Shepherd's Pie Makeover: Comfort Food After a Hard, Rainy Practice

June 21, 2013 | Kait Fortunato

Must See Nutrition Videos

Editor's Note: From the fast food drive-thru and the take-out box to the backyard BBQ, STACK Expert Kait Fortunato is taking our favorite indulgences and turning them into healthy, everyday meals. Now you can eat what you love on a daily basis without compromising your performance or your health. These simple do-it-yourself recipes prove you can eat good fats, lean protein and whole grains but still have meals that taste great. This week, Kait shows you how to create a healthy Shepherd's pie. (See Part One in this series: Grill a Guiltless Burger: The Healthy Cheeseburger Recipe.)

Shepherd's Pie

Seriously, what could be better after a rainy night practice than a pile of juicy beef covered with creamy mashed potatoes and cheese? (Hard day on the field? See Foods To Boost Your Mood After Tough Games.)

Shepherd's Pie practically screams comfort food. Unfortunately, the original recipe calls for items like cream cheese and butter, which are high in saturated fat (i.e., the unhealthy fat) and will not adequately fuel your performance.

Traditional Shepherd's Pie

  • 452 calories
  • 17 grams fat
  • 7 grams saturated fat
  • 295 mg sodium
  • 52 grams carbohydrates
  • 7 grams fiber

At first glance, this doesn't look too bad in terms of calories and fat for the occasional indulgence. But the calories come from saturated fat and unhealthy carbohydrates, which will leave you feeling heavy and slow.

Healthy Shepherd's Pie (adapted from this recipe)

With heavy casseroles, you're confined to small servings, but meals like this give you more bang for your buck.

For healthy shepherd's pie, we removed the creamed potatoes due to their high glycemic index and need for butter. This eliminated some of the saturated fat. Thanks to great seasonings and a variety of add-ins, we were also able to sneak in more servings of vegetables. This swap provides healthier carbohydrates to replenish your energy levels after practice or a game. (Want more great seasonings? Check out The Powerful Health Benefits of Turmeric.)

To keep the same creamy texture as the original recipe, I recommend a side of baked sweet or russet potato. This will allow you to control the amount of butter you consume.

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup roasted corn (I love the Trader Joe's brand)
  • 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon each of rosemary, thyme and sage

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 400F
  • Boil the cauliflower in a pot over medium heat until soft (about seven to 10 minutes)
  • As the cauliflower boils, sautee the ground turkey until brown (about 10 to 15 minutes)
  • Chop vegetables and add to the cooked ground turkey; heat through until soft
  • Sprinkle in a tablespoon of flour and bring to a boil (because the turkey is so lean, there should be enough water in the pan)
  • Add half the seasonings
  • Drain the cauliflower and "mash" in one egg and the emaining seasoning (either by hand or with a blender)
  • Grease a nine-inch square pan and fill with the ground turkey and vegetable mixture
  • Top it off with the cauliflower mash and cook for 10 minutes at 400F
  • Switch the oven to broil so the top browns and cook for another 10 minutes

Nutritional Profile

  • 220 calories
  • 9 grams fat
  • 16 grams carbohydrates
  • 4 grams fiber
  • 26 grams protein
Kait Fortunato
- Kait Fortunato is a registered dietitian at Rebecca Bitzer & Associates, a large and experienced nutrition practice in Maryland. She focuses on individualized nutritional recommendations...
Kait Fortunato
- Kait Fortunato is a registered dietitian at Rebecca Bitzer & Associates, a large and experienced nutrition practice in Maryland. She focuses on individualized nutritional recommendations...
Must See
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 4,856,403
Dwyane Wade Leads by Example
Views: 6,631,865
Why You Should Never Doubt Colin Kaepernick
Views: 20,481,851

Featured Videos

A Day in the Life of NBA D-League Star Seth Curry Views: 69,070
Kevin Love's Cone Hop Basketball Shooting Drill Views: 9,456
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 2: Laying the Groundwork Views: 133,452
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,308,880
What Ryan Hall Eats for Breakfast
Views: 795,300
STACK Fitness Weekly: How To Do a Muscle-Up
Views: 778,676
Greg Nixon's Hill Training Program
Views: 705,782
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,561,942

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

3 Holiday Recipes that Won't Ruin Healthy Habits

Eat well, celebrate with friends and feel good. Read on for my top tips for how to avoid post fe(a)stivity guilt as well as a few holiday recipes that...

Kait's Meal of the Month: Eggplant Turkey Boats

Fuel Your Next Run With This Homemade Energy Bar

6 Delicious and Healthy Overnight Oatmeal Recipes

Recipe Makeover: Healthy Stuffed Mushrooms

Start Your New Year With These Holiday-Inspired Smoothies

Delightful Desserts for the Grill

5 Quick and Easy 5-Ingredient Recipes

Simply Roasted Sweet Potato Recipes

3 Summer Shakes That Boost Athletic Performance

7 Easy-to-Make Recipes for Gluten-Free Snacks

6 Ways to Liven Up Your Winter Diet With Citrus

Healthy Snack Recipes for Hungry Athletes

Protein-Packed Smoothies Without Protein Powder

Make Gains With This Post-Workout Shake Recipe

Rate My Breakfast Plate: How Top Trainers' Breakfasts Stack Up

4 Easy Recipe Substitutions for Take-Out Food

5 Non-Boring Ways to Eat Ground Turkey

'Ultimate Oatmeal' Recipe For Runners

4 Athlete-Friendly Microwave Meals

Kait's Meal of the Month: Crock Pot Beef Stew

Cure Breakfast Boredom With 3 Simple Healthy 'Boosts'

Kait's Meal of the Month: Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Kait's Meal of the Month: Healthy Chicken Piccata

7 Delicious Muscle-Building Smoothie Recipes

5 Non-Boring Ways to Eat Sweet Potatoes

Gain or Lose Weight With Oatmeal Pancakes

Quinoa Recipes: A Super-Healthy Grain, 5 Ways

5 Healthy Stuffing Recipes for Turkey Day

5 Non-Boring, Easy and Healthy Canned Tuna Recipes

6 Simple Power Recipes for Vegetarian Athletes

4 Post-Workout Shakes for Recovery and Building Muscle

Weight Loss and the Mediterranean Style Diet

5 Non-Boring Ways to Eat Eggs

Easy Thanksgiving Leftover Meals

3 Protein-Packed Peanut Butter Recipes

A Recipe for Healthy Turkey Burgers

5 Healthy Recipes to Start Your New Year

STACKletes Speak: "Healthy" Purple Drink and Fried Chicken

Paleo-Friendly Meals for CrossFit Athletes

5 Non-Boring Ways to Eat Salmon

Lunch Box Special: Tobin Heath's Old-School Pre-Game Favorite

A Better Baked Ziti

Cooking for the Cooking-Inept: The Slow Cooker, Explained

3 Recipes to Spice Up Chocolate Milk

3 Power-Packed Milkshakes to Boost Recovery

Mix It Up With These High-Protein Meatloaf Muffin Snacks