it nonetheless.  (I did, after ordering, check to see what the description was I will admit.  After mistakenly ordering “Blood Sausage” in London the week before without reading, I wanted to avoid another horrendously bad meal!)

While it was wonderful to eat, it was also wonderfully unhealthy.  So, after much searching, testing, and modifying, I have finally reached a healthy-ish recipe for Shepherd’s Pie.  I know my recipe could be healthier, but I try to strike a balance between healthy and tasty.  Sometimes, you have to sacrifice a bit here and there.

Healthy Shepherd's Pie CookingIngredients:

  • 1-1.5 pounds ground beef (or turkey to make it healthier) – as you can see from the picture, my Costco carries organic ground beef (with an 85/15 split) that is antibiotic and growth hormone free.  I’d prefer grass-fed but they didn’t have it.
  • 2-3 Potatoes, chopped/cubed
  • 0.5-1 chopped Onion (white or yellow)
  • 1 head of Cauliflower, chopped
  • 2-3 cups of Carrots (chopped or sliced)
  • Frozen Peas (at least 1 cup, but I prefer much more)
  • 2-5 minced cloves of Garlic (if desired)
  • 0.5-1 cup Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2-4 tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 2-4 tablespoons of any “steak sauce” (I used A1 this time.)
  • Garlic powder, Onion powder, Pepper, and other seasonings to taste
  • Milk (about 1 cup, but to taste and consistency)
  • Butter (about 2-4 tablespoons, but to taste and consistency)
  • Sour Cream (about 1-2 tablespoons, but to taste and consistency)
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese (if desired)

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  While oven is heating, brown meat.

2.  While meat is cooking, saute garlic, carrots, and onions about eight minutes.  (To make this easier, you can just add some garlic powder to the onion and carrot mixture.  I do this and it tastes great.)

Healthy Shepherd's Pie3.  While the (a) meat and (b) carrot/onion mixture are cooking, boil the chopped cauliflower and potatoes until both are soft enough to pierce with a fork and not stay on the fork.  This will take about 12-15 minutes.  Once done, drain and set aside.

4.  When the meat is fully browned, remove from heat and drain.  The more you allow this to drain, the more melted fat will drip down the drain.  No surprise, but I let mine sit for a while!

5.  Once the onions and carrots are of a desired tenderness (less cooked will yield “crunchier” carrots while more cooked will yield softer carrots), add the drained beef, along with the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, steak sauce, frozen peas, garlic and onion powders (if desired), pepper (if desired), and any other spices (if desired).  Stir until mixed and cook over medium heat for 2-4 minutes.

Eating Healthy Spices6.  While the beef mixture is cooking, return drained potato/cauliflower mixture to pot and add milk, butter, sour cream, garlic and onion powders (to taste), and pepper and salt (to taste) then mash or beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth.

7.  Once potato/cauliflower mixture is of desired texture, spoon beef mixture into a medium to large casserole baking dish and spread evenly.  Then, spoon potato/cauliflower mixture on top and carefully spread evenly but avoid mixing with beef mixture.

8.  Then, bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until heated thoroughly.  If desired, you can sprinkle some shredded cheddar cheese on the dish about halfway through the baking.

Serve and enjoy!

Healthy Eating

One DE-lish Dish!

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