It’s the end of a long day, you’re hungry, your kids are hungry, and you don’t know what’s for supper. You look around and wonder what you can get on the table before people start opening cabinets and stuffing their faces with Cheerios…maybe you should just pop over to Mickey-Ds and order a quick fix?
Nope—here’s an idea for you. Nix the energy-sapping French fries and throw together a simple, healthy First Responder: the veggie mash.
You can make up this warm purée if you have potatoes and just one other vegetable. Try different combos, colors, varied textures and parts of plants. The main thing is to have plenty of tasty little potatoes mashed in there to form a kid-acceptable, yet nutritionally-dense meal.
Because of Mr. Kale’s very nourishing qualities, I propose you include this star performer with the po-tots. Another hand-in-glove partner is the underused cauliflower for it’s silky qualities and cruciferous vitamins. Or throw in some parsnips as a comforting winter guest. The recipe below will demonstrate the first combination, but let it only be a starting-point for your clever and colorful partnerships!
Always buy organic potatoes, if you can get your hands on them. They aren’t a deal-breaker, when it comes to cost, and since potatoes routinely appear on the Dirty Dozen, it’s hard to pocket that extra dollar knowing you’ll be consuming harmful chemicals. If you want extra nutrition, scrub them well and leave the skins on; if you prefer the smoother texture of a true purée, go ahead and peel those babies.
Let me know what kinds of combinations you enjoy mashing together—feel free to share your recipes in the comments.
Green Streamer Potato Mash
Yield: 6 cups mashed
7 ½ c. potatoes, peeled and chopped into ½-inch pieces
3 c. julienned kale (about 4 sizeable leaves)
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 T. nutritional yeast
1 tsp. onion powder
salt to taste
- Chop the potatoes into ½-inch pieces, toss them into a pot, and fill with water until just covered. Get the pot a-boiling.
- If you have an extra little hand or two, have one of the kids peel some garlic cloves, smash them with the flat blade of your knife to activate the alliinase enzymes, then throw these in about six minutes before the potatoes are soft.
- Give a quick rinse to each kale leaf, slice out the tough stems, and then stack the 3-4 leaves and cut into narrow ribbons. Throw these green streamers into the boiling potatoes several minutes before they’re done cooking, let them wilt until soft, and then drain the water, leaving a small pool of it (about 1/3 cup) at the bottom of your pot.
- Now you’re ready to do the veggie mash! Smash those potatoes with a potato masher, adding the oil, yeast, onion powder, and salt to taste.
- Serve drizzled with a little olive oil. Bon appétit!
Photos by Robert Fusté