Vegan Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love spending time with my family and filling up on the delicious holiday food. Until recent years my grandparents on my mom's side have hosted and prepared most of the food; turkey, sweet potatoes, green beans, mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy. We have each brought something in addition, which seems to mean a lot of pies. So, I would usually bring some sort of vegetable side or salad to balance out all of the sweets. Last year was my mom's first year hosting so along with having everyone at her house, she also took on more cooking. She is a big fan of my cooking, or so she tells me...probably to solicit my help :) although I enjoy cooking and am glad to help! Over the last few years she has been eating vegan and asked me to make more dishes she could eat.
---feel free to scroll to the bottom if you just want to see the recipe, otherwise continue below to see how I put my vegan garlic mashed potatoes together---
Since mashed potatoes have always been one of my favorite thanksgiving sides and I have cooked them before I wanted to create my own for thanksgiving. When I have made vegan potatoes for a Shepard's pie recipe, white beans and vegetable broth were Incorporated to help create a creamy texture. I liked having the broth as a liquid so I wanted to keep that in my version but I don't always love the white beans in it so I left those out.
So cauliflower seems to be the new healthy trend item, just as kale was a few years ago. I've seen it frozen and fresh as cauliflower "rice", I've seen it grilled and even as a cauliflower "mash" with the same texture as mashed potatoes. On it's own I don't care for it too much, but I have been exploring different ways to use it and am enjoying it more and more, so I wanted to add it in to sneak in another vegetable. I am also a big fan of cauliflower buffalo, so good, highly recommend you try it, but I will save that for another post. Since cauliflower has a subtle flavor, I think it is a great to incorporate into other things and you can find it in many forms at the local grocery store. The "riced" version is great for soothing like this, as it blends easily, although any version will work.
Also, garlic is my favorite. I am italian and I feel like it is part of my DNA to love and want to always use it! I grind garlic, pepper, salt on most things I cook, but for this special meal I wanted to REALLY incorporate garlic and make it shine. My favorite way to have garlic is roasted. You take a garlic head, cut out of the top and coat with some oil, wrap in tin foil and roast for 45 minutes. When it complete, it is like opening a gift, not only is it delicious but the color is beautiful !
For thanksgiving I took a some elements from past batches of mashed potatoes I have made to create this delicious version, that doesn't even taste vegan.
Check out my recipe below.
Vegan Garlic Mashed Potatoes
2 medium garlic heads 2 lbs (aka 4 cups) unpeeled red potatoes
1/2 cup cauliflower* Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1/2 cup almond milk 1/2 cup vegetable broth 1/4 cup vegan butter (I use earth balance)
*you can use fresh, frozen, whole or riced. A riced version will help it to mix it more easily but all versions work well
Part 1: Roast Garlic (could be done in advance)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Cut garlic heads about 1/2-inch from the top to expose cloves.
Transfer garlic heads to a sheet of foil, drizzle 1 tsp oil over each head, wrap foil tightly around garlic so it's fully covered.
Roast in preheated oven until lightly golden and cloves are soft, about 40 - 45 minutes.
Part 2: Cook Potatoes + cauliflower
Place potatoes in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover potatoes and cauliflower, sprinkle in 1 Tbsp salt.
Bring water to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover with lid, reduce heat to medium-low and allow to boil until potatoes are very tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.
Drain potatoes and cauliflower then return to pot and mash with a potato masher (they should have some lumps in them).
Part 3: Making the Mash
Measure out milk, broth and butter in a liquid measuring cup. Heat in microwave until hot, about 45 - 60 seconds.
Add hot milk mixture and roasted garlic to potatoes and cauliflower. Seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
Mix with a hand blender.
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
1/4 cup Trader Joes almond mozzarella style shreds "cheese alternative" for garnish
Mix the cheese in with the hot milk mixture
Put your mashed potatoes in a casserole dish, then cover with cheese and broil on low until the cheese is melted
Serve and enjoy!
I have so much to be thankful for and am especially happy to have my family and health. I wish you all a happy, healthy holiday!