Since I am always on a diet, It’s only natural that I venture into cooking some diet food without sacrificing too much on the flavour. And this one is my husband’s favourite. Well, I know what you are thinking, how in the world is sheperd’s pie a diet meal? Well, if you substitute the lamb for a more leaner minced meat like turkey perhaps? And substitute the potatoes for mashed cauliflower instead. Now, isn’t that guilt free? Trust me, it tastes pretty darn good too. Don’t believe me? Try it yourself!
You can make this vegetarian by replacing the meat with mushrooms and kidney beans. I’ve tried that and it works just as well.
- 500 g of minced turkey (if you’re not on a diet, hey! you can use lamb you know. Chicken tastes pretty good too)
- 5~6 cloves of garlic chopped fine
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 cups of mushrooms chopped fine
- 1 red bell pepper chopped fine
- 1 red chili chopped fine (optional)
- 1 can of pasta sauce (my personal fav is the Woolworth’s Arrabiatta sauce)
- Ground Cayenne pepper for heat
- 1 whole cauliflower (you can use most of the stalk too) chopped
- Grated cheddar cheese for topping
- Italian herbs and parsley
- Boil your cauliflower in a pot with as little water as possible. Once cauliflower is super soft and easy to mash, drain out the water completely before mashing the cauliflower with a masher and add a little salt to taste. Do not use food processor as it will make the cauliflower too mush and soggy. If you feel the cauliflower is has too much water, use a cheese cloth to squeeze out the excess water
- In a separate pan, saute the garlic and onions before adding in the minced meat, peppers and mushrooms. Once the meat is cooked, add the pasta sauce, cayenne pepper and italian herbs and parsley. You can turn of the heat now.
- On a casserole dish (or if you like, in ramekins) spoon in your filling to 3/4 of the dish’s height.
- Top the pie with the mashed cauliflower and then top it with a good layer of grated cheddar cheese.
- Now bake your shepherd’s pie in the oven at 180 deg C for 20~25 mins till the cheese is nice and brown. Serve while it’s still hot. Yum!
Tips: If your filling is watery, you will get a soggy pie. So always make sure the filling is not runny. And the cauliflower should be drained really well. It’s hard though since baking releases more moisture from the sauce and cauliflower. But do try your best.