When you haven’t always been a vegetarian, it might be hard in the beginning to figure out what to eat every week night. I hear a lot from people and friends that they were brought up with similar styles of dishes on week nights, namely a piece of meat, some potatoes and a bit of vegetables as side dishes. If you have been used to having meat as your “main” and the rest to be “sides”, then becoming vegetarian is challenging in the beginning. But not impossible!
It’s just a bit of a change of mindset, but you don’t need to start cooking complicated vegan dishes right away.
What we do on week nights, is we vary between easy and simple dishes, more complex vegan suppers, very fancy stuff when we are spoiling ourselves or when we have guests and the basic kids menus to keep them happy too 🙂
When you run out of inspiration, it is always a good idea to be creative with mashed potatoes!
Dare to put variation in your mashed potatoes, and dare to add some extra stuff on the side that gives the mash a crunch. It is interesting to have different colours and textures in your plate: it’s good for the teeth, the gut and the health, but of course it’s pleasant to the eyes as well. Colour and different textures make your supper more appealing and interesting.
So try out different styles of mashed potatoes as the basics for your main course. make this the more consistent part and add sides to this.
- Potato, sweet potato, kohlrabi (German turnip), and parsnip
- Potato and leek
- Potato and spinach
- Potato and carrot
- Mashed cauliflower and garlic (very creamy)
- Mashed Jerusalem artichoke (very creamy as well)
- Sweet potato and butternut or pumpkin
- Celeriac + kohlrabi or celeriac + parsnip
Now for the sides:
Either you work with toppings… For the vegans that would be nuts, vegan cheese, fresh herbs and for the vegetarians you could also use regular cheese (cauliflower mash with walnuts and blue cheese, for example, is exquisite), put a softly cooked egg (still runny yellow) in the middle of your mash or add soy bits or any kind of vegetarian look-alike bacon bits.
If you have 5 minutes extra time, I would suggest you stir-fry some extra crunchy vegetables, like zucchini, carrots, eggplant. If you don’t want to cook anything extra or you don’t have time to cut a lot of vegetables, then you may accompany the mash with some salad or rocket (rucola).
Here’s an idea for a “mash-side” below: some zucchini with fresh rosemary and walnuts.
A favourite of ours is the following:
A mash of sweet potatoes with some sun-dried tomatoes mingled amongst it, accompanied with oven-baked eggplant slices that were topped with a bit of olive oil, paprika and Parmesan bits. Delicious!
Another success recipe:
A mash of potato, sweet potato and parsnip with the zucchini/rosemary/walnut and mâche (corn salad), and some bits of vegan herbs cheese as topping:
It looks nice, doesn’t it? And it is actually not a lot of work and a feast for the taste buds. Not to forget that it is super healthy for the bowel and packed with vitamins. Especially if you keep some of the water you cooked the potatoes and vegetables in. Because if you throw out all the water in which the vegetables cooked, you throw out most of the vitamins with it. The trick is to use less water, add a lid on the cooking pot and let cook with the steam of the boiling water. Then let some water evaporate at the end and leave the last bit of water in the pot while you mix or mash everything together. It will make a very creamy mash.
If you have any ‘mashed potatoes’ recipes of your own, please share them with us, so that we can all be creative with our potatoes 🙂
Hope you enjoyed this short post and let me know which recipe you are going to try.