When you’re poor or otherwise motivated to keep your food costs down, you find yourself willing to do things that may otherwise seem like too much work. Making real mashed potatoes is one of them. They take about 35 to 40 minutes to make. That is time measured from peeling them to serving them at the table. Not all of the time is spent working over them. 20 to 25 minutes is spent keeping them company while they boil. The rest of time is washing, peeling, chopping and mashing. You may not be willing to do this every night of the week. That’s fine. When you are willing to do it, homemade mashed potatoes will cost you less than 25¢ a serving. Less than 20¢ a serving if your potatoes are on sale. They are a bargain food of the first order. I have maintained for many years that eating on a budget tastes better and can be more nutritious, than the most liberal of diets. This is one of the recipes that proves my point.
Real Mashed Potatoes
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
Water to cover
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dairy-free margarine
Several dashes pepper, to taste
1/2 to 3/4 cup unsweetened soymilk or other milk of your choosing
First wash the potatoes in your sink. You’re going to peel them, but it’s easier to do this when they aren’t grubby. Next peel the potatoes using a good, comfortable and user-friendly potato peeler. If you don’t have one, then buy one. It will pay for itself in a week or two. After peeling, wash the potatoes again. Ignore the tedium. Plunk your potatoes down on your cutting board and cut them all in half. Cut each half into 4 to 8 pieces, depending on how big they are. You want the pieces to all be roughly the same size so they will cook evenly, but you don’t have to over think it. Continue until all of the potatoes are chopped.
Meanwhile, fill a large pot half full of water. Place the pot on the stove and bring it to a boil over high heat. Add the clean, chopped potatoes. If necessary add more water to cover the potatoes. When the potatoes boil, reduce the heat to medium or medium-high. Allow them to boil for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are fork tender. If your potato chunks are very big then it may take a little longer. If you got obsessive compulsive and all your potato chunks are tiny then it may take only 12-15 minutes. Use your best judgment. A little over cooking is better than a little under cooking. If you’re not sure then fish out a potato chunk with a fork and bite into it. Blow it carefully before biting so you don’t burn yourself. If the chunk is still pretty firm, then boil the potatoes longer. If it’s soft, then you’re ready for the next step.
Drain off the water. You can save the water for soup if you like. It has lots of vitamins in it and it tastes good, so it makes really good soup. Just use it in place of the water or broth called for in your favorite soup recipe. It’s also good for boiling beans. When cold it works very nice in place of soymilk in baked goods like bread, muffins, pancakes, and even cakes. If you don’t want to save the water then you may pour all of those luscious vitamins down the drain.
In a large bowl or the pot the potatoes cooked in, combine the potatoes, salt, margarine, pepper, and 1/2-cup soymilk. Using electric beaters, beat everything until it is light and fluffy. If necessary add extra soymilk while beating to get the right consistency. Serve hot. I use an ice cream scoop to measure these potatoes. Two level scoops is 1/2 cup. These potatoes taste rich and buttery. These are perfect for holidays and company dinners and cheap enough for family meals. This makes 6 to 8 servings, depending on appetite.
Leftover mashed potatoes are used in several baked good recipes in this website. Be sure to look over the baking sections before allowing them to rot in the back of the fridge.
Assuming 6 servings; 1/2 teaspoon salt & 1/2-cup unsweetened soymilk
Per Serving: 160 Calories; 4g Fat (23.7% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 28g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 234mg Sodium.
Calories by Percentage: 24% Fat; 67% Carbohydrate; 9% Protein.
Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 1 Fat.