Another one of Ben’s and my favorite games to play is “guess the ingredients,” where whoever has cooked the meal makes the other one try and guess all the ingredients in the dish.

It’s all very complicated.

A component of tonight’s supper was Ben’s #1 all-time favorite food ever, mashed potatoes, but I added a little somethin’ somethin’ to them and wanted to see if he could figure out what it was, so I challenged him to a round of GTI when he got home from work today.


Here, let me just stick my entire tongue in the extra mashed potatoes to try and figure out what’s in there. What? Do I have something on my face?

DSC_0886 DSC_0888

Ok, let’s see…potatoes?




Salt? Pepper? Milk?

Right, to all those things.

I think that’s it then?! Maybe sour cream?!


Ahem, sorry! The secret ingredient I added, which the mashed potato connoisseur himself could not even detect, was cauliflower! I am so jazzed over this lower-carb mashed potato recipe, which tastes just like the real thing. You heard it here first, folks!


Now, I’ve made mashed cauliflower before trying to “trick” my brain into believing it was mashed potatoes, but no amount of whipping, butter, salt or pepper could help me get past the slightly wet and grainy texture. Sure it’s low-carb and healthier than mashed potatoes – but at what cost, I ask you?


The recipe I used to sit atop the St. Patrick’s Day inspired supper of Shepherd’s Pie I made tonight doesn’t eliminate the potatoes, rather it cuts them in half. Half potatoes, half cauliflower, with a little bit of milk, butter, salt & pepper. So easy. So satisfying!


Start by making the Healthier Mashed Potatoes that Actually Taste Good. Wash then chop 2 large potatoes into 2″ cubes then place them inside a steamer basket in a large pot and steam for 5 minutes. If you don’t have a steamer basket you can boil the potatoes. Also, you can peel the potatoes if you like – I forgot/am lazy/don’t mind peels.

DSC_0843 DSC_0847

After 5 minutes add 1 small head chopped cauliflower on top then steam for 10 more minutes, or until the potatoes and cauliflower are very tender.

DSC_0848 DSC_0849

Place the steamed veggies in a large food processor with a whipping blade, which is an unsharp blade used to mix up cake batters and mashed potatoes. Alternatively you could use the regular blade, or just use a handheld mixer (which is how my Mom has always made her mashed potatoes!)


Add warm milk, butter, salt and pepper…

DSC_0862 DSC_0863

Then let ‘er rip!


Scrape down the sides a couple times, and just keep going until your mixture is nice and smooth. YAY! Ok, set the Healthier Mashed Potatoes to the side for a bit while you work on the Shepherd’s Pie filling you’re going to slather them on top of.

DSC_0868 DSC_0869

Start by browning ground beef with onion, garlic, salt, and pepper.


Tip: I didn’t end up having to chop the onion because I found a bag of pre-chopped onions in my freezer. I always do this with my leftover onions and it is SUCH a time saver!


Drain the meat if there’s a lot of fat in the pan, then sprinkle in the flour and cook for 1 minute.


Next add tomato paste, soy sauce and worcestershire sauce.

DSC_0854 DSC_0855 DSC_0856

Tip #2 – I freeze my leftover tomato sauce sectioned off in plastic baggies so I can just snap one off the next time I have a recipe that calls for it.


Next add 1 can chicken or beef broth.


Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the sauce is thick, about 5-6 minutes, then add in frozen vegetables.


Pour the mixture into a casserole dish and top with the healthifier mashed potatoes.

DSC_0872 DSC_0876

Since we saved some cals by using half cauliflower, I felt it was only necessary to dot the top with a little more butter, salt, and pepper.

Into the oven for 30 minutes.


Heck yes!


Let the Shepherd’s Pie cool for 5 minutes, then dish it on up.


Shepherd’s Pie with Healthier Mashed Potatoes That Actually Taste Good


Shepherd's Pie with Healthier Mashed Potatoes (That Actually Taste Good!) will fool even the most die-hard mashed potato lover!


serves 6-8

  • For the Healthier Mashed Potatoes
    • 2 large potatoes (1-1/2lbs,) peeled then chopped into 2 inch pieces
    • 1 small head cauliflower, chopped into 2 inch pieces
    • 2/3 cup milk
    • 3 Tablespoons butter, divided
    • salt and pepper
  • For the Shepherd's Pie filling
    • 1lb ground beef
    • 1/2 onion
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • salt and pepper
    • 3 Tablespoons gluten-free or all-purpose flour
    • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
    • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 Tablespoon gluten-free Tamari or soy sauce
    • 15oz can chicken broth
    • 2 cups frozen vegetable medley


  1. For the Healthier Mashed Potatoes: Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a large soup pot then drop a steamer basket into the pot. Add potatoes, place a lid on top, turn heat down to medium, and then steam potatoes for 5 minutes.
  2. Add cauliflower florets on top of the potatoes, place lid back on top, then steam for another 10 minutes or until cauliflower and potatoes are very tender. Transfer to a large food processor fitted with the whipping blade.
  3. Meanwhile, warm milk and 2 Tablespoons butter in a small saucepan then add to food processor with salt and pepper. Process until very smooth then set aside.
  4. For the Shepherd's Pie filling: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brown ground beef, onions, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large skillet over medium-high heat then drain, and return to the skillet. Sprinkle in flour then stir well and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, gluten-free Tamari or soy sauce, and chicken broth to the skillet then bring to a boil. Lower heat then simmer until sauce has thickened, 5-6 minutes. Add frozen vegetables then more salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Pour mixture into a large, oven-proof casserole dish then top with healthier mashed potatoes and dot the top with remaining Tablespoon butter, salt, and pepper. Place casserole dish on top of a baking sheet (in case the sauce overflows) and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until top is golden brown.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.


You will want seconds, thirds and fourths of this dish. It is comforting, creamy and hearty, but light too. Great for saving plenty of room for green beer on St. Patrick’s Day!