This is the 7th post in a 31 Day series: Creative Inspiration. Check out all the posts here.
I am forever trying to find healthy dinners for my kids. It is especially challenging to get my oldest son to eat healthy because he refuses to eat any kind of fruit or vegetable except apples. Every kid has a battle they are going to fight until the death and fruits and vegetables are are his. He has wore me down in that battle of wills and I admit defeat!
But I have a trojan horse! I got creative in the kitchen!
So, what is my trick to get him to eat like an herbivore? My trusty food processor. Every vegetable gets mutilated in that machine. He knows I do it now. He watches me. But if it tastes good, he'll eat it enthusiastically.
Here is one of his favorite dishes packed full of veggies! My friend from Ireland first turned me on to the idea and I found a recipe for shepherd's pie and ran with it altering it quite a bit to fit our family's taste.
Healthier (But Still Delicious) Cottage Pie (same as Shepherd's Pie, but with beef).
This is not your traditional recipe for cottage pie.
The potato topping:
- 5-6 medium to large russet potatoes
- 1/4 cup non fat milk
- 2 ounces unsalted butter
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 egg
The filling (cottage pie is traditionally made with peas & corn but we replace it with broccoli & zucchini):
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 medium onion cut in 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 bunch of broccoli
- 1-2 small or medium zucchini peeled and cut in 1/2 inch pieces
- 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped coursely
- optional: 1 14 oz can of cannelini beans, drained (I'm always looking for ways to add in extra fiber)
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste (in a pinch I use catsup)
- 1 cup chicken broth (if I used canned broth, I often pour in all 14 ounces)
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves
- 1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
While potatoes are cooking, prepare the filling. Place the canola oil into a 12-inch saute pan or wok and set over medium high heat. (OPTIONAL: Place all the vegetables [except garlic] & beans into a food processor. Pulse in 1 second bursts until desired consistency.) Once the oil shimmers, add the vegetable (except the garlic) & bean blend and saute approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic, stir to combine and cook a few minutes longer. Remove from heat and place the vegetable blend in a bowl. Set aside. Place the beef, salt and pepper in the saute pan and cook until browned and cooked through. Drain of any excess fat. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste, chicken broth, Worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.
Once the potatoes are boiling, uncover, decrease the heat to a simmer and cook until tender and easily crushed with potato masher, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Place the milk and butter into a microwave-safe container and heat in the microwave until warmed through, about 20-30 seconds. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then return to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes and add the milk, butter, salt and pepper and continue to mash until smooth. Stir in the egg until combined. Fluff the potatoes with a wooden spoon.
Add the vegetable blend to the beef mixture, stir until well combined. Spread into an 11 by 7-inch glass baking dish. Top with the potatoes. For best restults, start spreading them around the edges to create a seal and smooth with a rubber or silicone spatula. The seal prevents the meat filling from bubbling out during baking. Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown. Remove and let sit at least 20 minutes before serving.
I hope by sharing this recipe I've INSPIRED you to get CREATIVE with recipes you want to try to make them healthier as well as fit your families needs. I'm changing recipes all of the time. To see other RECIPES I've made healthier, click here.
Day 1: Design Your Own Cupcake
Day 2: Storytelling Sunday
Day 6: Links to Creatively Inspiring People (all writing a 31 Day series)
Other topics in the works for my 31 Days of Creative Inspiration Series:
Photography - I answer the question, 'How do I know if I should buy a DSLR camera?', Find out who INSPIRES me; Photography Pet Peeves, Family Photo Fun ideas from around the web.
Recipes - my husband's delicious salsa, HealthIER (Yet Still Delicious) Recipes
Scrapbooking - My favorite mini album, 30 minute scrapbook challenge
more Cupcake Ideas, craft ideas...
AND LOTS, LOTS MORE (I'm posting for 31 Days straight, remember?!)