Shepherd’s Pie has always been a favourite in our house (especially for my hubby), however we all find that ground beef just sits too heavily in our bellies and is too fatty and tricky to digest, so I tend to make our Shepherds Pie with meat alternatives like ground chicken, ground turkey or most often veggie ground round which is a soy based meat alternative.
Tonight however, I was feeling creative and completely reinvented our Shepherd’s Pie. The result was definitely a win for all members of my family and one that I thought was worth sharing with everyone else!
To start I used ground chicken, which is of course much leaner then ground beef, I cooked this up with some garlic and oregano, just kept it really simple.
For the middle layer, which is typically corn in standard Shepherds Pie recipes, I did a mixture of finely chopped onion, garlic, carrots, mushrooms and corn, but really any veggie you desire could be included here. Into the veggie mixture I added some lemon juice and a little balsamic vinegar for just a bit of flavour.
Finally for the top layer, typically the mashed potato layer, I stuck with a mash, but used sweet potatoes instead. Nutritious sweet potatoes are low in calories (provide just 90 cal/100 g) and contain no saturated fats and cholesterol and they are rich source of dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals.
I mashed up my boiled sweet potatoes with a little milk, dijon mustard and parmesan cheese and mashed it until it was light and fluffy. One other thing I do with my mashes (regular potato as well as sweet potato) is I throw a few cloves of peeled garlic into the water while everything is boiling away, this slightly infuses the water with the garlic but also softens the garlic so it gets mashed and incorporated into the potatoes to add a lovely sweet hint of garlic.
I layered all the components, meat on the bottom, then veggies and topped off with the mash and added a light layer of cheese on top and popped it in the oven for about 20 minutes to allow the cheese to melt and the whole dish to be heated up a little more.