Sunday, March 11, 2012

Light Shepherd's Pie

I know that shepherd's pie is a really traditional Irish dish but I have never eaten it.

Here's why:

Up until very recently, I've had a huge issue with my food touching. I used to use separated plates or only put one item on my plate at a time so nothing would touch. I don't know what my issue was but I could not mix my food.

Then I realized how silly this was. Some of my favorite foods are a big mixture of ingredients. Pasta dishes. Pizza. Burritos. Ice cream sundaes with every topping possible.

Now I mix my food all the time. Problem solved by allowing the logical part of my brain rationalize the situation to the illogical OCD part of my brain.

Yes, the sides of my brain interact. So what?

 Anyway, this shepard's pie is wonderful! It has the taste of comfort food but doesn't feel as heavy or rich. I love that it's jam packed with veggies in the filling and in the cauliflower puree topping, which I substituted for mashed potatoes.

Cauliflower puree is my new "go to" side. It's light and super fluffy. I never thought I'd say that because I am a huge carb lover. But delicious substitutions like spaghetti squash and cauliflower having me singing a different tune. They taste similar to the real deal and I can eat a ton without feeling sick and guilty. What's better than that?

If you're not down with cauliflower a) stop being a baby and just try it, you might love it  OR b) replace the cauliflower with potatoes.

I took this recipe from Skinnytaste, one of my favorite food blogs. Gina does a great job of lightening up recipes and still making them taste great! The changes I made were to substitute pureed cauliflower for mashed potatoes, increase the amount of vegetables, use soy sauce instead of Worcestershire sauce (I hate that stuff) and add some cheese on top.

You should make this if you're trying channel your Irish roots (or create them if they don't exist) and save calories for drinking copious amounts of Bailey's Irish Cream and Guinness :)

Shepherd’s Pie (6 servings – 291 cals) from skinnytaste
Cauliflower Puree:
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut up into florets
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1/3 cup fat free sour cream
  • 2-3 tablespoons of milk (until desired consistency)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp light butter 
  • 1 lb 95% lean ground beef
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 8 oz mushrooms, diced
  • 10 oz frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, corn, peas, green beans, baby lima beans)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup fat free beef broth
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped thyme leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 oz bag of shredded reduced fat cheddar

1.  Steam or boil cauliflower and garlic until soft. Drain, add sour cream, light butter, salt, pepper and purée with a hand blender (or regular blender – if using a regular blender, you may need more milk in order to get the mixture going).
2.  Preheat oven to 400°.
3.  In a large saute pan brown meat. Season with salt and pepper. When cooked, set aside on a plate. Discard any fat in the pan, add oil, onion and garlic and sauté on medium heat about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and celery and sauté another 3-4 minutes. Add flour, salt and pepper and mix well. Add frozen vegetables, beef broth, tomato paste, soy sauce, thyme, chopped meat and mix well. Simmer on low for about 5-10 minutes.
4.  Spread the meat mixture on the bottom of a 9x13 glass baking dish. Top with cauliflower puree. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let it cool 10-15 minutes before serving.

before the oven

And that's how the Irish do savory pie :)

No comments:

Post a Comment