My daughter woke up January 2nd and said, “I’m missing something, but I don’t know what.” The holidays are over, sister, and there’s nothing but three long months of winter ahead of you. I woke up with a pile of trash and 5 pounds to lose. Nice, right? I’m still pretty worn out from December so I’m making something easy and low-carb for dinner to help me detox from all my Christmas sweets. Let me introduce you to my easy low-carb shepherd’s pie recipe.
The biggest caloric offender in a traditional shepherd’s pie is mashed potato topping. I swap this for an easy cauliflower mash. It is hard to taste the difference. I also use this yummy frozen veggie mix from Trader Joe’s. Is it better than the normal stuff? For sure. But you could really use any frozen vegetable you want. Frozen green beans would be a good options if you’re really cutting out the carbs.
I try to eat grass-fed beef whenever I can. It is lower in fat and calories and higher in Omega-3 fatty acids. It is also a great source of CLA’s (conjugated linoelic acid)- some studies say it’s a great defense against cancer as well as a weight-loss agent. For these reasons I try to use grass-fed beef whenever I can. I’m not a turkey-lover but you could easily substitute ground turkey if you prefer.
Most of the work is done on the stove-top. Saute meat and onions. Make gravy. Add veggies to meat mixture. Add gravy. Pour in the pan. Top with cauliflower mash and Parmesan cheese. Broil. Eat.
While the meat and onions are sauteing together I start on the cauliflower mash. This recipe already uses up two spots on the cook-top so I steam my cauliflower in the microwave for 12 minutes, or until it’s tender.
A little Parmesan cheese, garlic, chicken broth and butter bring the mash together in the food processor. I don’t love cauliflower raw but the flavor is very mild in a mash. It’s a great substitution for mashed potatoes, especially if you have a meat and potatoes person in your house like I do.
I’m in love with this butter. Just google “benefits of grass-fed butter” and you’ll be slathering it on all your food. (Omega-3’s and CLA’s are in rich supply.) There is no way I can live without a little butter in my life so this stuff brings down my guilt level just a bit. And it tastes better, if that’s even possible.
I sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese on top and broil until I get that yummy brown crust. And it’s ready to be devoured. So what’s for dinner at your house?
- For the mash:
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into small pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
- 2 T. butter
- 2 T. chicken stock
- salt and pepper
- For the meat mixture:
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 16oz. bag mixed frozen vegetables
- 2 T. butter
- 2 T. flour
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- Place cauliflower in a microwave-safe bowl. Add enough water to cover the first inch of the bowl. Cover and microwave on high for 12 minutes or until tender. Drain water. Place cauliflower, garlic, cheese, butter and chicken stock in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add additional chicken stock to reach desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste.
- While the cauliflower cooks, preheat a large skillet over med-high heat. Add oil to pan along with the meat. Season with salt and pepper. Crumble the meat for 3 or 4 minutes. Spoon away some of the fat depending on your meat's fat content. Add chopped onion to the meat and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. In a second small skilled over med-high heat cook butter and flour together for 2 minutes. Whisk in broth and Worcestershire sauce. Thicken gravy 1 minute. Add frozen vegetables to meat, then add the gravy. Cook until the vegetables are heated through. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Fill a small casserole with meat/vegetable mixture. Spoon cauliflower mash over the meat evenly. Top with Parmesan cheese. Broil on high about 6 inches from the heat until the cheese is evenly browned.
Adapted from 30 Minute Shepherd's Pie by Rachael Ray
For even more healthy dinner options (we all feel gross after indulging over the holidays) try these past favorite recipes: