So what makes up the ultimate family dinner meal? Is it the hearty food, or the ‘special occasion’ dinnerware? How about sitting around the new dining table you picked up from Super A-Mart, or the funny conversations and dad jokes? All of these definitely make for a good atmosphere, but when it comes to creating the perfect meal for your family, nothing beats a good price tag, a healthy, tasty feed, and something that’s fun to eat together!
The Shepard’s Pie has been around for a long time, and like pasta, is one of those meals that most people enjoy a good plate of – kids included. What’s great about a meal like this is not only how easy and affordable it is to make, but how many vegetables you can sneak in there too.
What Do You Need?
Well it all depends on how sneaky you want to be with your vegetables, and just how many you want to include. For 4–6 people, start with the basics:
500g of lean/heart smart mince meat
- 4–6 large, washed and roughly chopped potatoes
- 3 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 1 cup of chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- Grated, reduced fat tasty cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Mixing It Up
Once you’ve got these basics together, feel free to start experimenting! Grate up a pile of zucchini and carrot and mix through with all the ingredients – minus the potatoes and cheese – once the mince is brown. Another sneaky way to get more punch in your pie is once the potatoes are cooked, mash them with steamed cauliflower for your topping. Cauliflower is a super food and is a nice change to the plain potato on top. Place your mince in an oven tray, cover with your potato (and cauliflower) mash, and sprinkle with cheese. Cook it for about 20 minutes or until that cheese is all golden with goodness.
Smart, Cheap, Easy
The Shepard’s Pie is a favorite for a reason; it doesn’t take long to put together, you often already have most of the ingredients in the fridge or pantry, and if you don’t, they are affordable staples to buy. These ingredients also make a large amount of food. There is nothing worse than spending a fortune on fancy vegetables and flavors that are all going to go to waste after that one meal – and the recipe barely scraps together four plates of food for your family! Everything you buy for this meal are ingredients that can be used for a variety of other meals if there are leftovers, something that is important for a family on a budget. It’s also a fun meal! Kids get to watch the cheese brown on a pizza, and you can watch them salivate at the messy meat when you serve it up directly at the table!
Finding the perfect family meal that everyone is going to eat can often be the pain of your existence. If you’re like most people, you often spend a large portion of the day thinking about what you’re going to feed the herd when you get home. So stick to the basics; simple, affordable, and hidden with goodness – you can’t really go wrong with these!
What are your best tricks for sneaking vegetables into meals? What’s your ultimate ‘never fail’ food at dinnertime? Let me know in the blog comment section below.
Photo Credit: campbellskitchen.com