Nothing tickles the Thanksgiving Fancy quite like mashed potatoes and gravy… especially if you’re Kim.
After all, mashed potatoes are comforting, soul-satisfying, simple, and loaded with carbs – i.e. the Thanksgiving way. The only problems that I have are that potatoes are nightshades and most gravies are made out of meat broth.
*sad face emoji*
“What’s wrong with nightshades?” the imaginary reader in my mind asks.
To start, nightshades are a botanical family – including melons, squashes, tomatoes, eggplant, and more – most of which are native to the Americas, except for Eggplant (which you can read more about here if you’re curious). Being that most nightshades are from the Americas, most populations haven’t been eating them for very long, meaning our bodies aren’t adept to combatting the lectins in them. Lectins are sugar-binding proteins found in plants that penetrate the gut wall and interrupt cellular communication by latching onto cells and sending false signals. Eating too many lectins can amount to brain fog, leaky gut, and a slew of other symptoms, which is why I avoid them.
Unfortunately, potatoes are a lectin-concentrated powerhouse. Now I’m not saying that if you eat mashed potatoes you will drop dead or immediately inherit Crohn’s disease, but I am saying that if there are foods out there just as good and versatile as potatoes without the harmful lectins, why not use them instead? The food I’m talking about of course is the sweet potato, specifically the white or Hannah sweet potato, which are starchier and firmer than others, accompanied with a subtle sweetness; it’s the PERFECT potato substitute.
When mixed with cauliflower, the two form a mash that’s fluffy, smooth, and velvety.
“Why not just use cauliflower alone?” hints the reader in my mind… man, that guys getting annoying.
To answer the question though, there’s nothing wrong with plain mashed cauliflower. But, it’s simply more watery than mashed potatoes, and I don’t want to put gravy on top of something that can’t pull his own weight. Literally!
However, when combined with sweet potato’s starchy goodness, the two of them fluff up with air when whipped, blended, or mashed; they make a darn good team.
While the mash is delicious when simply seasoned with salt and a lil’ olive oil or buttery coconut oil, I find that a mixture of fresh, Fall-time herbs brings liveliness to the dish. A tablespoon of mixed rosemary, thyme, and sage does the trick.
For the gravy, we reach for mushroom broth, which tends to be our broth of choice, given that most store bought veggie broths contain tomato puree – another lectin containing food. To thicken the gravy, arrowroot starch works beautifully, as it doesn’t take a lot to thicken up a whole pot of gravy. To spice it up, chopped garlic is browned in the oil that’s used to make the roux, which gives the gravy a toasted zing without overwhelming the subtle flavors in the mash.
As you can probably tell – we also included roasted Brussels Sprouts with our meal! To make ’em, all you do is cut them into quarters, toss them with olive oil, sprinkle them with salt, and roast them at 450° F until they’re lightly burnt on the edges and tender on the inside. Also – as you can probably tell – we somehow bought Brussels that are the size of mini cabbages! We’re not mad ’bout it.
All in all, this hybrid sweet potato/cauliflower mash is fluffy, buttery, robust, garlicky, homey, herbal, and comforting.
If you like what your taste buds are tellin’ ya, leave behind a nice rating, share your thoughts with us in the comments, or show us your creations by tagging @noeggsorham on Instagram.
All the best,
Ryan & Kim
Cauliflower Mash & Toasted Garlic Gravy
Soul-hugging mashed hannah sweet potato & cauliflower are topped with robust, thick gravy.
- 1 1/2 lbs cauliflower, cut into small chunks (about 1 large head)
- 1 lb white sweet potato, peeled & cut into chunks roughly the size of your thumbnail (about 1 1/2 medium sweet potatoes)
- 2 tbsp olive oil or buttery coconut oil
- 1 tbsp mixed fresh herbs, such as sage, thyme, and rosemary (optional)
- 1/2 tsp salt + more for steaming
Toasted Garlic Gravy
- 2 c mushroom broth
- 3 tbsp arrowroot starch
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
Roasted Brussels (optional)
- 1 lb Brussels Sprouts, quartered
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- heavy pinch of salt
- If making Brussels, pre-heat oven to 450° F. Toss ’em with olive and salt and spread out on a large cookie sheet – two if crowded. Bake until lightly burnt and fork tender; 12-15 minutes.
- To a large pot or high-walled sauté pan, add all of the cauliflower and sweet potato plus enough water to cover & a heavy pinch of salt. Turn heat to high, slap on a lid, and steam for 10 minutes or until the veggies are fork tender.
- Strain out excess water and transfer veggies to a food processor along with butter or olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt. Blend on high – scraping down the sides as needed – until the vegetables break down into the consistency of your liking; I prefer it to be mostly smooth with a few small chunks of veggies remaining.
- Fold herbs into the mash. To keep mash warm while concocting gravy, transfer to a medium pot, cover with a lid, and set over low heat on the stove. Add a splash of water if it becomes dry.
- While the sweet potato and cauliflower steam, start gravy by heating a medium sauce pot over medium heat. Once hot, add in olive oil and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the garlic begins to brown around the edges; 1-2 minutes.
- Once browned, add in arrowroot starch and whisk vigorously until the arrowroot is completely smooth and homogenous with the oil; about 2 minutes.
- To achieve a smooth gravy, it’s important to slowly add in the broth. So, add in about 1/4 c of broth to the roux at a time – still whisking vigorously – until it’s integrated.
- Once you’ve thoroughly whisked in 3/4 c of broth, add in the remaining 1 1/4 c plus a heavy pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then drop the heat to low until ready to serve.
- At this point, taste and add more salt if needed. If the gravy is too thick for your liking, stir in additional mushroom broth until the desired consistency is reached. If it’s too thin, shake up 1/4 c of mushroom broth with a tablespoon of arrowroot starch, stir in slurry to the gravy, and bring to a boil.
- Serve gravy atop of a mound cauliflower mash. Enjoy as an entree or as a side for your Thanksgiving feast!