Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Autumn Shepherds Pie

Why is this a Foodgasm?

One of the greatest parts of Autumn is all the awesomely comforting food. Shepherd's Pie is a comfort classic of meat and potatoes that just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. However, the calories and fat packs on the sweater-weather pounds. Yeah, I don't like that part either, but that is why I am here to not only take this up a few notches with flavor, but also greatly reducing the fat! Is it magic? No it's a foodgasm!

So what did I do to achieve this? Let's take it layer by layer...
The meat layer- I took my trick from my magic portobello beef tacos and added lots of finely chopped mushrooms to the mix as well as some garlic, onion and bell pepper. To add bulk to our meat layer, lots of veggies for vitamins and fiber and for FLAVOR! I also used 93% lean ground beef, which can be rather dry, but with all the veggies it makes it much better!!
The potato layer- I used sweet potatoes since they have more nutritional value with lots of vitamins, **but this is the genius** I used some pumpkin puree mixed into it. Not only adding fiber and bulk but also giving it - FLAVOR. I also used light butter and reduced fat milk. You will not miss any of that fat, I assure you!
The cheesey crust- Reduced fat cheese is the answer, fat free is a no-go, not melty enough and lacks flavor!

What you need

Potato Layer
2 pounds sweet potatoes, cut into large pieces (approx 4 medium sweet potatoes)
1 cup puréed pumpkin
2 tbsp light butter
1/2 cup 2% milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Meat layer
1 tablespoon EVOO
1 pound 93% lean ground beef
4 cloves garlic 
1 /2 medium onion, diced
1 bell pepper 
7 baby Bella mushrooms
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup light shredded cheese (cheddar blend)

How to make it

1- Fill a large pot with salted water with 2 pounds of sweet potatoes, cut into large pieces, place on medium-high heat.
2- Preheat oven to 350º
3- In a large nonstick frying pan heat up 1 tablespoon EVOO, saute 1/2 onion, diced.
4- In a food processor chop fine: 4 cloves garlic, 1 bell pepper and 7 baby bella mushrooms.
5- Add 1 pound 93% lean ground beef to frying pan as onions caramelize.
6- As meat browns add in the vegetables from the food processor.
7- Sprinkle in 1 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp cumin, salt and pepper.
8- Pour in 1 can diced tomatoes.
9- After potatoes have boiled and are soft, drain them.
10- Add 1 cup puréed pumpkin, 2 tbsp light butter and 1/2 cup 2% milk.
11- Mash well and season with salt and pepper to taste.
12- In a large pyrex container (about 7" x 15") pour the meat sauce in the bottom, layer mashed potato mixture on top and add 1 cup light shredded cheese (cheddar blend).
Bake about 20- 25 minutes or until cheese is just slightly browned.

Nutritional Information

Each serving is 6 Points Plus on Weight Watchers!