Here we are, only a week away from Thanksgiving. Only a week away from a feast celebrated with family, friends, and lot of food. We’ve made a few preparations already: this year’s heritage breed, free-range turkey, aka Mr. Cluck-Cluck, is safely reposing in the freezer. Michael will run point on the cooking, handling the turkey, stuffing, and gravy. Sissy has promised to bring dessert. And I’ve at least given passing thought to the rest of the menu.
Traditional holiday fare can be challenging for anyone with special dietary needs or preferences. Vegetarian, gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free foods—these are not categories that are well represented at the Thanksgiving table. And I want all of my guests to feel included at the table, nurtured and well-filled. Because whatever else is serving dinner to loved ones about?
Therefore, I want to share this mashed potato recipe with you. Is there anything more comfortable than a pillowy pile of mashed potatoes? And I’m not knocking the traditional kind, whipped up with lots and lots of butter and cream. But mashed potatoes without dairy can be surprisingly delicious.
I made a test batch of these mashed potatoes and found that the savory vegetables and garlic are subtle, not overwhelming the potatoes, but adding a lot of flavor. The white beans and olive oil create a smooth, creamy texture. And the flavor only improved after a few days in the refrigerator, making this an ideal make-ahead dish.
I kept going back for more test bites, and more test bites. Then I packed a container for one of my vegan coworkers, who graciously agreed to be a guinea pig. She gave them a thumbs-up, as did a dairy-free coworker. So there you are: everyone can enjoy these mashed potatoes together.
Vegan Mashed Potatoes
(adapted from Whole Living Magazine)
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed
- 4 lb Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 cups cooked white beans, drained (1 16 oz can)
- salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat oil in a large skillet or stockpot over medium heat. Cook onion, celery, and carrot until translucent, 6-8 minutes. Add potatoes and white beans and cover with water by 2 inches. Season generously with salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, reserving about 1 cup cooking water. Mash vegetables, adding reserved water to adjust consistency. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil before serving.