Friday, February 15, 2013


Happy Day after Valentine’s!  I hope your evening was filled with love and romance.
What did I do?  I’m so glad that you asked.

Well, there was a game last night so Billy was at work.  My friend Laura called me to see if I wanted to be the fifth wheel; I know the saying is third wheel; but there were two couples, so I feel that fifth wheel is correct.  They were going to go see “I Love You, Your Perfect, Now Change”.  I asked plenty of questions to be sure that I would not be interrupting anything romantic of course; I’m not one of those.  

Now I’m kind of used to being the odd (wo)man out because Billy is gone so often.  For nine months of the year, Billy works a lot; and for three months, Billy works a little.  I’m not complaining that’s just how my married life always has been.  

When we got to the theater we were soaked as we had gotten caught in the rain.  So as we stood in the lobby shivering and waiting to enter the theater.  Finally the door opened and Laura handed me my ticket.  The first couple gave their tickets to the usher; she tore their tickets and told them “Enjoy the show.”  I was in the middle of the two couples, so when I handed the usher my lone ticket she seemed startled.  She tore the ticket and said, “Just you?”  “Go on ahead.”  I hadn’t felt bad; it didn’t even cross my mind to feel bad about being out alone, until that moment.  Thanks usher lady!  

The show finally started and we all quieted down, I was the only non-couple in the theatre.  I couldn’t help but see all the snuggling, nuzzling, and sneaking of little kisses that were happening all around me.  I felt oh so cold (because I my jeans were soaked) and out of place.

I realized that while yes, I am accustomed to being the third or fifth wheel; I’ve never been that on Valentine’s before.  While my friends were gracious enough to include me, and laughed with/at me over the usher incident; I’m kinda thinkin’ that in the future when Billy’s working on Valentine’s Day, I’ll just stay home alone and watch Hallmark movies.

Any hoo.  Remember a while back I had made this Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie; well I made a Turkey Shepherd’s Pie for the meat lovers.  This is a healthier version of traditional shepherd’s pie.  Turkey is not only leaner but it also gives a milder flavor to the dish.  The mashed potatoes are flavorful and creamy because I added reduced fat Velveeta instead of my usual heavy cream.  Turkey Shepherd’s Pie tastes great the longer it sits around for, so you can make this in advance and just heat it up when you’re ready to eat.  This also freezes well, so you could make a double batch and freeze one.  See, I’m always thinking of how I can do less work.

Here’s what you do.

Sweat the onions, carrots, turnips and garlic in a little olive oil.

When the onions are translucent add the ground turkey, Herbs de Provence, and Old bay seasoning.  Break the ground turkey up in the pan.  Don’t worry that the veggies aren’t cooked all the way through, they’ll be cookin’ some more. 

When the turkey has browned, add the flour.  Cook this for another 3 minutes to cook the rawness out of the flour.

Add the wine and let it reduce by half.

Add the chicken stock along with the worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, black pepper to taste, and the fresh sage; bring it to a simmer.

When that comes to a simmer, add the green beans.  Cook for 2 minutes.  If using frozen green beans add them at the same time as the peas.

Stir the peas in and remove from the heat.

Transfer the mixture to a casserole or baking dish.

Meanwhile; cook the potatoes until fork tender, drain the cooked potatoes really well.  Give them a mash.  I like this masher with the holes because it removes much of the potato skin for me.
This is a double batch of mashed potatoes, because I also made this Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie
Add the butter, cheese, warm milk, salt and pepper.   

I cut the cheese into too large of cubes; it really didn’t want to melt.  I turned the heat to medium low and put the lid on to facilitate the melting of the cheese.  I stirred the potatoes a couple of times being careful not to over work the potatoes; therefore, avoiding gluey mashed potatoes.

Top with the Cheesy Mashed Potatoes.  Make more peaks than I did, the peaks get so pretty and brown.
Sprinkle the grated cheese.  I wanted to use up the last of the Mexican blend cheese that I had in my fridge, cheddar or Colby would also be good.

Bake until the sides are bubbly and the potatoes are a golden color.  See how fluffy and light the potatoes are.  Allow the Turkey Shepherd's Pie to set for about 10 minutes before serving.  
Hope for leftovers because Shepherd's pie tastes just as good, if not better the next day.


Serves 6

1                            Small onion, small dice
2                            Small carrots, small dice
1                            Small turnip, small dice
2              cloves      Garlic, minced
1              Tbsp.        Olive oil
20            oz.           Ground Turkey
¾             tsp.          Herbs de Provence, or Italian seasoning
1              tsp.          Old Bay seasoning
1              Tbsp.        Flour
1/2           cup          Dry white wine
2              cups        Chicken stock, low or no sodium
½             Tbsp.       Worcestershire sauce
1               Tbsp.       Soy sauce, low sodium
                              Black pepper, to taste
1               Tbsp.       Fresh sage, chopped
¾              cup         Green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces (frozen beans can be substituted)
¾              cup          Peas, frozen
1                              Recipe Cheesy Mashed Potatoes (recipe follows)
½              cup          Shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese

1.            Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.            In a large skillet over medium heat sweat the onions, carrots, turnips, and garlic in the olive oil.
3.            When the onions are translucent add the ground turkey, the Herbs de Provence, and the Old bay seasoning.  Break the ground turkey up in the pan. 
4.            When the turkey has browned, stir the flour in, cook and stir for about 3 more minutes (to cook the rawness out of the flour).
5.            Add the white wine and cook until the wine has reduced by half.
6.            Add the chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, black pepper, and the fresh sage bring to a simmer.
7.            Once the liquid is simmering add the fresh green beans, cook for about 2 minutes (If using frozen beans, add them at the same time as the frozen peas).
8.            Add the frozen peas, stir and remove from the heat.
9.            Transfer the turkey and vegetable mixture into an 8 x 11 x 2 inch baking dish.
10.          Spread the Cheesy Mashed Potatoes over the top of the mixture.
11.          Sprinkle the grated cheese over top of the potatoes.
12.          Bake for about 30 minutes; until the shepherd’s pie is bubbling at the sides, and the top of the potatoes is golden in color.
13.          Let the Turkey Shepherd’s Pie rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.


2              lbs.         Waxy potatoes (such as Yukon Gold), washed and cut into 1 ½ to 2 inch cubes (peeled or unpeeled, it’s up to you)
2              Tbsp.       Butter
4              oz.          Velveeta processed cheese, grated or cut into ½ inch cubes or smaller (regular or 2%)
¾             cup         Milk, warmed
                             Salt and pepper to taste
1.            In a 3 quart sauce pan, cover the potatoes with water by at least an inch.  Cook over high heat until the water comes to a boil, add a little salt to the water and turn the heat down to a low boil.  Cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 10 minutes (depending on the size of the potatoes).
2.            Drain the potatoes well and return them to the pot.
3.            Mash the potatoes.
4.            Add the butter, cheese, milk, salt and pepper to the pan; stir just to combine (do not over work the potatoes).  If the cheese isn’t melting, put lid on the pot and cook over medium low for just a couple of minutes, stirring a couple of times until the ingredients are combined.

Serve over shepherd’s pie, or as a side dish.

 This recipe was shared at:

My Turn For Us, Freedom Fridays

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  1. Looks totally scumptious Kari.. I will have to give Turkey Shepherd's pie a turn some day. Pleased to meet you thorough Evelyn's Freedom Friday.

  2. I love this lightened up version of Shepherd's Pie. Looks delicious and I'm pinning to try for my family soon. Thanks so much for linking up to the Weekend Potluck Kari. Have a great week!