So as you know I’ve been trying to cut back on the poundage. Its just hard to cut out all my favourite meals when I’m trying to lose weight. So last night when Adam asked for Shepherd’s pie (which is a staple in our home), my wheels started turning about how I could make it lower in calories.
Side note: What most people in America refer to as “Shepherd’s Pie” is actually cottage pie. Technically Shepherd’s Pie is supposed to have ground lamb, cottage pie has ground beef. Silly yanks!
Since I use lean beef the calories aren’t too bad there, and obviously I could cut back on the amount of cheese I use on top, but what about those mashed potatoes? I thought maybe I could cut back on the butter and cream, but at 237 calories + 37 carbs per cup I knew there had to be a better way.
Enter mashed cauliflower.
I’ve had it before and it was really good as a side dish, and super low in calories and carbs. Only 24 calories per cup and only 4 carbs. Yes!
So here’s my recipe that I’ve perfected over the years…
1 lb lean ground beef
1 head of cauliflower
1/2 cup chopped red onions
1/2 cup shredded or finely diced carrots
1 can of peas, drained.
1 cup of shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
1/2 cup red wine + 1 cup
1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
1-2 T butter or spread
3 tsp garlic powder
1 T minced garlic
salt and pepper
Here’s what to do:
Cut the green pieces and center stalks off the cauliflower head and discard. Throw the whole chunk of cauliflower into a pot of boiling, salted water.
Start by sautéing the onions, garlic, and carrots until slightly soft. Add your ground beef and cook through. Once everything is all cooked, add the 1/2 cup of wine, and pour the other cup in a glass. Drink. Add the worcestershire, garlic powder, salt and lots of pepper to the pan. Cook until all the liquid has been absorbed. Set aside.
When the cauliflower is soft, drain well and return to the pot. Mash with a potato masher and add the butter (or fat free spread), 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, and salt. Cook over medium heat until all the liquid is cooked out. The cauliflower turns surprisingly watery after it is mashed. You don’t need milk or anything to make it creamy.
Transfer the beef mixture to a pyrex dish. Spread out to make a nice flat bottom layer. Add the mashed cauliflower and smooth out. Pour the peas over top of that layer and press down into the cauliflower. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and pop in the oven for about 10 minutes to melt the cheese and heat through. Sometimes I like to broil the top for about 2 minutes at the end to make it nice and crisp.