August 8, 2020

Chunky Smashed Potatoes with ‘Shrooms. {Recipe}

The other week, I was perusing the local organic farmer’s stand at our small Saturday market.

A reusable cloth bag with an elephant on it over my shoulder, I was transported back to my childhood days of mashed potatoes when the large brown baking potatoes caught my eye. This was unusual since I prefer the adorably small new potatoes, especially the red ones. New potatoes were also a huge part of my childhood; my maternal grandmom would prepare them often.

My mouth started salivating—mashed potatoes—yes! I bought one. Then, I added a variety of colors of radishes, green, red, and orange colored bell peppers, and some shiitake ‘shrooms. I already had a store-bought portabella at home.

No more store-bought packaged mushrooms for me, now that our master-planned community has once again started a Saturday market. I hope this time it sticks; it has been, sadly, an on-off event over the past several years. Sigh.


Baking potato: 1 for 2 servings, keep the skin on

Canned coconut milk: approximately 3 to 5.5 ounces

Vegan butter: to taste; I used about a teaspoon

Hippie dust: 1-2 tablespoons a.k.a. nutritional yeast

Cracked black pepper

Thyme: fresh, if available; to taste

Parsley: fresh, if available

Oil of choice: I use avocado for hot stuff, EVOO only on my cold dishes

Bell pepper: 1/3 to 1/2

Radishes: 1 or more; thinly sliced

Shiitake mushrooms: maybe 6 to 8

Portobello mushroom: depending on if adult or baby

Remember, this is to your taste buds so feel to ‘shroom to your desire—lion’s mane, turkey tail, button—explore this amazing fungi kingdom.

What do we do with all these?

Wash all the produce, but be careful with those delicate mushrooms. These hearty fungi are fragile and need a light wiping only. Inspect for mold, check out those gills. Running water over these delights will make them mushy.

Maybe we could create a song for washing our produce?

Let’s get to work now:

1. Let’s get to the potato first since it needs the longest time. Inspect for areas that may need to be cut away. Cut into bite-size pieces for faster cooking. No need to be perfect here; it will be smashed and added to later.

2. Place the pieces into a pot and add filtered water, cover, and let it come to a boil.

3. Remove the lid and poke it gently with a fork from time to time for the right soft, not too soft, consistency.

4. While that is happening, slice or dice all the other produce.

5. Cook the mushrooms in a pan with some oil of your choice. I went with avocado for these pungent morsels of earthiness.

6. Keep the bell peppers and radishes raw if it serves you.

I wanted a mix of textures, and the softness of the smashed potatoes and ‘shrooms needed the crunch of the bell peppers and radish to be certain I was getting my chewing in. Still working on those 20 chews per bite, so the more I can get meals that allow me to get my masseter muscle working, the better.

7. The potatoes should be ready now; drain them into the colander, and then place them back immediately into the same hot pot.

8. Add the butter and the coconut milk, and start to mash. I prefer the old-fashioned hand masher.

9. Stop, and add black pepper, salt if you choose, and hippie dust.

10. Mash (or smash) to your desire. I love some chunks. You may want mushy.

11. Add the parsley and thyme, but no need to mix it. Well, unless you want to.

12. Plate it, and if you know you are not going to eat all of it, transfer the remaining in a glass container to make potato pancakes tomorrow. Yum-yum.

13. Add the bell peppers, radishes, and mushrooms to the plate.

14. Set up for favorite, peaceful dining space. Pause. Give gratitude. Pick up fork, scoop, lift to nose, smell, smile, and enjoy.

For a whole bunch of delicious recipes, scroll through my author page.


Bonus recipe: Warm-Me-Up Vegan Potato Salad. {Recipe}


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