I don’t mind admitting that kitchen creativity is a finite resource in these parts.
I honestly do not understand how certain author-bloggers churn out the amount of content they do. When I’m in book recipe testing mode, I have very little head or fridge space left to also keep pushing out new recipes for this site on a regular basis.
I almost always need a recharge period. Sometimes that means making my own dishes from my archives during meal prep days and following them verbatim. Others, a healthy low FODMAP lunch from Epicured followed by a foot massage. But my favorite thing to do to get the juices flowing again is diving into in the heavily padded cookbook section of my shelf.
Luckily, it’s been a particularly badass season for new cookbooks, so I’ve been using them to get me out of my recipe rut. Or, rather, I’ve been using them to bring creativity to the table so that I don’t have to.
Enter my work wife Serena Wolf’s latest masterpiece: The Dude Diet Dinnertime (DDD).
A few weeks ago, I was having back to back dinner parties and needed something easy and incredibly flavorful that could be made ahead of time. I weirdly often resort to Shepherd’s pie in these situations, and have in the past gotten quite wild in my combinations. Never though in my wildest dreams did I think to do an Indian version with filling that tasted like a Samosa!!
Needless to say, as I was flipping through DDD, my mind was sufficiently blown by this concept and I knew I had to make it immediately.
Serena is not only known on the interwebs for her sassy desk lunches, winning sense of humor, and unparalleled mirror dance choreography, but she is also a maestro of the healthified man meal. This is, of course, what The Dude Diet Dinnertime–the follow-up to her acclaimed first book–is all about.
In this shepherd’s pie recipe, ground lamb gets kicked up with a blend of curry powder, chili powder and cumin. Regular spuds get traded for roasted sweet potato mash, and to add even more goodness, there’s a handful of cauliflower florets, carrots and peas in the meat mixture.
For those who are afraid of lamb, I promise you that you will hardly notice it in this recipe. That said, you can easily make it with ground beef or turkey. I also chose to omit the cauliflower and onion, and double up on the carrots and peas since sadly they are high FODMAP ingredients that still bother me. The pie still came out insanely delicious with not a morsel left on the casserole dish after it was ravaged by my husband and his friend. Which was a shame, since I would have eagerly done the same had I had the opportunity.
The reason why I’m sharing this recipe today of all days is because the topping could easily be substituted for whatever leftover sweet potato mash you have lying around from Thanksgiving. Just add a dash of cinnamon and cumin and it will blend perfectly with the fragrant, warming spices in the lamb. I always find that going to my spice rack is the best way to breathe new life into Thanksgiving leftovers, and this would be the perfect opportunity!
Serena has generously gifted us an extra copy of the book for one of you to take home! Read on for the recipe and jump to the comments for a chance to win a copy of The Dude Diet Dinnertime!! In the meantime, you can get your own for stocking stuffers or your favorite dude’s shelf by clicking here.
With health and hedonism,
Samosa Shepherd’s Pie
This lamb shepherd's pie recipe is adapted from The Dude Diet Dinnertime by Serena Wolf. It uses Indian spices to make it reminiscent of a samosa. The sweet potato mash is a fun variation and tastes fantastic with the spicy ground lamb.
- 3 medium sweet potatoes approximately 6 to 8 ounces each, sliced in half lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon divided
- 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt divided
- 2 cups finely chopped cauliflower florets about ½ small head of cauliflower
- 1 cup finely chopped carrots
- 1 small yellow onion minced
- 3 large garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 2 teaspoons chili powder plus extra for serving (optional)
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 12 ounces ground lamb preferably grass-fed
- ¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup frozen sweet peas
- Juice of ½ lemon
For serving (optional):
- Freshly chopped cilantro
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Brush the cut sides of the sweet potatoes with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and place them cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes or until very tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Let cool slightly. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove their skins. (They should peel right off.) Transfer the flesh to a medium bowl, and add a teaspoon of olive oil, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and mash with a fork until very smooth. Set aside.
Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the cauliflower, carrots, and onion and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the cauliflower and carrots have softened slightly and the onion is translucent. Add the garlic, curry powder, chili powder; the remaining ¼ teaspoon cinnamon; the cumin, ginger, cayenne; and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Cook for 1 minute more to toast the spices. Add the lamb and cook for about 4 minutes, breaking up the meat with a spatula, until no longer pink. Stir in the chicken broth and simmer for 5 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Turn off the heat and stir in the peas and lemon juice.
Transfer the filling to a medium baking dish (a 9x9-inch or a 7x 11-inch dish is ideal) and top with the sweet potato mash, spreading it out in an even layer. Add a couple of dashes of chili powder if you like.
Bake the casserole for 20 minutes, or until piping hot and bubbling around the sides. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve garnished with fresh cilantro if you’re into that.
Enter the Giveaway!
To win a copy of The Dude Diet Dinnertime leave a comment below and tell me your favorite weeknight dinner!
The winner will be announced via Instagram this Wednesday, so make sure you follow! You can also leave a comment on the post over there for an extra entry.