Thursday, January 12, 2012

Lighter Shephard's Pie

Did I tell you all I bought snow shoes earlier this winter? Last year Joel and I went snow shoeing a few times and it was a fun way to get outside in nature during the winter. Naturally, we haven't had more than a dusting so far in winter. In general, I don't mind but on the other hand I'm itching to break in the new snow shoes. is forecasting 3-5 inches of snow tomorrow. I'm not holding my breath because I've heard that before but I'm also hopeful that this weekend we'll be able to enjoy the snow.  If it doesn't snow I have no doubt that we'll make up for it in the next 3 months of winter...

In other news our CSA has been exploding with potatoes, generally of the white variety. What to do, what to do. 

I've been eyeing this on pinterest as a possibility for my surplus. Of course this only calls for 3-4 potatoes and this really just puts a dent in my supply. Stay tuned for the forthcoming recipe/ pinterest review. 

Since this is winter, sans the snow,  I've been craving warm and cozy foods to cook and warm up with. Naturally, these tend to be of the less-than-healthy variety.  This is how I came to make a lighter shephard's pie. 

You guys, this is so easy, delicious, and sin-free! 

Here we go: 

Start with 3-4 medium potatoes. 

Boil until fork tender. Did you know you should start with cold water when boiling potatoes? Yeah, it's true I've read it on the internet and heard my "friends" on food network talk about this. Evidently, by starting with cold water it brings the potatoes to a boil evenly. Seems to make sense so I dutifully do what I'm told. 

While the taders are doing their thing get to-workin' on the yummy pie center.  Begin by browning ground turkey. As usual I use the 99% fat free ground turkey. 

Here's the deal use a big enough pan for this because if you over crowd the meat you'll get grey steamed meat. EEEwwwww. 

Aren't I chocked full 'o tips today? 

Next up is the veggies. Now I just threw in whatever I had on hand but feel free to stay with the traditional peas and carrots. 

I also threw in some leaks because I had them on hand from a past CSA. This is a double-onion situation here since I also chopped some onions. But in my defense leaks have a much more delicate taste and it was fun. 

Preparing leaks is easy as pie (Shephard's pie?). First, chop 'em up. Second, soak them in water. Since these little buddies grow in sand they can have dirt and sand stuck between the leaves. Soaking them and swishing them around a bit will release that ugliness and leave you with just the leaks m'am. 

After I softened the veggies and threw in some frozen peas I combined the meat and veggies together. Now to season this business. I used ketchup and worcestershire sauce. You guys I loooove ketchup and the worcestershire sauce adds a nice depth to the dish. 

We're ready to assemble the pie.

For the taders I barely did anything. I just ran them through a potato ricer and dumped it on the baking dish with the turkey-veggie mix below.  Rather than preparing the potatoes like regular mashed potatoes with butter, cream, and the rest this allowed the dish to stay light. Honestly, it didn't take away from the flavor because the inside was so delicious that mixed all together I didn't miss the other business with potatoes. But if you can't imagine doing this I suggest to mash up with chicken broth and maybe even roasted garlic to kick up the flavor without adding the fat. I may even do that next time but was  not in the mood to and wanted to use the ricer. 

Bake until the top is a little crispy.

Joel went crazy for this stuff. I couldn't keep my little paws out of it too. In other words it was a success. 

Lighter Shephard's Pie

4 servings

1 lb. 99% fat free ground turkey
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1/2 cup frozen peas
3-4 white potatoes, large dice
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
3-4 tablespoons of ketchup
4-5 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup of fat free chicken broth
1 tablespoon flour
Nonstick cooking spray


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

In a medium pot bring potatoes to a boil starting with cold water. Boil until fork tender. While the potatoes are cooking work on the inside of the pie. 

In a large nonstick saute pan spray with nonstick cooking spray. Over medium-high heat brown the ground turkey being sure to cook completely. Break up the ground turkey with wooden spoon. Transfer to plate and set aside. 

Turn the heat down to medium and add olive oil to pan. Saute the onion, celery, and carrots and don't forget to season with salt and pepper to taste. Sweat the veggies until they are translucent, this takes about 5-7 minutes. I also added some Italian dried seasonings I had on hand. Add the frozen peas for one minute. Add the ground turkey to the mixture. Sprinkle flour over mixture and heat up to rid it of the raw flour taste, about one minute. Add in chicken broth, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce and cook for a few more minutes to thicken. 

Spray a medium baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spread the turkey and veggie mix evenly in the pan. Using a potato ricer squeeze potatoes evenly over the mixture. I needed to also use my hands to spread a little more evenly. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until potatoes are slightly browned. 


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