The Thoughts and Adventures of Sarah Harris

theology, philosophy, health, cooking, and more

Pastel de Papas

I am attempting to cook healthy foods for Josh and I now that I have my own kitchen and my own grocery money (to an extent). The first two weeks, however, I don’t think I managed to do that very well. It’s hard to eat healthy and also live on a tight budget. Also, I’m not sure how people save money by going to Farmer’s Markets, co-ops, and CSA’s. Maybe when I have 2 kids it will save me money, but for right now, it appears it would cost me a few arms and legs that I don’t have to spare.

With that being said, I have had to figure out a way to get all the carbs we need (both Josh and I have high metabolisms) while still eating healthy and not breaking the bank. Finally, I think I have found the way: potatoes. Sweet Potatoes and Russet Potatoes have been my lifesavers. Now most would agree that sweet potatoes are a healthy carb but there is much debate about the common baking potato (this guy writes an interesting article on that). Whether it is or not healthy, we’re eating them, because it’s a good compromise that keeps us from digging out of our savings account and from eating hard-to-digest grains.

Yesterday, I cooked a dish I learned to make from my Argentinean house-mate, Eva, while I was living there for 9 months. The main ingredients: ground turkey and potatoes. My re-creation tasted just as I remembered it! Here’s the recipe!

Pastel de Papas (Potato cake)


1 small onion (chopped)

1 carrot (shredded)

1 lb of ground turkey

5-6 medium russet potatoes (peeled and cut about one inch thick)

Cheese of your choice (I used cheddar but mozzarella or provolone would be good too)

1 tbs butter

1/4-1/2 cup milk

2 Eggs (boiled)

Cumin to taste

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste


Pre-heat oven to 350.

Place potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Boil until soft – about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, place ground turkey, onions, carrots, and spices in a pan and cook on medium heat until turkey is cooked through and onions are translucent.

Once potatoes are soft, drain the water and mash the potatoes. Add milk and butter. Mix well.

Coat a 9×11 baking dish with butter or oil.

Layer baking dish with half of the potatoes. Evenly spreading them out. Pour all of the meat mixture on top of the potatoes in the pan. Add the rest of the potatoes, making sure they cover the entire dish. Place cheese slices on top.

Bake in oven until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Sadly, I forgot to take a picture before Josh and I ate it all, but here’s what it should look like! I think next time I might try making it with sweet potatoes!


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