Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Packed Lunch Series: Challenge #2: Make Once, Eat Twice...

Don't you love dinner leftovers when it's so delicious you and your family want to eat it again the next day for lunch? Leftovers make packing lunch easy and tasty-- it just makes sense to build them into your dinner plans. I think I've got a great recipe for you that could become your fall favourite. Who doesn't find comfort especially this time of year in Chili and Shepherd's Pie? If you put the two ideas together- you've got the ultimate comfort food bomb! Try turkey instead of beef for lean protein, this is also a perfect one pot meal that uses any leftover veggies you have on-hand. Prefer no beans, remove and add another 1/2 lb. of ground turkey to the recipe.

Turkey Chili Con Carne Shepherd's Pie
Makes 6-8 servings

2-1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes, or a combination of baking potatoes (4 or 5 potatoes), peeled and large diced
2 Tbsp. butter
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp. ground or freshly grated nutmeg or to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1-1/2 lbs. lean ground turkey
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. each ground coriander, cumin, paprika and chili powder (adjust according to family's spice preference)
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (cook into filling or serve on the side)
1 cup corn kernels
3/4 cup tomato paste
2 cups chicken broth or water seasoned with 1 tsp. chicken bouillon powder
1 can (426 g) kidney beans
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

I had two leftover steamed sweet potatoes from the other night-- perfect to use up in this recipe.

Place potatoes on a steamer with water underneath in a pot and bring to a boil. Cook until tender about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oil in skillet/pot on medium-high heat; sauté onions and garlic with spices until aromatic and onions are soft. Add turkey meat, break it up and cook until it's almost cooked through; add pepper(s)-- add jalapeno too if using and corn. Cook for two minutes, then stir in the tomato paste and let cook for one minute to thicken. Pour in the chicken broth and kidney beans; stir until everything is well incorporated. Bring the whole thing to the boil, give it a good stir. Turn down the heat until it is gently bubbling and leave it for 15 minutes. You should check on the pan occasionally to stir it and make sure the sauce isn’t drying out. If it is, add a couple of tablespoons of water and make sure that the heat really is low enough. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Drain the cooked and soft potatoes; return to pot and mash with a potato masher until smooth and lump-free. Add butter and milk. Stir until well-blended. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. I like mine soft but firm enough to hold up as the top layer on the pie.

Place the chili in a casserole dish, spread the mashed potatoes on top, and cover with shredded cheese (if desired). Or you can brush a thin layer of milk or egg on the surface to help brown the potato crust that will form more evenly and with a nice sheen.

Broil in a preheated oven (I use my toaster convection oven to save energy). Brown under the broiler until golden about 10 minutes in mine.

Serve Turkey Chili Con Carne Shepherd's Pie with a side of garden salad, chopped jalapenos and hot sauce! Look at all that scrumptious healthy numminess!

We approve mom! We'd eat this for lunch-- just don't forget to add some hot sauce!

Eat Once...

Eat Twice... How great is that for making your life just a little easier? Heat up a piece of the pie and pack in a wide-mouth thermos jar in your kid's lunchbox. This hearty lunch will keep your kids satisfied until break-time and something to look forward to mid-day to warm up little tummies.

Prefer to eat these great foods on its own that's also great to make and take, have a look at my recipes for Vegetarian Chili Con Carne and Shepherd's Pie.  

For more Make Once Eat Twice ideas check out the ideas in new lunch site Yummy Lunch Club. Lots of great ideas in there from Yummy Lunch Club's partnership with Canada Beef.

Next Up-- Challenge #3: Creative Leftovers. Make extras at dinner and get creative for a new taste for lunch.

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