Sometimes I just want mashed potatoes for dinner. You too? High-five, we’re carbivore friends for life. But, as happy as I’d be with an entire bowl of mashed up white potatoes all to myself, it’s not exactly the best nutritional choice. So these here protein-packed mashed potatoes have some sneaky additions that you will never detect in the finished product. Promise. PINKY PROMISE. Ok? Ok. Let’s keep talking.
So, remember how everyone got into the low-carb thing for a while and got all excited about mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes? Me too. And you know something? Mashed up cauliflower is ok. But it’s NOT mashed potatoes. Never has been, never will be. So, I’m going to start a new fad. Ready? Medium-Carb. It’s not high-carb. It’s not low-carb. It’s Medium-Carb. Do you see where I am headed with this? We’re going to mash up the potatoes and the cauliflower together. And you’re not even going to notice the cauliflower. But for every bite you take, there will be cauliflower in it that would otherwise have been potato. Pretty nifty, huh?
Beth, you haven’t mentioned protein yet, and these are supposed to be Protein-Packed Mashed Potatoes. What gives?
I know, I know. It’s because, well, this might scare some people off. I’m talking to you, tofu haters. You know who you are. You see a block of soybean curd and run for the hills, screaming, SAVE ME FROM THE SOY!!!! It’s totally ok, I was one of you for a very long time. I get it. But please, trust me when I tell you that the protein in these potatoes comes in large part from silken tofu, and you CANNOT TASTE IT. Let me repeat myself. Tofu is not detectable in any way, shape, or form when you shove a huge spoonful of these tasty taters in your mouth.
So, now that we’ve got that covered, let’s put these potaters together. Here’s what you need. Potatoes, cauliflower, silken tofu, raw cashews, nutritional yeast, and roasted garlic. (You saw the post about how to roast garlic and freeze it, right?)
Did you know a large head of cauliflower has 16 grams of protein? One 12 oz. package of firm silken tofu has 24 grams of protein. Add in the raw cashews, BOOM, another 10 grams. We are definitely packin’ in the protein here, folks. The nutritional yeast adds some savory, cheesy flavor, and the roasted garlic is, well, a no-brainer. Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes? Yes, please.
So let’s get this party started, shall we? Boil up a big ol’ pot of water, get your potatoes cooking, and set a timer for 5 minutes. When the timer goes off, add the cauliflower to the potatoes, and then set the timer for another 5 minutes. Once the potatoes and cauliflower are cooked, drain them and return them to the pot.
While the potatoes and cauliflower are cooking, we need to turn our attention to the flavoring liquid. Typically, one would add butter, milk and/or cream to mashed potatoes. Instead, we’re going to make a sauce of liquid gold that will inject protein, healthy fat, and flavor galore into our spuds. Let’s do this.
Blend up the tofu, cashews, nutritional yeast, and roasted garlic in a blender. Which blender is best? The one you have in your kitchen. That being said, if the blender you have is on the wimpy side, you will probably want to soak the cashews for a little while ahead of time (I included soaking tips in the recipe notes). But if you happen to have an industrial-strength blender such as a Vitamix, no soaking is necessary.
And now we mash. I love, love, love this tool that my sweet sister-in-law Lisa bought for me last year. I use it ALL THE TIME for perfectly mashed potatoes, chunky guacamole, mixing batters, you name it. Masher, whisk, bowl scraper, it does it all. Mash up the potatoes and cauliflower to your desired consistency, then mix in the sauce. You might not use all of the sauce, but you probably will. If it seems a little thin, just let it sit for a couple of minutes. The cashews have magical thickening powers – for reals.
Beth, those potatoes sure look good. But I want to take them over the top. How do I do that?
You mean, like this?
Yes. Exactly like that.
I’m so glad you asked. Here’s what you do. Saute up some dark leafy greens of your choice (I used beet greens and kale), and whip up some crazy delicious vegan gravy with mushrooms, and smother those potatoes with them. That’s how you do it.
Wait, you want a recipe? Ok, ok.
Protein-Packed Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
For the Potatoes
- 3 pounds russet or yukon gold potatoes (peeled if desired and cut into 1-2" chunks)
- 1 head cauliflower (broken into florets)
- 1 12 ounce package firm silken tofu (such as Mori Nu brand)
- 1 head roasted garlic*
- 1 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1/2 cup raw cashews**
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Gravy
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend
- 4 tablespoons vegan butter or neutral-flavored oil such as grapeseed or canola
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons white or yellow miso paste (I used chickpea miso)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or gluten-free Tamari
- 3/4 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet browning and seasoning sauce (optional (increase soy sauce to taste if not using))
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 8 ounces crimini or button mushrooms (sliced (optional))
For the Potatoes
- Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat
- Add the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes
- Add the cauliflower and cook for another 5 minutes, or until potatoes are fork-tender
- While the potatoes and cauliflower are cooking, prepare the sauce by blending the tofu, roasted garlic, nutritional yeast, and cashews in a blender until smooth.
- Drain the potatoes and cauliflower and return to the pot.
- Mash the potatoes and cauliflower, adding the sauce a little at a time. If the mixture seems to thin, allow to sit for a few minutes to thicken up.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve with gravy and sauteed greens if desired.
For the Gravy
- In a small non-stick or cast iron skillet, cook mushrooms over medium-high heat until cooked and slightly browned.
- In a small saucepan, melt the vegan butter or oil over medium-low heat.
- Sprinkle in flour and whisk to combine until smooth, and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the remaining ingredients, and whisk until slightly thickened, around 5 minutes.
- Stir in cooked mushrooms, and serve warm over potatoes.