When I was growing up, one of my favorite meals was Shepherd’s Pie. With the vegetables mixed into the meat, I barely noticed them and that nice thick layer of mashed potatoes on top kept me from thinking about them. Of course that was back before I knew or cared about fat, cholesterol, and the glycemic index.
So, I played around in the kitchen until I came up with a version that still satisfied my taste buds without doing any harm to my health. In fact, the healthy shepherd’s pie I came up with is chock full of vitamins, phytonutrients, and glucosinolates (which help fight inflammation and aid in preventing cancer).
The biggest changes I made were to substitute lean ground turkey for the ground beef and to substitute mashed turnips for the mashed potatoes. In order to significantly cut the fat and calories when making this switch, make sure you buy ground white meat turkey, otherwise you could simply use a leaner ground beef and achieve the same results. As for the turnips, these are an often overlooked vegetable that have a subtle taste (so can be easily incorporated into recipes) but pack a nutritional punch. If you’re worried that they won’t be well received, try a combination of half potatoes and half turnips as a compromise.
- 3-4 large turnips, peeled and cut into pieces
- 1 lb lean ground turkey
- ½ medium onion, diced
- 1 (14 oz) bag mixed vegetables
- 2 T Worcestershire sauce
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- Boil turnips in large pot until tender.
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- While turnips are boiling, brown ground turkey in skillet with diced onions. Add mixed vegetables and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well. Remove from heat and pour into a casserole dish.
- When turnips are tender, remove from heat. Drain. Beat well with a mixer until creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Spoon mashed turnips over meat mixture.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 400°.