Monday, March 12, 2012

Recipe Makeover Challenge - Shepherd's Pie

Eating healthier ain't easy. I guess nobody said it would be, but still I expected to be sailing thru this here "lifestyle change." As it turns out, every recipe makeover is it's own little monster, but it's a monster I am learning to love! It feels GOOD to cut calories by 30-50% and keep all (or more) of the flavor and feel of the original dish. I'm hoping to develop a "Recipe Makeover Challenge" series here... and this is take ONE!

I'm starting with this recipe for 30 Minute Shepherd's Pie from Rachael Ray, which got great reviews on the Food Network website. I plugged it into my trusty calorie counter, and it came out at a whopping 713 calories for each of the recommended 4 servings!! Here are the deets:

I hereby make it my mission to healthify this recipe and keep it delicious and filling and scrumptious and still satisfy the comfort food craving!

GOAL: around (hopefully under) 450 calories and 15g of fat per serving

Changes I'll be making include:
  • Change the all potato topping to a 3:1 ratio of cauliflower to mashed potatoes
  • Double (or more) the veggie content
  • Use reduced fat cream cheese
  • Swap nonfat milk for the heavy cream
  • Reduce meat content
  • Switch from ground beef to 1/2 ground chicken and 1/2 ground pork (yeah, I know... not really a Shepherd's pie... but if it's tasty, who cares?? Also, Shepherd's pie technically has lamb, so minus 1 for Rachael, too)
  • Cut the butter in half (not subbing in evoo since we are making a roux for gravy)
  • Cut down the amount of gravy (using more veggies should help keep it moist)
Plugged in this NEW recipe to the calculator, played around with it A LOT, and came up with this! I'll be sticking with this revised version for tonight, thankyouverymuch :)

Filling before potato/cauliflower layer.

Fresh out of the oven (yes, Adrien's side has some shredded cheese on top... I didn't want to start a fight!)

Final product (1 serving pictured). VERY filling and seriously delicious!

Here's the updated recipe!! If you try it, please comment and let me know what you think!!

For the topping:
  • 1/2 pound russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 pounds cauliflower florets
  • 1 1/4 oz reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 oz freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup nonfat milk
For the filling:
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound ground chicken
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 turnip, peeled and chopped
  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Boil the potatoes and cauliflower in salted water. Drain and run thru a food mill using the medium blade. Combine the cream cheese, parmesan cheese, egg yolk, and nonfat milk in a bowl until smooth. Incorporate into the potato and cauliflower mixture until smooth. Season with S&P.
  2. While the other stuff cooks, add 1 t evoo and the meat to a hot skillet. S&P and brown it till tasty (spoon some of the fat off, if there is any). Add the carrots, turnip, onions, garlic, and thyme, and cook for about 7-8 more minutes, until those veggies are soft and delicious.
  3. In a separate small pan, make a 3-minute roux with the butter and flour, then whisk in the cup of chicken broth and the Worcestershire. Let it cook and thicken for a minute or so (it doesn't thicken too much), then add to the meat and veggie mixture, and cook over medium or med-low until veggies are done. Stir in the peas.
  4. Preheat the broiler to high. Put the meat mixture in a baking dish and top with the cauliflower and potato mixture. Sprinkle with paprika and place under the broiler for 8-10 mins until browned and tasty looking. Top with fresh chopped parsley and enjoy!!