Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Turkey & Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

Yesterday we had our first bout of winter weather for 2015.  Here in Georgia, that means ice and sleet; not exactly fun outdoor weather.  So I decided to fight cabin fever by working on a new recipe:  Shepherd's Pie.  I've been wanting to give Shepherd's Pie a healthy makeover for a long time now, and let me say, I truly like the healthier version so much better!  I swapped out the ground lamb (or ground beef) for lean ground turkey, and switched up the white potatoes for the much more nutritious sweet potatoes.  Not only is this dish more healthful, it is also diet-friendly:  under 450 calories for a very satisfying portion.  However, the best part of this casserole is that my picky eating toddler loves it!  

Turkey & Sweet Potato
Shepherd's Pie
Yields 8 Servings

Turkey Mixture:
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
4 Carrots, peeled & diced
2 Celery Stalks, finely diced
1 Onion, diced
2 lbs Ground Turkey
2 Tbsp Flour
1 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Dried Thyme
1 1/2 tsp Dried Rosemary
2 1/8 Cups Chicken Stock
1/3 cup Tomato Paste
3 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 1/2 Cups Frozen Peas
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Sweet Potato Topping:
2 1/2 lbs Sweet Potatoes
2 Tbsp Butter
4 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1 Egg, beaten
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
Salt & Pepper, to taste


Turkey Mixture:
1.  Heat a large deep pan over medium heat.  Add the oil, carrots, celery, and onion, and cook until the vegetables have softened.

2.  Add in the ground turkey, and cook until no longer pink.  Remove any grease.  Stir in the flour and seasonings, and saute for one minute.

3.  Stir in the chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste.  Bring to a simmer, and let cook for a few minutes, or until thick.  Remove from heat and stir in the peas.  Salt & pepper, and then do a taste test. Adjust seasonings if necessary.

Sweet Potato Topping:
1.  Bake or boil (your preference) sweet potatoes until very tender.  (I like to bake mine: poke with a fork, wet with water, wrap with foil, and bake at 425 degrees for 45 or more minutes).

2.  Peel potatoes and put in a large bowl.  Add in butter, and then using an immersion blender (or alternatively use a mixer or use a potato masher), cream the potatoes until soft and creamy.  Add in the cream cheese and egg, and stir or puree until completely smooth.    Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

To Combine & Bake Shepherd's Pie:
1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.

2.  Spoon the turkey mixture into the pan evenly, and pat down with the back of spoon.

3.  Evenly dole out dollops of the sweet potato mixture all over the top of the turkey mixture, and then use a spatula to spread it evenly over the top.

4.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until heated throughout (Note: you may want to put a pan underneath the casserole dish; mine bubbled over a bit).

Serving Size:  1/8th of Pie
Calories:  446
Fat:  20
Carbs:  38
Protein:  27

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