Ah the humble sweet potato pie. Never has there been a better way to dress up leftover ground beef and whatever veggies are left in the bottom of the fridge.
Though the word ‘pie’ brings to mind layers of flaky pastry, thick gravy and a serious lack of anything green, this particular recipe is different. And you can find it on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge!
Free from butter, pastry and gravy and chock full of lean ground beef and veggies. This improved version of an old favorite makes a weight loss friendly, delicious meal option.
When most people picture a shepherd’s pie, they see the golden mashed potato that makes up the top of the dish. While there are worse things you could indulge in, mashed potato isn’t a great option for those following a weight loss plan.
High Glycemic Index (GI) and (usually) containing a generous amount of butter, mashed potato doesn’t add any real nutritional value to the dish. Swapping it for low GI, beta-carotene rich sweet potato is a healthier but still yummy alternative. Roasting the sweet potato brings out its natural sweetness which tastes delicious when combined with the beef and veggies.
While the traditional dinner pie is light on the veggies, this one features a whole rainbow of different colors and flavors. This is especially good for upping your vegetable intake if you struggle with getting enough in.
Moms may also find that this makes a great meal option for picky eaters, as the sweet potato and ground beef help disguise less popular inclusions.
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- 1 lb extra lean ground beef
- 1 small onion finely diced
- 1 carrot peeled and finely diced
- 1 stick of celery finely diced
- 2 cups salt-reduced beef stock
- 3/4 cup mushrooms diced
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 2 tbsp salt reduced tomato paste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes cut in half longways
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 340°F.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper and place sweet potato halves on the tray.
- Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil, sprinkle with cinnamon and place in the oven for 50 min.
- When there are about 20 minutes to go on the oven timer, heat remaining olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium/high heat.
- Add garlic and onion to the pan and fry, stirring constantly, until the onion is transparent.
- Add carrot, celery and mushrooms to the pan and continue to stir the mixture until vegetables have softened.
- Add ground beef to the pan and break up with a wooden spoon to remove any lumps. Cook, stirring regularly until beef has changed color and is cooked through.
- Pour beef stock, Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste into the pan and bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce to medium/low heat and allow to simmer and thicken for 10-15 minutes.
- While beef mixture is simmering, remove sweet potato from the oven (when cooked through and soft) and allow to cool slightly.
- Being careful not to burn yourself, scoop sweet potato flesh out of each half using a large spoon and place in a mixing bowl. Discard the skin.
- Using a fork (or potato masher) mash the sweet potato flesh until smooth.
- Pour beef mixture into a large baking dish and top with mashed sweet potato.
- Place in the still hot oven for 15 min to turn sweet potato golden and thicken the meat mixture further, then serve.
Serves 4 at 365 calories per serving
TOP TIP: This is perfect for Sunday supper or an easy weeknight dinner. There will even be leftovers for the next day’s lunch. To make preparation even easier, buy a packet of pre-diced casserole veggies. These usually contain a mixture of carrot, celery and other seasonal vegetables and can be used instead of the individual vegetables listed above.
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