I’ve had two people approach me in the last two days asking for advice on healthy and easy meals for kids. So I guess it’s time I shared a few of my family’s favorites. I have to confess I make a huge portion and we eat the same thing a few nights in a row, but you could also freeze the extra for a future no-fuss meal. This one is my healthy take on a British classic, Shepherd’s pie. It’s probably the longest prep time of all my standards (about 45 min plus cook time), but worth it if you make a big one.
And btw, measurements are approximate, I’m afraid. I do it by taste and feel when I’m cooking. And yes, I use whole milk. Saturated fat gets a bad rap. Whole milk tastes better and is much more satisfying. Plus, kids use saturated fat for growth. Finally, use organic when you can, but convetional will work too. After all, convetionally grown fruit and veg is better than no fruit and veg!
Renee’s Healthy, Yummy Shepherd’s Pie
4 pounds organic yukon gold potatoes, chopped into large chunks for boiling (the smaller the chunks, the quicker they cook)
1 cup organic whole milk
1 T organic butter
1 T sea salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
Grape seed oil or other high smoke point oil such as peanut oil (ideally from a can or other opaque container), for sautéing
6 large cloves organic garlic, chopped
1lb ground, free-range turkey
2-15 oz cans canellini beans, drained
1-15 oz can organic chopped tomatoes, or more to taste
3 organic zucchini, chopped into bite-size chunks
Handful of fresh organic basil, chopped
2 organic onions, chopped
2 organic carrots, peeled and chopped into bite-size chunks
2 T organic cumin
Preheat oven to 350F.
Bring a large pot of filtered water to boil. Add potatoes and salt and bring back to a low boil. Cook for approximately 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender and drain most, but not all, of the water.
While the potatoes are cooking, spray oil to coat a roasting pan. Heat oil over medium heat in large frying pan. Add about 1 T oil. when oil is warm, sauté onions, carrots and cumin until just tender, then pour into the roasting pan. Add a bit more oil to the pan and sauté the zucchini until crisp-tender, then add to the roasting pan. Add a bit more oil to pan. When oil is warm, add garlic and sauté for about a minute. Add turkey meat, and sauté until not-quite cooked through, then add to the roasting pan. Add beans, tomatoes and basil to the roasting pan and mix all ingredients well.
Put the potatoes over medium heat and add milk, butter and about 1 t sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Mash potatoes, adding more milk if needed to achieve a good consistency.
Spread potatoes over vegtable-turkey mixture. Sprinkle with paprika then bake for about 40 minutes, or until edges bubble.