Mashed potatoes are one of my all-time favorite savory sides. They epitomize comfort food to me, and I love to try different variations of herbs and substitutions (like vegetable broth in place of dairy) to help lighten them up. However, there is such a thing as too much mashed potato. Enter: healthy mashed “potatoes” made from cauliflower and beans!
For whatever reason, my family never seems to have mashed potatoes around Thanksgiving or Christmas, so this year I decided to change that. I made roasted garlic and sage mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving, and recently, caramelized onion mashed potatoes for Christmas. And I made A LOT. Like, a full stock pot’s worth both times, just to make sure there were plenty to go around—and then I proceeded to eat leftovers for a solid week after each holiday. I think it’s safe to say I made up for not having mashed potatoes for the last 25 years. And yet, yesterday I found myself craving them again!
Realizing I needed to cool it on the potatoes for fear I’d turn into one, I created a mock version using cauliflower and cannellini beans instead. I’ve tried using all cauliflower in the past, but it tends to be a little watery on its own, and the texture isn’t quite right. The cannellini beans definitely help to make them thicker and creamier, and they also pack a great, plant-based protein punch. But most importantly? These healthy mashed “potatoes” taste awesome!
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
- 3 cups cooked cannellini beans (about 2 cans)
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (or chives)
- sea salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the sliced garlic, and cook until slightly browned.
- Meanwhile, place 1-2 inches of water in a large pot and bring it to a simmer, covered, over medium-high heat. Place the cauliflower in a steam basket in the pot. Cover and steam until fork tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the cauliflower and set it aside.
- In a food processor, combine the garlic-infused olive oil, steamed cauliflower, cannellini beans, vegetable broth, and parsley. Process until smooth (you may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times). Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm and enjoy!