I swear not a moment goes by when I’m not thinking about food in one way, shape, form or another. My brain is always planning my next meal, new recipes or craving a chocolate something or other. As a result, you can only imagine the struggle I deal with while I’m constantly cooking and baking for my blog and the never ending requirement to taste-test my food (tough life, I know).With that being said the ongoing theme tends to be guilt-free recipes that I can eat and eat and eat…and eat and not feel like I’ve just sabotaged my entire day. With the snowy season upon us in New England finding a balance between healthy and comfort food (which we all seem to crave this time of year) may be a challenge but one I am always up for! I mean who doesn’t love a good challenge, am I right?
With that being said, my latest obsession (seriously I’m addicted) has been mashed cauliflower. It’s like mashed potatoes sans the heaviness, starchy overload, dairy, and unnecessary fat. Plus my version is gluten-free, vegan and paleo (omg)! It’s the perfect way to satisfy that comfort food craving without the guilt AND bonus you can’t even tell the difference! So what better way to enjoy this yummy cauli mash then as the star in a healthy shepards pie. This yummy version is packed with loads of vitamins and minerals, low fat, low carb and doesn’t miss a beat in the flavor department. Eating clean in the new year doesn’t have to be flavorless and boring. I promise this dish is so simple and so delicious you’ll be making it a weekly dinner staple. Healthy comfort food for the win!
Mushroom and Thyme Shepards Pie
Serves: about 6/Prep time: 15 minutes/Total cook time: 40 minutes
- 1 lb lean ground chicken
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large head cauliflower
- 1 c sweet onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh minced garlic, divided
- 1 1/2 c baby bella mushrooms, chopped
- 1 large handful of kale, chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 c Kite Hill Plain Almond Yogurt (or sub other plain non-dairy variety)
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- In a large sauté pan heat the olive oil over medium-low heat and add in the ground chicken. Cover and allow to cook until no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Roughly chop the cauliflower and add to a large pot filled halfway with water. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, crack the lid slightly and let steam until cauliflower is fork tender, about 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Once the chicken is cooked through, add in the onion and garlic and let cook until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add in the mushrooms, kale, thyme, sea salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 5-8 minutes. Toss in the kale during the last couple of minutes just enough to let it wilt slightly.
- Once cauliflower is ready, remove from heat, drain water and allow to cool some. Once no longer steaming, add to a food processor or blender along with the additional tablespoon of garlic, yogurt, sea salt and pepper and blend until smooth.
- Lightly spray a 9×9 oven-safe baking dish and spread the chicken mixture over the bottom. Then spread the cauliflower mash evenly over the top.
- Bake for 20 minutes until the top is golden.
- Allow to cool slightly before serving.