A traditional shepherd’s pie recipe gets a makeover, with a twist. Flavorful bison and nutrient packed sweet potatoes make this comfort food irresistibly good. Thank you to Kroger for helping me share this recipe with you.
I can’t tell you how many times I reach for chicken or ground turkey when I’m making dinner, which often produces some of our favorites, such as Slow Cooker Hoisin Chicken and Greek Turkey, Rice & Feta Casserole. That’s all well and good until my kids’ shoulders start to slump when I tell them that dinner is “something with chicken”. That’s always a sure sign that I need to switch things up.
And all of that fits in nicely with our Week 3 challenge for the Healthy New Year 6-Week Challenge:
To recap, in Week 1 Liz and I focused on Boosting Protein at Breakfast to Fuel Your Day and in Week 2 we added in the challenge of Go Ethnic at Dinner.
THIS WEEK’S GOAL IS…TRY A NEW LEAN PROTEIN
If you’re like me, you probably get stuck in a rut, cooking with the same ol’ proteins week after week. Not only is it important to switch things up for the sake of our taste buds, but trying new lean proteins is also a great way to fuel our bodies with a range of nutrients.
Some examples? Vitamin D in shrimp; omega-3s in salmon; antioxidants, fiber, iron, potassium (and more) in beans; lean protein in pork; iron in lean beef; and so on.
I remember when bison burgers became all the rage about 10 years ago, introducing all of us to a lean protein that is rich in omega-3s. In our house, we started using bison in chili, burger and Lean Bison & Barley Soup. And then we discovered that we could buy bison steaks, which eventually replaced beef tenderloin in our annual New Year’s Eve meat fondues. Leaner on the hips and the wallet. A win-win!
We’ve started buying the bison products at Kroger groceries. Over the past couple of years, I’ve noticed that the amount of natural/organic products in Kroger stores has grown exponentially. There is everything from meat (pork, beef, bison) and poultry (chicken, turkey) to dairy, fresh produce and canned goods. Just look for the Simple Truth products on the shelves throughout the stores. All Simple Truth products are Free From 101, which means that they don’t contain the 101 additives and preservatives on this list. And, quite honestly, they’re usually cheaper than comparable products at other stores, which is exactly why we buy our fondue bison there!
I grew up eating my grandmother’s shepherd’s pie, filled with ground lamb and topped with the creamiest mashed potatoes. For this recipe, I took inspiration from her recipe and switched things up by using ground bison and topping the shepherd’s pie with sweet potatoes. The flavors are so complementary – a little mix of sweet and savory – and the dish reaches a 10 on the comfort scale. I think my grandmother would approve.
Be sure to check out Liz’s comforting, healthy Bison Chili this week!
A challenge is always so much more fun, and dare we say easier, when you have challenge buddies to keep you motivated and exchange ideas with. Liz and I are excited to share ideas with all of you in our Facebook group, and on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #HealthyNewYear. Be sure to tag Liz (@thelemonbowl) and me (@cookincanuck) on Instagram when you post a #HealthyNewYear photo, and feel free to share your photos, ideas and questions in the Facebook group. It’s not too late to join!
- 1¼ lb. sweet potatoes, peeled & cut into ½-inch dice
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- ¼ cup nonfat milk
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp pepper
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 ½ lb. Kroger Simple Truth ground bison
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp crushed rosemary
- 1 cup chicken or beef broth
- 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a 1 ½ quart baking dish with cooking spray.
- Place the sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes.
- Drain and return the potatoes to the saucepan.
- Mash the potatoes with the butter, milk, salt and pepper until smooth.
- Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick saucepan set over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions and cook until they are starting to brown, about 4 minutes.
- Add the ground bison. Cook, crumbling with a fork, until the meat is cooked through.
- Add the tomato paste, garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper, and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in the broth, reduce heat slightly and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 12 minutes. Stir in the peas.
- Transfer the filling to the prepared baking dish.
- Dollop the sweet potatoes on top of the filling and, using a rubber spatula, spread the potatoes evenly on top, all the way to the sides. Be sure that the potatoes are sealed at the sides of the baking dish so that the filling doesn’t bubble through while cooking. Using a fork, make hatch marks on the potatoes, if desired.
- Place the baking dish on top of a baking sheet.
- Bake until the potatoes are just starting to brown, about 30 minutes.
- Let rest for 10 minutes. Serve.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Kroger. All opinions are my own. This post contains links to my Amazon affiliate page. Any revenue made from sales through these links helps to support this blog. Thank you!