Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Traditional English Comfort Food Favorite Gets a Healthy Revamp: Chicken Shepherd's Pie

Last night, I was trying to think of a way to use the fresh produce in my fridge since today we got our new delivery of organic produce. I love my biweekly deliveries of fresh organic produce (from Farm Fresh Delivery), especially as a new mom because it's harder to get out of the house. Aaron is doing most of the grocery shopping so having a produce delivery really helps us save time and money since I'll cook at home instead of eating take out.

For dinner last night, I made Shepherd's Pie, an English comfort pub favorite. This dish traditionally has ground beef and veggies like peas, carrots, and onions on the bottom and it's topped with a "crust" of mashed potatoes. I've never made it before, but I decided to try it. Aaron and I really liked it! I made my version with ground chicken and lots of veggies in the dish and served with a side of steamed cauliflower. It definitely was a comfort meal, but my version was healthier with less butter and saturated fat and more veggies.

Amanda's Chicken Shepherd's Pie (serves 4-6)

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas (no need to defrost)
  • 1- 14oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp curry
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/4 - to taste salt
Mashed Potatoes:
  • 1 pound yukon gold potatoes
  • 1/2 cup lowfat milk
  • 1 tbs butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Chop vegetables and peel potatoes and cut potatoes into chunks. In a medium pot, add potatoes and cover with cold water. Bring potatoes in water to a boil. Once the water is boiling turn down to a medium temperature and cook for about 15 minutes until potatoes are fork tender.
  • While potatoes are cooking, preheat large pot or skillet on medium heat. Add olive oil, then onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook for 4-5 minutes until vegetables are tender. Add ground chicken and crumble it as you cook it with a spoon. When chicken is almost cooked (white out the edges and pink in the middle) add seasonings: smoked paprika, oregano, curry, and salt and pepper. When chicken is cooked and no longer pink, add can of tomato sauce and frozen peas. Simmer on low on the stove.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat 8 x 8 inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  • While chicken and vegetable mixture is simmering, drain the potatoes. Return the potatoes to the hot pot and immediately add milk and butter. Using a potato masher, smash the potatoes and blend together. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Spread meat mixture on the bottom of the casserole dish. Layer mashed potatoes evenly on the top of the meat to form a "crust." Sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese and place in the preheated oven.
  • Bake Shepherd's Pie for 20 minutes in the 400 degree oven until bubbly.
  • Set aside for about 5 minutes to cool before serving.
I served this with steamed cauliflower on the side, but you can also serve it with a simple green salad, too. Please let me know what you think!

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