Light Shepherd’s Pie

Yesterday was the last straw with my life as I am currently living it. The word “control” tends to have a diabolical connotation to it (even though it shouldn’t unless you are controlling), but I am a person that needs to feel some sense of control of my life and the things going on around me. At this moment, I cannot control the job market, my growing expenses with only one income, my geographical location, or my separation from loved ones. Lately, I have even started to feel that my body has gotten outside of my control too and that was the straw that broke this camel’s back. Though I am not naive enough to say that I am overweight or “fat” because I am not, I just don’t feel as good about my body as I would like and I can particularly see (though maybe other people can’t) that much of my pre-wedding hard work has melted away.

Few things bother me more than when girls say “Ugh, you’re so thin…why do YOU need to exercise?” because that is absolute bullshit (excuse my language). Everyone needs to exercise and eat well to maintain a healthy body, weight, and mind – even “those damn skinny bitches.”

And another thing – Skinny is not a synonym for Healthy! There are plenty of thin girls who have very little muscle tone and don’t eat the right things…so let’s put an end to that myth now!

I love the shift in the female body ideal that is going on now. “Strong is the new sexy!,” everyone has been saying. Well, it’s about time. Honestly, I think this is a huge step for women and for good health in general. Stick skinny models who get breast implants and gorge themselves on celery and bagged lettuce are not who we should be aspiring to!

Long story short, though I do not typically post recipes that would be considered “unhealthy” (okay, the pumpkin spice cookies might have been a step backwards, but oh my god…so good), I am really upping my health game with none of the stupid pop culture diet nonsense that doesn’t work. I will be making REAL food with REAL ingredients and sharing REAL health information with you, my readers, in hopes that we can do this together!

Let’s begin. Another win from the Skinnytaste blog, last night I made a Light Shepherd’s Pie. Throw out your previous conceptions of shepherd’s pie as a glorified meatloaf because this does not resemble a meatloaf in the slightest! Full of healthy ingredients, this was delicious and lean! Now, I must admit – I did not have the luxury of time to make my own mashed potato topping so I had to settle for instant mashed potatoes in a pinch, but you can go to the original recipe to see how to make the real potato topping! This would be even healthier with a cauliflower mash on top but my husband would probably walk right out of our apartment if I tried to pull that on him (cauliflower for him is one of the world’s greatest evils).

Ingredients for Topping:

  • Follow link above for ingredients and how to make the real potato topping
  • OR if you have less time – prepare 4-6 servings worth of Instant Mashed Potatoes
  • Paprika (optional) to sprinkle on top

Ingredients for Filling:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz mushrooms, diced
  • 10 oz frozen mixed vegetables (I used the whole 16oz package and it was great!)
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 cup fat free beef broth
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped rosemary leaves (or approx. 1/3 tsp dried rosemary)
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped thyme leaves (or approx. 1/3 tsp dried thyme)
  • salt and pepper


[If you are making the real mashed potato topping: make that first using the directions from the original recipe in the link above and just skip over step #3. If you are making the recipe as I did with instant mashed potatoes: follow these directions below]

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. In a large pan brown meat in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. When cooked, set aside. Discard any fat in the pan, add oil, onion and garlic and sauté on medium heat about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and celery and sauté another 3-4 minutes. Add flour, salt and pepper and mix well. Add frozen vegetables, beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, thyme, chopped meat and mix well.Simmer on low about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Prepare 4-6 servings worth of instant mashed potatoes (you will also need water, butter, milk, and salt).
  4. Spread the meat mixture on the bottom of a 11×7 glass baking dish (I used an 13 x 9 dish because I had a little extra meat and veggies). Top with mashed potatoes and spread over meat mixture, sprinkling the top with paprika if you would like. Bake 20 minutes or until potatoes start to turn golden brown at the tips. Remove from the oven and let it cool 10-15 minutes before diving in. Enjoy!

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