This weekend, I was perusing a couple of my cookbooks just for the fun of it. I used to watch my mom read cookbooks in the family room in the evenings and it brings back good memories for me. So, on Saturday, while I was just hanging out with no other plans, I decided to pull one of my cookbooks off the shelf. It is a cookbook of heart healthy recipes, which are my favorite kind. As I was thumbing through the pages I saw a picture of a shepherd’s pie and noticed it was for sweet potato shepherd’s pie. My husband and I really enjoy sweet potatoes and I know I enjoy ground turkey as much as, if not more than, ground beef. I decided I’d attempt to make my own version of a sweet potato shepherd’s pie and I’m going to tell you about that recipe in today’s blog post. One of the steps in making the sweet potato shepherd’s pie from the cookbook was to cook the sweet potatoes in a large, microwave safe bowl in a quarter cup of water. I thought this was a great idea and liked that it would take less time than baking the sweet potatoes first.
The book mentions to place the potatoes into a large bowl and add 1/4 cup water, cover with vented plastic wrap, and cook for 15 minutes. This was a great idea! Once the potatoes are done, simply remove the bowl from the microwave and let them cool down a bit before handling them … they will be hot! Once the potatoes have cooled down, take a paring knife and peel them, discarding the peel. Cut them into smaller pieces, add kosher salt and pepper, plus a 1/4 cup non-fat milk.
I then whipped the sweet potatoes using my handheld mixer and set them aside.
While the potatoes were cooking in the microwave, I prepared and cooked the filling for my shepherd’s pie.
I started by dicing one medium size sweet yellow onion. I cooked the onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. I always make sure to season each layer as I’m cooking, so I added a pinch of kosher salt and pinch of pepper to the onion. Once the onion had started to soften and brown … about 5 minutes, I added a bag of peas and carrots. I bought a frozen bag of the peas and carrots and let it thaw in the refrigerator today until I was ready to make dinner. I did sprinkle another pinch of kosher salt and pepper to the vegetables when I added them to the onion. I let this cook for about 2 minutes before removing the onion, peas and carrots into a bowl from the skillet to let them sit while I cooked the garlic and browned the ground turkey.
Once the turkey was cooked, I added four tablespoons of tomato paste and a quarter cup of water to the skillet. I mixed it into the turkey and garlic mixture and added the peas, carrots and onions back to the skillet.
I was now ready to put my shepherd’s pie together to bake. I chose to use a 7×9 inch rectangular baking dish, but an 8 inch baking dish would work perfectly as well.
I started by spreading 1/3 of the whipped potatoes onto the bottom of the dish and topping that with the ground turkey mixture. I then added the rest of the whipped potatoes to the top, along with a sprinkle of dried thyme, and placed it into a preheated 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.
After the 30 minutes were up, I turned the broiler to high for 5 minutes so the potatoes would crust up a small amount.
Both Dennis and I loved this dinner! We added a dollop of light sour cream to each serving, which was the perfect garnish, along with fresh parsley.
I made this dinner for a weeknight meal, but would definitely feel comfortable making this for guests, including my Dinner Club.
2 pound bag of sweet potatoes
1-1/2 pounds lean ground turkey
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup water, divided
1/2 cup non-fat milk
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus a few pinches for the onion, peas and carrots
1-1/2 teaspoons pepper, plus a few pinches for the onion, peas and carrots
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried thyme, plus a pinch
1 medium sweet yellow onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 bag frozen peas and carrots
4 tablespoons tomato paste
flat leaf parsley, for garnish
light sour cream, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large, microwave safe bowl, add sweet potatoes and 1/4 cup water. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and cook in the microwave on high for 15 minutes.
- After the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel with a small paring knife. Discard peel, and cut potatoes into the same bowl. Add milk, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Whip with hand mixer or mash with potato masher.
- In a small dish, mix together kosher salt, pepper, chili powder, dried thyme and cinnamon.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion, along with a pinch of kosher salt and a pinch of pepper. Cook for 4-5 minutes until onion starts to soften and brown.
- Add thawed peas and carrots to onion, sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt and a pinch of pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Remove to a bowl.
- Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the same skillet and cook garlic for 45 seconds, just until it becomes fragrant. Add ground beef and seasonings and cook until browned and crumbly, stirring occasionally.
- Add tomato paste and 1/4 cup water and cook until liquid is absorbed and tomato is mixed into turkey.
- Add onion, peas and carrots back to the skillet with the turkey mixture and combine. Turn off heat.
- Spray the bottom of a 9×7 inch rectangular dish or 8 inch square dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Spread 1/3 of the whipped potatoes on the bottom of the baking dish and top with turkey mixture. Top with the remaining potatoes. Sprinkle a pinch of dried thyme and place in a preheated 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.
- After the 30 minutes are up, turn the broiler to high for 5 minutes, or until the top starts to brown and form a little crust.
- Garnish with parsley and a dollop of sour cream.
Until next time, Kris