The idea for this recipe started with my friend Theresa, who posted this link for me on Facebook. It looked like a good start, and then my friend Dorothy offered her suggestions for some modifications to make it even healthier. I took their ideas, threw in a couple ideas of my own, and the result was a delicious and healthy (and filling!) shepherd's pie.
Healthy Shepherd's Pie
- 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 pound ground turkey breast or lean ground buffalo
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 can (14 ounces) petite diced tomatoes
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- ¾ cup water
- 8 ounces baby spinach, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 cups mixed vegetables
- 2½-3 pounds butternut squash, roasted (see notes)
- ½ cup finely shredded Asiago cheese
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler.
- Heat oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
- Reduce heat to medium, stir in beef, flour and tomatoes, and cook, stirring, until the beef is mostly browned, about 3 minutes.
- Add water, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaf, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the broth is the consistency of thick gravy, about 4 minutes.
- Stir in spinach and cook until the spinach is just wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in mixed vegetables, add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat.
- Place squash in a fine-mesh sieve and gently press on it to extract excess liquid. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in garlic powder and ½ teaspoon salt. Divide the meat mixture among six 10-ounce broiler-safe ramekins. Top each with about ½ cup of the squash. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet.
- Broil until heated through and bubbling around the edges, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and broil until it is just melted, about 3 minutes more.
For roasted squash, heat oven to 350F. Place whole squash in the oven and cook for one hour. Remove from oven and discard skin and seeds.
I didn't have enough or big enough ramekins, so I cooked most of this in a casserole dish. It took a little bit longer, but the end result tasted the same.
For the mixed vegetables, I used a combination of peas, green beans and corn. I think I'll add some steamed carrots to the mix next time as well.
Sarah and I agreed that some chipotle would be delicious in this too, I'll throw that in next time with the Worcestershire sauce.