Saturday, March 6, 2010

Comfort Food

One of the challenges I face as I  maintain the weight loss from last year, is finding recipes that replace the comfort food I've always loved and grown up with: lasagna, shepherd's pie, macaroni and cheese (yum.)

So I'm trying out some of the recipe's from Weight Watchers "Pure Comfort."

Here's a recipe for Shepherd's Pie that I love.

Hearty Shepherd's Pie
Serves: 6

1 3/4 lbs baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
   2/3 C fat-free milk
      1 T unsalted butter ( I used salted)
      1 t  salt
   1/4 t freshly ground pepper ( I use regular pepper)
       1 lb ground lean beef (5% fat or less)
       1 onion, chopped
       4 garlic cloves, minced
       1 t dried oregano
    1/2 C dry red wine ( I often skip this if I don't have any in the house)
        2 T tomato paste
        1 (10-ounce) package of frozen peas and carrots
        1 C reduced-sodium beef broth

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray 2-quart baking dish with nonstick spray. To make topping, place potatoes in large pot with enough cold water to cover; bring to boil. Cook until potatoes are fork-tender, 10-12 minutes. Drain; return to the pot. Add milk, butter, 1/2 t of salt, and 1/8 t of pepper; mash and set aside.

2. To make filling, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, breaking it apart with a spoon, and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Return the skillet to heat. Add onion, garlic, and oregano; cook, stirring, until the onion is lightly browned. Add wine and tomato paste, cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is slightly thickened.  Add the peas and carrots; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables thaw. Stir in the broth and cook until the mixture is slightly thickened.  Stir in the beef and remaining 1/2 t of salt and 1/8 t of pepper.

3. Transfer filling to the baking dish. Spread the potato topping over the filling and bake until filling is bubbly around the edges, about 20 mins. Remove pie from the oven. Increase the oven temperature to broil and broil the pie, 5 inches from the heat, until the topping is lightly browned, 1-2 mins. Let stand 5 mins before serving.

Per serving: (1 1/3 cups) 284 Cal, 6g fat, 3 g Sat Fat, 5 g Fib, 22g Prot
5 Points.

If you have a recipe for Shepherd's pie that you love, changing up the ingredients to lower fat substitutes would work just as well. Do you have comfort food you've managed to lighten up and still create something satisfying? Or do you like to go for the full, original version and just choose to eat less of it?

Next week I'm on the hunt for a macaroni and cheese recipe that my daughters (one is vegetarian) will love.

Anne MacFarlane is an unpublished writer from eastern Canada. You can visit her blog at Read about her weight loss journey and see before and after pictures at Soon To Be Skinny Me.


Michelle Butler on March 6, 2010 at 11:05 AM said...

This recipe looks so delicious. I'm a fan of shepherd's pie too and look forward to making this.

For the most part, I do look for healthier recipes of my favorite comfort food but will indulge in the real thing a time or two.

Anne MacFarlane on March 6, 2010 at 6:49 PM said...

Michelle, Sometimes only the real thing will do.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on March 8, 2010 at 7:35 PM said...

I'm not really a Shepherd's pie person, but I adore mac and cheese. I need to find a low-calorie version.

Michelle Butler on March 8, 2010 at 8:58 PM said...

There are several Weight Watchers Mac and Cheese recipes out there. I'm not enough of a connoisseur of mac & cheese to rate which ones are the best.

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