Thursday, January 22, 2009

'Lighter' Potatoes

What does it take to create nearly the same mouthfeel and flavor of traditional mashed potatoes, but low-calorie and low-carb? Ditching the potatoes!

Turns out, there are two ways to concoct a steaming bowl of light ‘n’ fluffy mashed potatoes. The first calls for a dairy’s worth of butter and cream. The second calls for – get this! – ditching the spuds entirely!

These ‘potatoes’ are really cauliflower and turnips, cooked and mashed. Texture-wise, the mouthfeel is like traditional mashed potatoes except lighter. Taste-wise, once the ‘feel’ of mashed potatoes is present, the two vegetables are subtle enough that you just might not notice!

Now before Mr. Potato Head accuses me of potato-ism, please know that I love potatoes! In fact, you just might say that only a potato fiend fan would collect potato recipes.

But not everyone eats potatoes, either by choice or by prescription. There are the dieters, the whole low carb thing and all. And there are the diabetics, whose blood glucose skyrockets when confronted with too many carbs.

The great news is that this recipe for 'low-carb potatoes' is delicious for everyone. I recommend serving it with something, say under a bowl of stew, rather than on its own.

Now to be honest, when my dad first tried my new low-carb 'potatoes', he sniffed, "There's no substitute for the Irish potato." But another taste-tester with certified culinary credentials thought otherwise, "This could pass for potatoes, no question."

Which camp is yours? Decide for yourself!

This recipe originally posted at Kitchen Parade. Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences.


Mashed cauliflower and turnips, really,
but so close, your mouth will do a double-take
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 45 minutes
Makes about 4 cups
  • Salted water to cover
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 head cauliflower, trimmed, core removed, cut into small florets
  • 1/2 pound (or more) turnips, trimmed and cubed
  • 1/4 cup whole milk or half & half (fat-free half & half works great)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or sage
  • Tabasco to taste (don’t skip)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Bring the salted water and bay leaf to a boil; add the cauliflower and turnips as they’re prepped. Reduce heat to maintain a fast simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes or until vegetables are cooked through. Drain well and transfer to a food processor and process til smooth.

Return to the hot pan on medium high heat. Stirring often, cook off the excess liquid, about 5 – 10 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients. Transfer to serving bowl. Serve and enjoy!

TO MAKE AHEAD After mashing, stir in about 4 ounces of low-fat cream cheese along with the milk, butter, herbs and Tabasco. Transfer into a well-greased baking dish. Sprinkle with additional chopped fresh herbs. Cover with foil and refrigerate. Return to room temperature. Bake for about 30 minutes at 300F or until hot clear through.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Half Cup: 66Cal; 3g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 8mg Cholesterol; 76mg Sodium; 8g Carb; 3g Fiber; 4g Sugar; 3g Protein; Weight Watchers 1 point
Adapted from Greene on Greens by Bert Greene
ALANNA’s TIPS Substitute celery root (also called celeriac) for cauliflower. It adds a subtle touch of celery flavor that’s quite lovely. Celeriac is expensive, however, so use a small head and 1 – 2 pounds of turnips. The celeriac takes longer to cook so give it about 15 minutes before adding the turnips. If you like, ‘doctor’ the mashed cauliflower and turnips however you do mashed potatoes. The familiarity may help your family adjust! I’ve tried hand mashing, an immersion blender and a hand mixer. Sorry, none really work.


  1. It sounds yummy!

    What are turnips? :) LOL


    Love the site.




Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin
Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin