Turkey Cottage Pie with Sunchokes and Turnips

The Snarky Gardener welcomes Brooke the Cook to the blog. She has created a recipe to use up his abundance of sunchokes, potatoes, and turnips.


Photo Credit: gkdavie cc

Turkey Cottage Pie: is it a shepherd’s pie or pot pie?

Inspired by the bounty of root vegetables at Snarky Acres, this recipe combines the rich filling of a shepherd’s pie (sans sheep), the abundance of turkey left-overs available after the holidays, and is topped with low-glycemic white root vegetables to balance the body.


I recommend pairing this delicious casserole with a side of steamed asparagus or green beans, and a fresh salad of mixed greens.
Serves 6.


  • 4-5 cups root vegetables (choose low GI: (Jerusalem artichoke/sunchoke, celeriac, white turnip)
  • 1 potato (see note below)
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 cup sweet peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1lb / 450g turkey
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder or reduced sodium Old Bay spice
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup flour (all purpose, gluten free or chickpea)
  • 1 cup white wine (or filtered water)


  1. Roughly chop the root vegetables and potato. Boil in 3 cups of water until soft (15-20 minutes). Partially drain and set aside.

Note: Russet potatoes will give it a lighter-fluffier mash. Yukon Gold will give a smooth but heavy texture. Red or white skin potatoes can quickly turn gummy. For the best texture use a masher. Do not use a mixer or it will go gummy.



  1. Finely dice the carrot, onion, garlic and celery. Sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until soft. Sprinkle flour and add wine and spices. Stir well and cook for 3-5 minutes more. Set aside in a dutch oven or oven-proof casserole dish.
  2. Scramble fry ground turkey, drain. If using left-over roast turkey, chop finely 1-2 cups and pan fry 3-5 minutes to warm. Add the turkey to the vegetables. Note: For a vegetarian option, replace the turkey with 1-2 cups of cooked lentils and/or quinoa, combined.


  1. Mash root vegetables with a pinch of salt. Beat until smooth. Spoon evenly over the filling. Bake 40 min at 375F. Let stand 5 min.
  2. Serve with steamed asparagus or green beans, and a salad.

What’s your favourite way to use up left-over turkey?

In health and friendship,

Brooke loves to cook, hence the nickname. She is passionate about eating for pleasure and nutrition. Her recipes are health-conscious, though she does enjoy a satisfyingly-rich dessert. If you like what you read, please leave a comment below and subscribe for new recipes at weekbyweek.ca.

Seed Starting Tips

The Snarky Gardener has plenty of seed starting tips and tricks. Please enjoy.


I recently guest blogged on weekbyweek.ca, a weekly recipe food blog called “Brooke the Cook”. Starting seeds can be intimidating but it’s not too difficult if you follow my helpful advice.

Remember: your starts are basically baby plants. They will need your constant care until they are planted (and then a little more after that).


Do You Have Mad Gardening Skills?

The Snarky Gardener lists 7 skills you need to take your gardening to the next level.

To be an avid gardener, you need to develop special abilities. Do you have what it takes? Are you willing to stretch outside your comfort zone? It will take hard work and dedication.

The Snarky Gardener patiently standing by his tree.
The Snarky Gardener patiently standing by his tree.

Here are my 7 mad gardening skills:

  1. Alertness
  2. Creativity
  3. Forgiveness
  4. Humility
  5. Patience
  6. Planning
  7. Sharing

Discover them in my latest Mother Earth News blog post “7 Mad Gardening Skills

Hugelkultur at Snarky Acres

The Snarky Gardener has several hugelkultur beds at Snarky Acres. Here’s his Mother Earth News article on them.

Newly added hugelkultur bed with leeks and onions planted on it.
Newly added hugelkultur bed with leeks and onions planted on it.

Hugelkultur beds are built using buried wood and other organic material. These ingredients break down over time, providing your plants with nutrients and moisture. Breaking down over the next 5 to 10 years, the wood will eventually transform into rich beautiful soil. I recently wrote about my hugelkultur beds at Snarky Acres for Mother Earth News, including what veggies I planted on them and how they are working out for me so far.

Listen to the Snarky Gardener

The Snarky Gardener was interviewed on the Urban Farm podcast. Listen to him talk about Snarky Acres and his projects.

Listen to the Snarky Gardener's podcast interview


I had the privilege of being interviewed on the Urban Farm podcast. We discussed my beginnings as a gardener, why I grow food, my favorite book, and my current project (writing my first book “The Snarky Gardener’s Veggie Growing Guide for Ohio and Beyond”). So it was pretty much all about me, someone I know a great deal about.  I didn’t mention the Snarky Girlfriend and haven’t heard the end of it by far. There will be other podcasts in my future, so maybe I’ll remember to talk about her then.

It took me a week, but I finally got up the nerve to listen to my own interview. I obviously was there for the recording, but wasn’t sure how my voice would sound. You can tell I was a little nervous at the beginning but really came on strong by the end. It’s easy to talk about something I’m so passionate about. As you can tell by this blog, growing food is very important to me.

What I really like about urbanfarm.org is that they consider anyone who grows food and gives or sells it to others is a farmer. This definition probably expands the number of farmers in the world tenfold.  We can all contribute to the local food supply even with a “simple” garden. Those overwhelming zucchinis people complain about every summer? Perfect for donating to those who don’t have enough food. Then you too will be a farmer.


Let's Grow Some Veggies!