When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Turkey shepherd's pie (with love on the side)

For Valentine's Day, I thought I'd post a recipe for a delicious comfort food dish, one that you might enjoy around a cozy kitchen table in February with some people you love.  This turkey shepherd's pie is a wholesome and satisfying meal, loaded with colourful veggies (and yes, it is also the very dish that caused a dinnertime gong show at our house last week, but my boys have strange ideas about food and you should just ignore them).  The recipe is one I adapted from the good food book for families by Brenda Bradshaw and Cheryl Mutch.

Turkey Shepherd's Pie

1 onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp canola oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 lbs ground turkey
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 small can (5.5 oz) tomato paste*
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes*
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

*I buy tomatoes and tomato paste in BPA-free cans

For mashed potato topping:

5 large potatoes, peeled and cut
1/3 cup milk*
1/4 cup butter*
1 clove garlic, crushed

*I made a dairy-free version of the topping by using 2/3 cup of rice milk instead of milk and butter

In a large, deep frying pan or stockpot, saute onion, celery, carrots, and oregano in oil until onion is translucent.
Add garlic and slowly crumble in ground turkey.  Saute until turkey is browned.  Drain off any excess fat.
Add corn, tomato paste, and diced tomatoes.  Mix thoroughly and bring to a boil.
Turn down heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 F.
Remove turkey and vegetable mixture from heat, add parsley and mix thoroughly.
Meanwhile, cook potatoes in boiling water until tender.
Mash potatoes with milk, butter (if using) and garlic.
Evenly divide turkey/vegetable mixture into two 8"x8" pans (a 2.5 L casserole dish also works well) and top with mashed potatoes.  Freeze one of the pies for another meal.
To serve, bake pie in oven for approximately 40 minutes, or until warmed through and bubbling around the edges.  Each pie serves 4-5 people.

While this turkey shepherd's pie does take some time to make, all the work for two meals can be done in one evening, which is always nice!  Served alongside a green salad, this lovingly made dish is sure to create a warm and happy mood at the dinner table.  (Unless you serve it at our house.  Never mind.)

Enjoy, and Happy Valentine's Day! 

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