Healthy Shepherd's Pie with Ground Turkey and Dill/Yogurt Mashed Potatoes

I love when good friends share recipes with me!!

My friend in Victoriareal estate agent extraordinaire Talon Thompson - mentioned he was going to make a shepherd's pie for dinner and I asked for his recipe.  I grew up in the U.S. midwest, a place it didn't exist way back when. I had it the first time after I moved to Canada and was an instant fan, but my attempts at making it myself were never outstanding.

Mama Costco's version ended up being what I served as a "save my sanity" meal when I was sick of cooking, but let's face it, it's really not that inspired.  When I tried making it at home I kept getting carried away adding tons of different ingredients and never seemed to get the right seasonings or balance between ingredients quite right. Stuck at home in self-isolation I'd been amusing myself by trying lots of difference recipes, so I was excited to try Talon's.

When he emailed it to me I was surprised. This wasn't the standard ground beef and vegetables in brown gravy and topped with standard mashed potatoes.  Intriguing. I love recipes that expose me to new ideas and ways of approaching an old standard. This recipe offered a change to healthier ground turkey (or ground chicken), no fatty gravy and mashed potatoes seasoned with yogurt and dill.

That day I just happened to need to pick up some basics from the grocery store, so added the few items I was missing.  They didn't have ground turkey, so went with ground chicken.  And they didn't have fresh dill either. I didn't want to go with dried, so tried the dill paste in tubes usually found in the produce section. It was easy to use and had a close to fresh flavour. Much better than using dried.

I also struggled with their cooking instructions and times, so just changed it up to what I absolutely knew would work as I'd done it before. And voila!  Hot, tasty and a hit with my husband as well. He took 2 bites, turned to me and said, "This is good."  That doesn't happen that often. He's just not a foodie.

This is comfort food at it's best. It's an old standard but with a great new, modern twist. Enjoy!

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Healthy Shepherd's Pie with Ground Turkey and Dill/Yogurt Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients -

6                Med. size potatoes, skinned and quartered (up to 8 if smaller)
1/2 C         Low fat plain yogurt (I used Greek style)
1/2 C         Milk
1/2 C         Chopped Fresh Dill (I couldn't find this so used a good dollop of Dill Paste)
Salt & Pepper
1 T            Vegetable oil
1                Small onion, diced
1 C            Carrots, split lengthwise, then cross cut in 1/4" pieces
1 lb.           Ground turkey or ground chicken
1/2 C         Celery, split lengthwise, then cross cut in 1/4" pieces
1 C            Snap peas, cross cut into bite size pieces (can sub frozen peas)
1/2 C         Red or yellow pepper, cut into bite size pieces
2                Cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp          Dried Sage
1/2 tsp       Salt
1/2 tsp       Pepper
1/4 C         Grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions -

Preheat ovem to 350 degrees.

Cook potatoes in boiling water until just tender.  Drain.  Mash together with the yogurt, milk and fresh dill (or dill paste - I have just become a huge fan). Season with salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in large frying pan. Add onion and cook for a few minutes. Add the carrots and continue cooking until onion is translucent.  Add ground turkey, celery, snap peas, pepper, garlic and sage and cook until the meat is no longer pink and the vegetables have started to soften. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Prepare a 9 x 13 baking dish (non-stick spray or butter).  Place meat/vegetable mix into the dish and smooth with a spatula until even.  Top with the mash potatoes. I think it's easiest to use a large spoon to place dollops all over, then smooth carefully with the back of the spoon. Sprinkle the cheese on top.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, then broil slightly to brown the cheese.  (note -if already browned, skip this step).  Serve with crusty bread!