An Easy to Make But Delicious Meal: Savory Mashed Potatoes


I am currently working on a Vietnamese recipe involving mustard greens for my next around the world venture. But I bought too many mustard greens, so I was trying to find a use for the extra mustard greens I bought before they all go bad. That got me wondering how they would work instead of kale in the colcannon dish that I published last week. The more I thought about it, I thought, that could be a nice savory taste for the potatoes. And I thought, why not use up some other ingredients that I already had around the house? That led me to using frozen veggies in place of the cabbage and leeks.

The result turned out to be as good if not better than the colcannon, so I decided to share the recipe with my readers. This is no longer colcannon though because colcannon in addition to being a potato dish is a cabbage dish. And there's no longer cabbage in this dish. So, I call it Savory Mashed Potatoes and they are from no particular country, unless you consider my imagination to be a country.

One really nice thing about this recipe is that with the exception of the potatoes, it eliminates cutting and dicing of vegetables. I know that is very attractive to a lot of my readers. To be honest, it's very attractive to me too. For that reason, I can see myself continuing to make this more often than making colcannon in the future. Especially since this is just as good if not a little bit more savory.

One other note about this recipe. When I published the colcannon recipe, I got some pushback over the fact that it had cashews in it. The primary concern about cashews seems to focus around their fat content and its potential effect on endothelial cell function as well as its effect on weight management. There's good news on both fronts and much of that good news has been reported on by Dr. Greger just this past week.

But before getting to Dr. Greger, I'll first menton Dr. Dean Ornish, who is one of two doctors, the other being Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, to have actually reversed heart disease through a low-fat plant-based diet. Dr. Ornish has recently added nuts into his healthy dietary program. It can be read about here. Dr. Ornish states that eating nuts and seeds correlates with a 30% to 50% lower risk of cardiovascular disease. That's good news for those concerned about heart disease and wanting to incorporate a few nuts and seeds into their diets.

Dr. Greger's reports this week include this one where he says, "
"nuts improve endothelial function, boosting the ability of our arteries to dilate naturally by 30%." Plaque height in the arteries is reduced by eating nuts he goes on to say. It also includes this one. These reports show that the latest research on nuts demonstrate that nuts help to prevent heart disease, strokes, cancer and obesity. Yes, that's right, according to research cited by Dr. Greger, nuts may actually help with obesity too. That's not new though. Dr. McDougall in his book The Starch Solution on page 140 cites three different reasons for why nuts have been found to not lead to weight gain. And the interesting thing about that is Dr. McDougall is talking about "roasted, salted mixed nuts," according to the next paragraph down in his book. And I'm totally focused on using raw, unsalted nuts in my recipes, which are the healthiest way to eat nuts.

Each person of course needs to make their own decision about eating nuts, but I believe the evidence cited by Dr. Ornish and Dr. Greger. For one thing, I've lost 150 pounds myself and brought my numbers down significantly while eating nuts on a daily basis. And this recipe, like the colcannon recipe, is within the guidelines suggested by most of our plant-based doctors, including Dr. McDougall, who allows for up to an ounce of nuts a day.

One final note. I decided to leave the cardamom out of this recipe. The reason being that mustard greens have such a strong flavor themselves that adding the cardamom would have just been a waste of a good spice.

I hope you enjoy these savory mashed potatoes as much as I do. I find it every bit as good, and maybe even a little better than the colcannon recipe I posted last week. This recipe makes ten meal-size servings (and this is a full meal in itself, although I will eat it with a salad also), which again, you can cut in half to make five servings if desired.

Ingredients

5# bag of red potatoes 
32 ounces frozen mixed vegetables (I used Mediterranean blend from Whole Foods)
1 bunch of green onions, diced (use the whole onion, both green and white parts)
16 ounces mustard greens, finely chopped
6 cups vegetable broth 
2 cups raw cashews
2 cups water
4 tsp salt (I use Real Salt)
1/2 tsp white pepper

Directions

Cook the potatoes as you would normally cook potatoes. I prefer to steam the potatoes in the InstantPot for 20 minutes.

In a large pan or pot, bring the frozen vegetables and broth to a boil and then simmer for 6 minutes. Add the mustard greens and continue to simmer for another one to two minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking and the veggies are simmering, add the cashews and water to the Vitamix or blender and blend until smooth.

When all of the above are ready, mash the potatoes in some of the broth from the veggie mixture and the blended cashew cream. Add the spices (salt and white pepper) to the mashed potatoes and stir in thoroughly. I suggest that you might consider stirring in just 1 tablespoon of cardamom to start, tasting that and then deciding about adding the remaining or part of the remaining cardamom.

Now, add the mashed potatoes into the pan with the veggies and stir until everything is thoroughly mixed in with the mashed potatoes.