Cauliflower Topped Shepard’s Pie
Happy Pi Day!
In honor of this amazing nerdy holiday (and St. Patricks day right around the corner) I’ve made a healthy shepherd’s pie that uses cauliflower instead of potatoes and is filled with beef and lentils. I first made this beef and lentil shepherd’s pie with the traditional potato topping and it quickly became a family favorite. The flavors are so rich and the dish is quite filling while also being stuffed with so many quality ingredients.
Today I decided to switch up the previous recipe a bit by topping the dish with cauliflower mash rather than potatoes. Overall I followed the original recipe but, while the lentils were boiling I used a steamer basket to simultaneously cook a bag of cauliflower rice that I found at Trader Joes. After it was fully steamed I placed it in a sturdy bowl with salt, pepper, butter, milk, and some chicken stock and used an immersion blender to turn it into a silky mash.This is one of those dishes that gets even better as leftovers and it never gets old.
Ok, and now for what you are really waiting for. Here is a picture of Toby romping around in the blizzard that dumped 14 inches of snow yesterday! He is quite the fast learner and is settling well into his new routines.
Cauliflower Topped Shepard's Pie
A healthy variation of a well known dish. This shepard's pie is filled with beef and lentils then topped with cauliflower mash!
- 2/3 cup of dried lentils
- 2 cups of chicken broth (optional)
- 1 bag of cauliflower rice (1 lb)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion – finely diced
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 cups of mushrooms – chopped
- 4 cups of raw spinach
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried parsley
- Splash of milk
- 1/2 Tablespoon butter
- Crushed red pepper, salt and pepper to taste
Steps & Notes
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Simmer the lentils in 2 cups of chicken broth for 20 minutes. Add a bay leaf for flavor.
- Place a steamer basket over the lentils and steam the cauliflower rice for 10 minutes until fully cooked. Stir once to ensure full coating.
- Drain the lentils (save the broth) and pour the cauliflower into a sturdy bowl.
- Into the cauliflower add a bit of butter, a splash of milk, a splash of stock, salt and pepper. Then, blend with an immersion blender. Taste and adjust flavors as necessary.
- Meanwhile, as the lentils and cauliflower cooks, heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onions as well as some salt and pepper. Cook on low for 5 minutes until soft. Then, add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the chopped mushrooms last and cook – still on low – for 10 minutes.
- After about 8 minutes, push the vegetables to the side of the pan and add the ground beef. Cook until well browned stirring occasionally making sure to leave it chunky.
- Once the meat is fully cooked add the spinach and fully combine the contents of the pan. Then, add the tomato paste, lentils and herbs. Season with salt, ground pepper, and some crushed red pepper.
- In a glass 8×10 baking dish, layer the veggie/meat mixture first and then top with the cauliflower mash.
- Cook uncovered for 15 minutes then let sit for 5 minutes and serve!