In preparation for his 50th birthday in May, my husband, Jeff, is trying to lose a few pounds so I have been trying to throw in a few healthy recipes in my repertoire to assist him in his journey. The cover of the March/April 2014 issue of Eating Well jumped out at me with a beautiful image of a radish salad so I thought this would be a good place to get some healthy spring entrees. (Side Note: I hate radishes but that picture makes me want to give them another try…Another day; Another Blog.)
Now Jeff is not one that really likes to eat healthy so I knew I would have to find something that would make him think he was eating normally and the Quick Shepherd’s Pie met all my requirements. It had mashed potatoes…his favorite, and lamb, something I don’t overly care for but he just loves lamb so much that I knew this was a must-try recipe. The portions were suitable as well with 1 1/4 cup of stew and 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes for only 410 calories…not too bad!
Shepherd’s Pie, as you probably already know, is a dish that originated in Ireland and was thought of as a great way to use leftovers. Basically, they lined the pie pan with mashed potatoes, then added meat and vegetables they had leftover from previous meal. On top was another layer of mashed potatoes. As good as that sounds, I have never had Shepherd’s Pie and neither had Jeff. So my thought process was if you haven’t ever had the fattening version, the light version can’t be compared to anything so it had a chance of being something different but tasty.
In looking at the recipe, the one step that didn’t seem right was to make the mashed potatoes first. I would prefer to make the stew first and let it have more time to cook and make the mashed potatoes at the end, so that is what I did and my directions will reflect that change. I also added a couple of ingredients (it didn’t change the calorie profile by much) which I noted at the end of the Ingredients list but you can find the original recipe link after my review.
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground lamb
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cups chopped carrots (I ended up using shredded carrots because I had some on hand)
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 2 tablespoons of spicy tomato paste (My Addition)
- 1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes (My Addition)
- 1 teaspoon of onion powder
- 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1/4 cup low-fat milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, and the red pepper flakes; cook, stirring, until the vegetables are tender. (Note: The recipe stated to add the lamb in at the same time as the onion and carrots but I wanted my vegetables to have a little more time to meld their flavors together with the seasoning.)
Add the lamb and cook until it is no longer pink, 6 to 8 minutes.Sprinkle flour and oregano over the mix and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add broth and corn; bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes more. (At this point, I tasted the mixture and it seemed very bland so this where I added the spicy tomato paste and onion powder. As it turned out this was a much needed addition and if I make this again, I will add it right after adding flour and oregano.)
Bring 2 inches of water to a boil in a large pot fitted with a steamer basket. Add potatoes and steam until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and return the potatoes to the pot. Add milk, butter and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Mash together to a chunky consistency. Cover to keep warm.
Ladle the lamb stew into 4 bowls and top with the potatoes..and Dinner is served!
Bottom Line: Jeff loved this and requested that I make it again very soon. I guess I am glad we haven’t had the fattening version or we might not have felt this way. I do believe that adding some garlic in while sauteing the vegetables would increase the flavor even more and I might even up the tomato paste by another tablespoon. I encourage you to try this recipe and if you don’t like lamb, try it with ground chicken or turkey. This is a tasty but healthy recipe full of fiber that your family will enjoy and only you have to know how healthy it is.
To see the original recipe: