Have I mentioned before that I love mashed potatoes? I absolutely know I have, and am aware that the sentiment is as unique as when people say they love cheese (is it even possible not to love cheese?).
I really do love them. When I was a kid I asked for them every year on my birthday along with whatever else I was loving (mashed potatoes and Stuffed Grapevine Leaves, mashed potatoes and fajitas, mashed potatoes and spaghetti –I have no idea why nobody noticed my culinary prowess from a young age…)
I also remember watching TV shows as a kid and wondering why they always got mashed potatoes for normal dinners and didn’t have to wait for special holidays (I actually don’t think the Simpsons have gone a night without mashed potatoes, it’s really not fair).
Now I realize it was probably more about sustainable food styling (or in the Simpsons case, easy food-drawing?) than what everyone else in the world was actually eating for dinner. Although I don’t think mashed potatoes every night is the answer (I also think this would de-special them considerably), I do think that potatoes in general get a bad rap. They are a whole food after all, and if we are eating the whole vegetable (guys, they’re a vegetable!) and pairing them with some mightier, lower gi companions, who knows what they would be capable of? (Hopefully at least tasting good).
Last year around this time we posted our delicious Mushroom Gravy (make sure you have the ingredients for this before you read any further). We paired it with a solid rutabaga purée, which could be a simple answer to your own personal cravings. However, I know some of you have a very specific potato itch around this time of year, so this is for you.
It is actually inspired by one of my sisters who has four (awesome) kids and has recently been reading books on nutrition, trying to figure out how to get her kids to eat more veggies. She said she added one potato to cauliflower purée and the kids loved it. I had actually never tried that. I’d only made cauliflower purée and called it mashed potatoes, not actually added them. It makes sense though, doesn’t it?
I wanted this to satisfy the greatest potato fan (me) and didn’t want to be able to easily detect anything besides potatoes. So we made it with about half (in volume) potatoes and half cauliflower mixed with navy beans. The cauliflower, because it is a low gi cruciferous vegetable that totally counts as eating veggies and the navy beans, because they have a little less flavour than the cauliflower and add more fiber and protein (in case you are feeling crumby or just celebrating yourself and don’t need to add fajitas to call this a meal).
Russet potatoes (baking potatoes) are not nearly as sexy to photograph as yukon golds are with their buttery yellow flesh that suggests mountains of butter. I’ll admit, for this reason, potato choice was a tough decision. In the end we went with russet potatoes because they are a little dryer than other varieties (the proper word is floury), which helps to absorb the excess cauli moisture that can tip off their presence. They also have a really nice flavour. We left the peels on for extra peel nutrients and fiber (and flavour). Smaller potatoes = higher peel to flesh ratio, making them a great way to add more nutrients and fiber.
The cauli and beans get buzzed up in the food processor (or blender) until very smooth and then we mash our potatoes into that mixture by hand. Resist adding your potatoes to the food processor; they will turn into actual wallpaper paste. If you don’t like lumpy potatoes, use a ricer (but this will remove the peel as well).
This fluffy pile of celebration needs some fat in order to count as a party and we chose extra virgin olive oil. Use your favourite olive oil, the one that you actually love the flavour of, because you will be able to taste it. I love the taste of potatoes with olive oil, I don’t know why this isn’t more of a thing. We add some water (instead of milk) to thin things out a little bit. This isn’t the place for almond milk; we have the richness from the olive oil, we aren’t looking for more fat and certainly not an almond milk flavour.
I get several emails a month about the use of ghee (clarified butter)/grass-fed butter and bone broth. If any of this is part of your anti-cancer protocol (or just part of your diet) they are both pretty easy to incorporate into these recipes, and would be easy to sub into this one too!
Happy Thanksgiving to our American friends and family! (and sorry to my fellow Canadians for not getting this out in time for ours, but now you’ve got it for Christmas! Or this weekend!) Here are some more TG recipes if you’re looking for inspo:
- 3 medium (875g/1lb14oz) Russet (baking) Potatoes, cut into 2-3 inch pieces (leave peel on)
- 1 medium (800g/2lbs) Cauliflower, cut into 2-3 inch pieces
- ¾ c (100g) cooked Navy Beans (any white beans)
- ¼ c Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ½ c Water (or more or less depending on desired consistency)
- Sea(weed) Salt, to taste
- Steam the cauliflower until tender (around 10 minutes).
- Put in a food processor (or blender) with the beans and olive oil (to help it get going) and blend until very smooth.
- Steam potatoes until tender (around 15 minutes) and transfer to a large bowl.
- Add the contents of the food processor to the bowl of potatoes and some salt and mash until combined (don't over-mix or the starch in the potatoes will tighten up and they will get gluey).
- Add as much of the water do create desired consistency.
- Top with gravy or a little bit more extra virgin olive oil.