Monday, January 23, 2012

Makeover Monday: Skinny Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Be honest.  How many of you rolled your eyes when you saw the tittle of this post.  You might be thinking this is just another low fat mashed potato recipe that is going to leave you with a flavorless, unsatisfying glob of potatoes.  If that's the case, you are wrong!  These potatoes are just as rich, creamy, and delicious as the garlic mashed potatoes you get at your favorite restaurant, but with way less calories.  As a matter of fact, these are not just low fat; they have fewer carbs than regular mashed potatoes.  Interested yet?

This recipe is brilliant on three levels:  1.  Sauteing garlic in margarine and sugar.  2.  Cooking small chunks of potatoes in the liquid you would otherwise add to potatoes.  3.  Substitute some of the potatoes for cauliflower.  All the other one zillion mashed potato recipes I have tried are now dead to me!

The idea of cooking the potatoes in liquid other than water is simple, yet brilliant!  This cuts out the step of draining the potatoes, and it prevents you from pouring nutrients down the drain with potato water.  I got this idea from a video I watched on Cook's Country, but I had to adapt the recipe.  What they added to those potatoes was an atrocity!  I think I had a mild myocardial infarction (heart attack for the lay person) just thinking about it!

A while ago, I read about using cauliflower in mashed potatoes to cut down on calories.  As someone who doesn't particularly care for cauliflower, I was skeptical.  But I figured it was worth a shot.  I used frozen cauliflower and just added it in the pot when I added the potatoes.  They were done at the same time as the potatoes, so it worked out perfectly.  And you really, truly, honestly, can't taste them.  I never told my husband his beloved mashed potatoes were 1/3 cauliflower.  And he never knew.  He even went back for seconds.  What he doesn't know won't hurt him!

Mashed potatoes don't make it onto my dinner table that often not just because it pains me to add a pile of fat to the poor simple spud, but the process usually take forever.  Yet another reason I love this recipe!  I like to use red potatoes because their thin skin is very edible and gives the potatoes a little color.  So I gladly leave the skin on and save myself the enormous task of peeling a bunch of potatoes.  I hate peeling potatoes! 

All you do to make the best low-cal potatoes you have ever eaten is melt some margarine in a large pot.  I used my Dutch oven.
Then add garlic and a little bit of sugar.  The sugar releases juices from the garlic and caramelizes it.  You will notice that as the garlic sautes the mixture gets a little sticky.  That's a good sign!
Now add the potatoes, milk, water, salt, and pepper.  Chopping the potatoes into chunks greatly reduces the time it takes them to soften up, and only takes a few minutes of prep.  It's a huge time saver in the long run!
Go ahead, throw in some frozen cauliflower!  I did 1/3 cauliflower and 2/3 potatoes.  I have heard of doing as much as half and half, but for my first time I wanted to use a little less cauliflower.  Since I couldn't taste it at all, I am going to do half cauliflower and half potatoes next time! 
Then just heat the liquid to a boil and simmer until the potatoes and cauliflower are tender.  Then just mash it all up until you have smooth, delicious mashed potatoes (and cauliflower!).  Bonus, all this steam is great for your skin! :)
Take a bite, and rejoice in knowing that one of your favorite guilty pleasures is now just a pleasure!

Skinny Garlic Mashed Potatoes:
1/4 cup margarine
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp sugar
3 lbs potatoes, cut into chunks
1 lb frozen cauliflower
2 cups skim milk
1 cup water
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Melt margarine in Dutch oven or stock pan over medium heat.  Add garlic and sugar and saute until sticky mixture forms and garlic is fragrant.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot and increase heat until liquid boils.  Simmer about 30 minutes, or until cauliflower and potato pieces are tender.  Remove from heat and mash until smooth.  Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe adapted from Cook's Country

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