November 06, 2014

Personal Shepherd's Pies

I'd made mini pot pies a while back (for St. Patrick's Day), but I hadn't tried them yet the low-carb way. This dish was one of the few ways my mom could get me to eat vegetables when I was a kid. Now that I'm older and FAR less picky an eater, I find myself making this dish on my own. On a chilly November night, I decided to make a few personal servings of Shepherd's pie, with some tweaks.

I switched out the ground beef for ground turkey, and instead of peas, I used carrots. I'm not a registered dietitian, but I'll take the carbs in some organic carrots over junk food any day. Plus, the carrots looked so bright and colorful in what can be a dreary-looking dish. I also added mushrooms to the mix to sneak in some more veggies.

I boiled some cauliflower for 8 minutes, then put it in my food processor along with some roasted garlic, salt, pepper, and a small knob of cream cheese. I used this as the topping instead of heavier mashed potatoes. Most of the time, when I sub roasted cauliflower instead of white potatoes, no one even notices! Much lower carb count, still delicious!

After 30 minutes in the oven (at 400), they were perfectly browned on the top, and delicious inside! I had some that night for dinner with a good friend, and will be enjoying the leftovers this week for lunch!

Mini Shepherd's Pies:

1 lb ground turkey

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1 cup mushrooms, chopped

3 large carrots, chopped

Worcestershire sauce

1 bag (16 oz) frozen cauliflower

Salt, pepper, roasted garlic cloves, or garlic powder

Sauté the carrots and onions until softened, set aside (I don't like burned onions!)-- Add ground turkey to pan, brown. Once it's almost browned through, add mushrooms. As turkey is almost cooked through, splash a tablespoon or two of Worcestershire sauce and blend. Add a dash of salt & pepper to the meat, set aside.

While browning turkey, boil the frozen cauliflower for about 8 minutes, until softened. Blend in food processor with salt, pepper, a clove or two of roasted garlic (or garlic powder), and an ounce of cream cheese.

To assemble pies: add 1/4 cup of turkey and mushrooms into a ramekin. Add layer of carrots & onions. Top with the pureéd cauliflower, and use a fork to make little peaks in the cauliflower.

Bake in 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until the tops are browned. Let ramekin cool 5 minutes, but still use caution when handling the dishes (pot holders are key). This dish gets even better the next day!

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