"If you can dream it, you can do it." -Walt Disney

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Twas the Day After Christmas

Christmas has come and gone and we are hurtling towards the new year. I should probably be focusing on run stuff and making all my healthy New Year's resolutions, but I am cold. The wind chill here only just raised to an entire degree above zero within this past hour. It had been below zero all morning. I guarantee I will not be doing any running today because I love this thing called "keeping warm." Only one thing is dominating my mind today: hot tea. Well, that and I realized I don't own any sweaters and my favorite pair of boots were destroyed by a rogue can of hairspray during my Wine & Dine Half Marathon trip. My mind is scolding myself for always looking at happy summer dresses instead of sometimes focusing on warm things.

And yes, I realize this post, so far, has nothing to do with running. But, in case you haven't caught on...it's cold!!

Ok, enough of that. When it is this cold outside, I love hearty meals such as stews and chunky soups. And I especially love shepherd's pie. It is great comfort food. So let me share one of my favorite recipes, but taken to a more healthy level.

Photo source: skinnytaste.com

Shepherd's Pie, Lightened Up
From skinnytaste.com

  • 1.5lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled & diced
  • 3/4 cup fat free chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp fat free sour cream
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • paprika

  • 1lb 95% lean ground beef
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 8oz mushrooms, diced
  • 10oz frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup fat free beef broth
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped thyme
  • salt & pepper to taste

Boil potatoes in water until cooked and soft. Drain and mash with chicken broth, sour cream, salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brown meat in a large saute pan. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside on plate when cooked. Discard any fat in the pan, add oil, onion, and garlic, and saute on medium heat about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and celery and saute another 3-4 minutes. Add flour, salt, and pepper and mix well. Add frozen vegetables, beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, thyme, cooked meat, and mix well. Simmer on low about 5-10 minutes. Spread the meat mixture on the bottom of an 11x7 glass baking dish. Top with mashed potatoes, using a fork to scrape the top to make ridges. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake 20 minutes, or until potatoes turn golden. Remove from oven and let cool 10-15 minutes before serving to give it a chance to set.

Servings: 6 Serving Size: 10.5oz
Per serving..
Calories: 290.5  Fat: 11.1g Protein: 16.8g Carbs: 31.5g Fiber: 4.9g

*I make a few changes to this recipe. For an even leaner version, I use lean ground turkey. The only vegetables I use are corn, carrots, and peas. This means I also eliminate the celery and mushrooms. I use garlic powder and onion powder in place of actual onion and garlic since I always have that on hand so it doesn't require I buy additional items. And while I have not tried it yet, this can be even healthier using mashed cauliflower, which is a great low carb alternative to potatoes.

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