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Shepherd's Pie: Practically the ultimate comfort food. How can you go wrong with meat and potatoes? Well....apparently a 4 serving recipe for a traditional Shepherd's Pie includes 1.5lbs ground beef, 3 big potatoes and 8 tbsp butter (!!). Sprinkled with a few peas and carrots. Yes, that's comforting for 30 minutes, but I bet no one is comforted by it later! So I've made Shepherd's Pie a la Jules. Beef turns into turkey, potatoes turn into cauliflower, gravy (i.e. butter) turns into a crispy panko crust.
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Ingredients (makes 2 medium portions, 1 HUGE hungry-man portion or 1 his and 1 hers) When making for 2, consider a green veggie side.

275 g cauliflower (2 cups?) - 75 cal
50g + 30g cup shredded cheese (I used 50g (little less than 2 servings)fat free cheddar and 30g (1 serving) part skim mozarella) - less than 160 cal
2 spicy uncooked Italian turkey sausages (or about 8oz/200g ground turkey) -300cal
2 heaping tbsp corn and black bean salsa (Dessert Pepper is perfect!) - 50 cal

Total: About 600 cals including panko crust (it's a lot of calories but it's really quite big for one person!)

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Directions
1) Remove casings from sausages and brown meat in a pan (cooking sprayed). If using ground turkey, make sure to season it well with red pepper flakes, black pepper and Italian seasoning (garlic optional but nice)

2) While meat is browning, chop the cauliflower into florets and steam (7 minutes?) until soft

3) Once meat is nice and cooked, spoon in salsa and mix it up on super-low heat for about 1 minute and then turn the heat off.

4) After the cauliflower steams, throw the cauli and the cheese into a food processor or blender (add a few tbsp fluid if it's having a hard time getting to move- stock/water) and get into the consistency of mashed potatoes. Season with a LITTLE salt and pepper (remember the meat has plenty too!)

5) Place the meat at the bottom of an oven-safe casserole dish, slather on the mashed cauliflower, completely covering the meat. Add to the desired level. I found that with these quantities, a little cauliflower mash winds up as leftover. Add on some ground black pepper on top (not just for show!)

6) Optional: top with a handful or two of panko bread crumbs before adding on the black pepper.

7) Place casserole into oven at 400 degrees to bake until the top browns just a bit.

Shortcuts: if you don't want crunchy panko on top or are short on time, just assemble the whole thing in a little bowl (or a big bowl if you're really hungry!) and microwave for 2 minutes.

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Notes: I think sauteed onions would really make a difference in this recipe. Yum!
Also: mushrooms, carrots and peas. To each their own, I happen to have not had these on hand.
For a really cute party food (World Series is coming up!) make individual portions in foil-lined muffin cups, for a dinner party assemble in ramekins and for a buffet-style dinner, double/triple the recipe and serve in a large casserole dish.

Scale: that's a huge soup spoon.

 


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