With Zac actually eating FOOD now, I’ve truly become a short-order cook in my home. Breakfast, lunch and dinner I make a TED worthy meal for myself, a FructMal friendly, dairy, egg and peanut free meal for Jed, and something with quinoa and/or pork for Zac.
What I’ve discovered about myself over the last three and a half years of allergy friendly cooking is that whenever I’m faced with something “new” to juggle, the rest of my cooking starts to fall back on my “old reliable” recipes.
You know the ones; they’re the ones you could make in your sleep and take almost no thought.
What that means for me is that I’ve been eating a LOT of steak and french fries lately.
So many french fries, in fact, that I’m just about sick of french fries.
I found myself craving something different the other night. Something not fried. Something soft and creamy.
I wanted mashed potatos.
Well, that’s easy enough! So I headed off to make myself some.
Then I had a thought…when Jed turned up with MSPI and we had to go dairy-free, I remember struggling to figure out how on earth I was going to make mashed potatos.
The only way I’d ever made mashed potatos was with copious amounts of butter, milk, and maybe even some shredded cheddar as I mashed them up.
I have a feeling I’m not the only one who faced that problem.
So I thought I’d share with you the very simple way I discovered to make dairy free, creamy, delicious mashed potatos!
Start like normal; peel (or don’t peel, if you prefer) your potatos and slice or dice them fairly small. The smaller you slice or dice them, the faster they will cook. So if you have lots of time, don’t sweat getting the potato pieces too small.
Cover with water and put on the stove. Bring to a gentle boil, and lower heat til they are fork tender.
Now, strain off the water – but don’t dump it down the sink! Strain the water off into another bowl.
Put the potatos back into the cooking pot and start mashing away.
A little side tip? My whole life I used those potato mashers that were shaped like wavy lines. Then I met Darrel, and he had one that was like a circular grid. It works MUCH better at mashing potatos!
Shortly after you start mashing, you’ll realize these potatos need a little moisture. Slowly – like a few T. at a time – pour back some of the liquid you strained off as you mash.
Sometimes I only need a little; sometimes I need all of the liquid poured back in. But it’s smart to go ahead and strain the liquid off to start with so you don’t wind up with runny mashed potatos.
That’s pretty much it! See? Simple, right?
Of course there are variations to be made. I always add sea salt and pepper to my mashed potatos, because, well, that’s about all I can add.
Once upon a time, though, I’d actually chop up onions and garlic cloves and cook them with the potatos. They soften beautifully and mash up to give a lovely flavor to the potatos.
If you can have any other spices, feel free to throw them in as well. Parsley makes mashed potatos look awfully pretty, too.
Pre-food allergies, I wouldn’t have thought you could have creamy, yummy mashed potatos without the addition of large amounts of dairy. Now I know – you can!
So if you’re new to dairy-free living, hopefully this will give you back a “comfort food” that you may have feared was lost forever.
- however many potatos you want to cook (2-3 per person)
- sea salt (to taste)
- pepper (to taste - you can use white pepper if you prefer not to have black specks in your potatos)
- parsley (optional)
- sliced onion (optional - to taste)
- garlic (optional - to taste)
- Wash the potatos and peel them if you prefer.
- Slice or dice the potatos into fairly small pieces.
- Put the potatos in a pot and cover with water. If using onion or garlic, you can also add it to the pot at this point.
- Bring to a gentle boil, then lower heat, cover with a lid, and cook until fork tender - at least 20 minutes for a large pot.
- Strain the water off the potatos into a bowl.
- Put the strained potatos back into the cooking pot.
- Begin mashing the potatos; I've always done it by hand. You can use a mixer if you like.
- As you need extra moisture, slowly pour the strained water back into the potatos. Only pour a few T. at a time so you don't end up with runny mashed potatos!
- Add any sea salt, pepper, parsley, or other seasonings you like.
- Mash until the potatos are creamy and smooth.
- Enjoy eating your delicious, dairy-free, creamy comfort food!