I originally started this blog as a place to store tried and true recipes for my family. It didn't take long to discover how supportive and fun the blog community was and I became hooked! I rarely create my own recipes, but I still hope you'll enjoy the recipes that I find and tweak a bit.
As I may have mentioned in previous posts, this program that I'm on is broken up into three phases. I completed the first two phases last October and November and took a bit of a break in December to enjoy the holidays. Oh sure, I still went to the gym, dabbled in some weights, maybe hopped on the treadmill for a nice stroll. Basically made my appearance.
Well, yesterday I started the last phase of the program, which is the part where you're really supposed to lean and tone. It's such a difficult phase that even the writer of the program has mentioned that it's only something you do occasionally, not as a lifestyle. And I sit here before you as a woman in pain. I never thought it was possible for a workout to BE so brutal. We now take active rests in between our sets, which means that after you completely destroy your quads by doing fifteen reps on the leg press machine, you get to hop off and shred any ounce of feeling you may have had in them by doing fifteen jump squats. Don't even think about sitting down though, you get to do that two more times...and yeah, that was only your first exercise. Get ready for an hour and a half of pain so bad you won't be able to utter a coherent sentence (no seriously, ask the poor lady who asked me if I was done using a bench, I think I just looked at her and drooled.)
However, despite how badly I may have hated it at the time, and despite the fact that I now need my husband's help to lower me onto the couch, it feels AWESOME! Exercise has the amazing capability of making all of your problems seem a bit less significant. Maybe it's because of those great endorphins, or maybe it's because you're only real problem is that you can't lift your fork to your mouth. Either way, it feels excellent after a workout knowing that you just did something great for your body.
And speaking of doing something good for your body, give this Shepherd's Pie a go. I topped it with sweet potatoes due to my newly discovered obsession with them. Where have sweet potatoes been all my life? They are so good, and they make an excellent creamy topper for this casserole filled with flavorful turkey and delicious veggies.
Shepherd's Pie Best of Clean Eating, by Clean Eating Magazine
1 lb Yukon gold potatoes (or sweet potatoes) peeled and diced into 2 inch pieces 1 clove garlic, whole, plus 1 teaspoon minced, divided 2/3 cup buttermilk (I used unsweetened almond milk) 1 tablespoon chopped chives sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided 1 lb lean ground turkey breast 1 yellow onion, finely chopped 3 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into half moons 1 celery stalk, diced 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves (I used dried) 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1/2 cup frozen peas (I used a frozen veggie medley)
Preheat oven to 375.
Bring potatoes and whole garlic clove to a boil in a pot of water set over high heat. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes, then drain well. Mash potatoes and garlic with a potato masher, ricer or food mill until smooth. Add buttermilk and chives and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat one teaspoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add turkey and cook, stirring often and breaking meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook until no pink remains, about eight minutes. Drain and discard fat; set turkey aside.
Heat two teaspoons oil in same skillet. Add onion carrots, celery and rosemary, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, about eight minutes. Add reserved turkey, broth and tomato paste and continue to cook until most of liquid is absorbed, about five minutes. Stir in peas, transfer mixture to a shallow baking dish and cover with mashed potatoes in an even layer. Run a fork over top of potatoes in a crosshatch pattern or swirl with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Brush top with remaining teaspoon oil and bake in oven until filling is bubbling and top is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let stand five minutes before serving.