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Healthy Shepherd’s Pie

February 11, 2014

Hey y’all! This southern girl is very excited, because we have an official SNOW DAY!!! I woke up this morning to this:

photo (30)

…and now I’m drinking my coffee and taking it in, waiting for Ryan and Lila to wake up so that she can play in her first proper snow!

When we lived in Indiana and Pennsylvania, any snow after the first one became a pain in the ass—a hassle, something to be dreaded.  “More snow?!?” I’d think, trudging through it, day after day.  Now that we’re back in the south, the magic of snow has returned—when it only snows once a year (if that!), snow becomes something to love.  Yes, southerners go crazy when it snows.  Yes, we clear out the grocery store if it looks like we’re going to get even less than an inch. But snow in the south is something that, in my experience, has the ability to turn everyone into giddy little children.  I literally squealed when I woke up and looked out the window this morning.

Yay for snow days.  Smile 

This next recipe is the perfect snowy-weather meal.  It’s also the perfect meal to make if you’ve noticed that lately your pants have been a little tight.  Ahem.

Ryan and I are trying to eat healthier…but that doesn’t mean that I want to give up comfort foods during these cold winter days.  This dish was a nice compromise:

Healthy Shepherd’s Pie

1 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 large onion, chopped

1 package lean ground turkey (1.25 pounds)

1 tbsp. fresh thyme, minced

2 cups frozen mixed vegetables

2 tbsp. flour

2 tbsp. tomato paste

1 can chicken broth

1 tbsp. worstershire sauce

1 tsp. tamari

1 large russet potato, chopped

1 small head cauliflower, chopped

garlic salt to taste


Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Place a large pot of water on to boil.  When boiling, add potato and cauliflower and boil for 10-15 minutes, until easy to pierce with a fork. 

While the potato and cauliflower are cooking, in a large skillet, heat olive oil.  Add onion, cook for ten minutes.  Add turkey and thyme and cook for another 10 minutes, until turkey is almost cooked through.  Add frozen vegetables and flour.  Stir for a few minutes to incorporate the flour, then add the next four ingredients.  Bring to a boil and boil for 2-3 minutes, stirring consistently.  Reduce heat to a simmer, then cook for another 10-15 minutes, until sauce has thickened and reduced considerably.

When potato and cauliflower are done cooking, drain and transfer back to pot.  At this point, you can mash them by hand for a chunky texture, or mash them in a food processor or blender for a smoother texture.  I seasoned mine with garlic salt, and added about a 1/2 cup of milk to allow it to blend.

In a large casserole dish, transfer vegetables and turkey.  Top with cauliflower/potato mixture, and dot with butter if desired (we skipped this step, trying to keep it extra-light).



Bake for 15 minutes in oven, until top is beginning to brown.  Remove from oven and allow to sit for about 5-10 minutes.

We skipped this last step because *someone* was VERY hungry and demanding food:


…so you can see that ours was a little runny.  But still delicious.  Winking smile  The part that was allowed to sit was much more solid:


Again, this was a great winter meal—very comforting.  And very kid-friendly too—Lila really liked this one.


We’re off to enjoy the snow! Have a great day!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 11, 2014 2:07 pm

    I might be jealous. We had snow Friday night meaning no snow day. They were calling for up to 6 inches here last night then as the day went on they kept changing it – not even a flake! Not that I really want snow, but I’d love a free day off 😉 And I’ve never made a shepherds pie. I don’t know why, but for some reason I assume it’s far more difficult than it is.

  2. February 11, 2014 4:26 pm

    ahhh. I’m hoping we don’t get it….the last ice storm nearly killed all of the trees in our yard! It looks pretty there, but we always seem to end up with ice vs. snow. This shepherds pie looks delicious. So creamy!!! nom

  3. February 11, 2014 6:28 pm

    We are hunkered down here in Atlanta too. Though the snow has now stopped and we are waiting for the icy rain to start. Should be fun. 😉

    I have pot pie on the meal plan tonight, but Shepherd’s pie is a good call too! Looks perfect Anna. Enjoy your family day.

  4. Marcee ... ILLINOIS permalink
    February 11, 2014 7:27 pm

    Everyone knows what we are going through in the midwest. Brutally cold until hopefully, tomorrow. Then a warmup. Oh. We will be so thankful. Very glad you got snow Anna. We certainly do not need any more. Lila has the cutest outfits! You dress her so adorable.

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