I love mashed potatoes, especially when they’re mashed with sour cream and butter or whole milk and cream cheese. Actually, I love potatoes in any form—baked, twice-baked, boiled, fried, French fried, scalloped, au gratin, you name it. I’ve never met a potato I didn’t adore. But all I have to do is glance at a helping of potatoes in any form, and I gain three pounds. How fair is that?
Lately I’ve been seeing mashed potato alternatives in the freezer section of the supermarket. They’re usually made with cauliflower instead of potatoes or a combination of cauliflower and potatoes. I’ve tried a few. They’re not only expensive but I’ve found them to be a poor substitute. So I decided to do a little research and came up with several versions that are much tastier and also easier on the wallet.
Make your own mashed cauliflower. It’s cheaper, and you can dress it up to create a more satisfying dish. Cut up a head of cauliflower and steam until it’s tender. While the cauliflower is cooking, chop a large onion and a pint of your favorite mushrooms and sauté in a small amount of olive oil. Puree the cauliflower with a splash of low-fat buttermilk. Fold in the onion and mushrooms. Add sea salt to taste.
Trust me, you won’t miss the potatoes, and you’ll be swapping out the calories for antioxidants and vitamin K.
Don’t care for cauliflower? Roast up a batch of parsnips drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. Mash them up, adding a little more olive oil if needed, then sprinkle with a dash of nutmeg. Finish by topping with a handful of chopped pistachios.
Another alternative is sweet potatoes and carrots. They’re both loaded with beta-carotene. Bake the sweet potatoes whole. Slice up and roast some carrots until soft. Scoop out the flesh of the sweet potatoes and puree them with the roasted carrots, adding a splash of orange juice, a pinch of cinnamon, and a pinch of nutmeg. Add sea salt and ground pepper to taste.