Shepherd's Pie is one of my personal favorite comfort foods. It's all in one dish and has everything you could possibly ask for: meat, potatoes and veggies. It's hearty, delicious and usually very fattening. The carb overload gets its own evil side eye for helping add on winter pounds. For my #WellnessWednesday series, I couldn't help myself from recreating this recipe with healthier options making it lighter to eat, more nutritious but still just as comforting.
The trick I found to lightening comfort recipes is swapping ingredients. You might think, "well, duh" but when you live with picky eaters, changing the norm is kind of a big deal. I also love the classics so it has to be just as good. For this recipe, I swapped beef with turkey, halved the amount of potatoes I used and replaced with cauliflower, refrained from using any dairy and used fresh herbs for added flavor.
I've made mashed cauliflower before trying to pass it off as potatoes and it didn't go over so well. This time, I used only 4 Yukon gold potatoes and a whole head of cauliflower for the mash and no one knew it wasn't pure mashed potatoes until after dinner when I had them guess what I added to the potatoes. It was a huge success. I truly believe the trick as using Yukon gold potatoes and not any others because their flavor is stronger than a red potato or typical baking potato. Another great solution would be swapping the white potato and cauliflower altogether with sweet potatoes which are super nutritious and equally delicious.
Lightened Up Shepherd's Pie
1 lb. Ground Turkey
1/2 medium Onion, diced
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
2/3 cup Chicken Stock + 1/4 cup, needs to be divided
1.5 cups Frozen Mixed Veggies
1 tablespoon Sage, chopped
1/4 cup Parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon Thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon Corn Starch
1 large Cauliflower Head, cut into large chunks
4-6 Yukon Gold Potatoes (depending on size), peeled and quartered.
2 tablespoons Chives, chopped
1/4 teaspoon Paprika
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Boil a large pot of water and add the potatoes and cauliflower. Meanwhile, brown the turkey in a large skillet with the onion and garlic. Cook until the meat is cooked through and onion soft. Add 2/3 cup of chicken stock, mixed veggies, sage, parsley and thyme. Add the cornstarch, bring to a light boil and let simmer until most of the liquid has cooked out.
When the potatoes and cauliflower have softened to fork tender, drain and mash with the remaining quarter cup of chicken stock and chives.
Place the meat mixture into a casserole dish and layer the potato/cauliflower mash on top. Sprinkle with paprika and bake 30-45 minutes until the top of the potatoes turn golden brown and the mixture is bubbly.
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes