Shepherd’s pie, traditionally a way to consume leftover meat, is a delicious and comforting dish.
Comfort foods are often associated with unhealthy eating, but that doesn’t have to be the case. It all comes down to finding the right balance in your ingredients and keeping portion sizes in mind.
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In today’s Shepherd’s Pie recipe, we added lots of veggies and mashed potatoes with low-fat dairy to increase nutrients and reduce saturated fat and calories. We also use a lean cut of beef.
So what is veal with red meat? There is a large body of evidence showing a clear link between high consumption of red and processed meats and an increased risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and premature death. The keyword here is “high”. The same evidence shows that a lower intake means a lower risk. When cooking with meat, think about using it as a garnish instead of the main event.
The average American consumes 4½ servings of red meat each week, and 10% of the population eats it twice a day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts recommend cutting back to three or fewer servings per week.
Beef contains high amounts of protein, which helps promote muscle growth, vitamin B12 (which helps keep your body’s blood and nerve cells healthy), and zinc (which helps your immune system and metabolism function ). It is also a good source of iron, which is necessary for hemoglobin and myoglobin, proteins that provide oxygen to your body and muscles. A 3-ounce serving of beef has about 45% of the RDA for protein, 35% of the RDA for B12 and zinc, and 13% of the RDA for iron.
Bethany Thayer is a registered dietitian nutritionist with Henry Ford Health System. For more recipes and health information, visit henryford.com/blog and if you have questions about today’s recipe, email HenryFordLiveWell@hfhs.org.
Pot-roasted shepherd’s pie
Does: 8 servings / Preparation time: 20 minutes / Total Time: 7 hours (slow cook time)
1 ½ pounds round or pulled roast, trimmed
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
4 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon crushed celery seeds
1 teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon black pepper
3⁄4 cup onion, minced
1 ½ cups small carrots
½ pound portabella mushrooms, chopped
½ cup low sodium beef broth
6 medium russet potatoes
¾ cup skim milk
2 ounces light cream cheese
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
Place the roast in the slow cooker. Sprinkle with parsley, onion powder, crushed celery seeds, oregano, and black pepper. Add the onion, carrots, mushrooms, and beef broth. Cook over low heat for 6 hours.
Rinse, peel, and cut the red potatoes into quarters. Add to a large pot filled with water and boil until smooth.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Put the cooked potatoes in a bowl, add the milk and cream cheese and mash until smooth. Remove meat from slow cooker and cut into 1-inch strips. Place the meat and vegetables in an oven safe dish. Strain the juice from the slow cooker, place in a small pot and bring to a boil. In a separate bowl, mix cornstarch with ½ cup cold water.
Reduce heat and slowly add cornstarch mixture to juices while constantly stirring. When the juices are thick, remove from heat and pour over the meat and vegetable mixture. Top with mashed potatoes. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top and grill for 2-3 more minutes.
From Henry Ford LiveWell.
Nutritional information per serving.
289 calories (22% fat), 7 grams Fat (2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams Trans fat), 20 grams of carbohydrates, 35 grams protein, 135 mg sodium, 90 mg cholesterol, 101 mg calcium, 2.5 grams fiber. Food exchanges: 4 proteins, 1 starch, 1 vegetable.