Comfort Food…Part 2

Yep.  It’s still cold!  So tonight we had shepherd’s pie! Just like stew, i was not always a fan.  At ALL!!  But I was determined to find a recipe we both liked. So after tweaking a few recipes, here’s what I came up with.  It’s pretty simple and really good and another healthier take on an old standy-by…

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Shepherd’s Pie…

For the potatoes:

1lb (-ish) of yukon gold potatoes (basically 6 large or 10 if they are small)

1 cup of low fat buttermilk

pepper, garlic powder and onion powder to taste

For the meat:

1lb ground sirloin

1 1/2 cups frozen peas

3 carrots, peeled and sliced

1 cup unsalted beef stock

2-3 tablespoons corn starch (I use non-GMO)

2 teaspoons ground pepper

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 tsp worcestershire

1/3 cup ketchup

1 cup mild cheddar 2% milk cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and start boiling water in a medium saucepan.  Peel and cut the potatoes and add them to the boiling water.  While the potatoes do their thing, sauté the carrots in a little olive oil and in a separate pan brown the beef with the onion and garlic powders and pepper.  Typically with sirloin there is no grease to drain.  If you use chuck, be sure to drain it.  Add 1/2 cup of stock to the meat and then whisk the cornstarch and remaining stock.  add to beef.  You want it wet with a little extra liquid, but not soupy.  You may need to adjust the amount of stock.  Add the frozen peas, ketchup, worcestershire, and carrots.  Heat on low until it is thick and the peas are thawed.

When tender, drain the potatoes and add the buttermilk and a little pepper and garlic and onion powders.  Mash with a potato masher until thick and creamy.  You may need to add a little more buttermilk.  in a 2 1/2 quart baking dish, add the meat and then top with the potatoes.  Sprinkle with the cheese and bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the top is a little crunchy.

The best part? It reheats in the oven in the SAME PAN so no more dishes! And tonight we had it with the leftover salad (see last night’s post).  Yummy, healthy, and tomorrow night I can just pop it back in the oven! ~s

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Sweet Potato Heaven

This year dad and I planted a huge row of sweet potatoes in his (our) garden.  We planted 80 yukon and red potato plants also, but that is a great story for another day. When I was a kid I hated that garden.  It was always on my list of chores and it was always hot and buggy and full of veggies that I hated.  (Except for peas and tomatoes. I would sit in the dirt and eat raw peas that were warm from the sun and fresh tomatoes until my stomach hurt!)

Flash forward 25 years.  Now I LOVE that garden.  Spending hours with my dad planting and harvesting  and talking and growing REAL food that tastes amazing.  What can be better than that??

Well, how about a sweet potato that’s as big as a football??

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Or my foot…

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We got 2 bushels out of half a row.  Which means lots of roasted sweet potatoes for dinner!!  And we still have another half of a row to harvest!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes (I promise your kids won’t know what they are)

2-3 sweet potatoes (or one if it’s as big as your foot)

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Peel the sweet potatoes and then dice into medium chunks. The smaller the dice the shorter the cooking time, so I usually do about 1/2 inch pieces.  Because I love them and I am impatient!! Throw in a bowl and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Put on a baking sheet (sometimes I use my pizza stone) and bake until tender, usually about 25-30 minutes.  I check them after about 15 and turn them.  Just depends on whether you want them soft or crisp like a crunchy home fry.  And that’s it! It’s like a sweet potato fry only easier! ~s