Root Vegetable Mash

frugal living, healthy meals, vegan, dairy free

Potatoes are and always will rank amongst my favourite vegetables. The humble spud is flavoursome, versatile and about as frugal as it is possible to be. However, in some ways sweet potatoes are superior to traditional tatties. Indeed, one of their most endearing qualities, if a vegetable can be endearing, is that their texture is naturally more buttery and pleasant than that of one’s average tater, whatever the variety. The benefit of this is that sweet potatoes mash incredibly well, without the need of a plethora of dairy products. Even without butter or milk, this mash manages to delicately caress one’s tongue – to me it seems like pure madness that some similar recipes insist on incorporating double cream! Then again, this is a place for the frugal, so that would have to be my reaction!

Of course, the fact that this mash is best eaten vegan isn’t the only benefit to be had when choosing this recipe over its more traditional rival – since it naturally possesses a great deal of flavour, it has little need for additional extras. As a result, it can be served on its own as a starter or main – a particularly frugal characteristic.

frugal living, healthy meals, root vegetables, vegan, thanksgiving

As you can see, the once dreaded parsnip has again made its presence felt. Though their unadulterated flavour has a lot to answer for, they do possess a certain nutty sweetness required by many an autumnal dish. There’s every chance that I’ll one day be won round to the unassuming ‘snip, but for now they must remain partially veiled behind curtains of largely orange fare. Besides, there are many ingredients I’m not overly fond of, ingredients which often add a unique dimension to the dish in which they have been used. Moreover, it just so happens that those unloved vegetables are often the most frugal – who knows what will be next, the turnip perhaps?

Root Vegetable Mash

Serves 3-4


• 1 very large sweet potato, peeled and cubed

• 3 large carrots, peeled and roughly diced

• 2 parsnips, peeled and roughly diced

• 1 red chilli, finely chopped

• A small handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped

• 1 clove of garlic, mashed

• 3-4 tbsp olive oil

• Seasoning to taste


1. Pop the vegetables in an oven dish, drizzle with olive oil and bake until soft (20-30 minutes).

vegan, root vegetables

2. Put the cooked vegetables into a large mixing bowl and mash, leave some lumps. Mix in the chilli, garlic and parsley, stir in a little olive oil if the mash is stiff and season to taste. Serve as an accompaniment to a meal, or alone.

frugal living, healthy meals, vegan, thanksgiving, thrifty

carrot, parsnip, sweet potato, mash, vegan, frugal living, thrifty, autumn, thanksgiving

Cost: Like I always say, vegan food is extremely frugal and this mash succeeds in continuing to prove that rule. This healthy meal should set one back no more than a rather economical 90p – an enticing prospect, I think you’ll all agree. Oh and it’s perfect for thanksgiving!

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163 comments on “Root Vegetable Mash

  1. lifelibertyeducation
    November 20, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    I love the addition of the chili. Not sure how many American would take up your wonderfully savory sweet potato mash over the vile dish so often served at Thanksgiving that involoves sugar and marshmallows. I will definitely be giving this version of mash a go as I especially like the roast aspect of this.

    • sockmonkeyskitchen
      November 20, 2012 at 5:14 pm

      LOL- you are right! The marshmallowly-sugared sweet potato is overdone here in the states! I for one LOVE savory, and usually make my sweet potatoes with fresh ginger and fresh orange juice 🙂 That said, Frugal, you once again have made my stomach growl. The mash is lovely!!

      • christinajane
        November 20, 2012 at 5:46 pm

        Agreed! A very odd concept for New Zealand and Australians, who love sweet potato (kumara) and pumpkin solely as the savory vegetable (fruit!) that it should be!

      • frugalfeeding
        November 24, 2012 at 10:12 pm

        Gross… that idea does sound nice though… I do love the make stomachs groan 😀

    • The Painted Otter
      November 20, 2012 at 5:36 pm

      I abhor marshmallow-covered sweet potatoes! I’m trying to win my family over to savory with a brown butter sage sweet potato dish this year. Wish me luck!

      • frugalfeeding
        November 25, 2012 at 11:59 pm

        Tell me about it and I’ve not even tried it! Good luck!

    • Jim McFadden Realtor
      November 21, 2012 at 1:08 am

      Have to agree on the addition of chile – sounds good in my books (better than the marshmallow variety any day, I’d bet)

    • frugalfeeding
      November 24, 2012 at 10:12 pm

      Gross 😀 – thanks 🙂

    • beyondpaisley
      December 4, 2012 at 11:14 pm

      As an American I have to say, the sweet potato-marshmallow dish is a travesty, a mockery of all that is right and good in this world. We’re not all mired in marshmallow, you know.

  2. Katy Gilmore
    November 20, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Since I am in midst of Thanksgiving prep and have all these vegetables – it is really tempting to make one big mash! Please do work on turnips – they are not so endearing to me, though they are enduring in the fridge. Your posts are delightful, as well as useful. thanks, Katy

    • frugalfeeding
      November 26, 2012 at 10:07 am

      Do it! I’ll definitely work turnips out – don’t you worry :D.

  3. cookinginsens
    November 20, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    This would make a good side dish for pork.

    • frugalfeeding
      November 24, 2012 at 10:12 pm

      I think you may be right, you infernal meat eater…

  4. Allison
    November 20, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Nice! I love how colorful this is compared to mashed potatoes (which I find boring…). Adding chili sounds perfect, too. And I see you’re back at using parsnips again! You have to admit, they have a nice texture… 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      November 24, 2012 at 10:11 pm

      Exactly – though a good, plain mash is very nice! They do, but perhaps I’ll leave them for now…

  5. whiskeytangofoxtrot4
    November 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Yummy and thanks, I have an idea for dinner now! cheers!

    • frugalfeeding
      November 26, 2012 at 12:00 am

      No problem! I’m glad I could be of service!

  6. Somer
    November 20, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Updating the Thanksgiving menu now! Keep the vegan recipes rolling… I’d love too see what you do with a turnip!

    • frugalfeeding
      November 24, 2012 at 10:10 pm

      Fantastic, Somer! I’d simply throw it out of the window…

  7. baconbiscuit212
    November 20, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    I was waiting for the parsnip!!!! Looks great, Nick. It looks like you and the dreaded root are becoming friends, no? 😉

  8. Patch
    November 20, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Root veg dishes are becoming firm favourites here. They have a wonderful simplicity to them – healthy, nourishing, filling and frugal. Fantastic.

  9. narf77
    November 20, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    I am sure that my Scottish grandad would have approved…this looks a lot like his hearty mashed neeps n carrots recipe. I have noticed that we are now able to get all sorts of coloured sweet potatoes…I think someone further up north is growing them experimentally and I got some white skinned white fleshed varieties the other day. If they are growing so well here in Tasmania, I might do the old stick them over a glass of water trick and see if they don’t salute! Wish me luck…I am going in! 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      November 24, 2012 at 10:08 pm

      I get the feeling he would have :D. I’ve had the white fleshed variety… not as nice. Good luck, brave soldier!

      • narf77
        November 25, 2012 at 1:46 am

        Brave indeed! To grow the sweet potatoes I have to get past the troll (dog) that lays in front of the pantry for which sweet potatoes are the greatest delicacy known to said troll and who feels the need to shred sweet potatoes all over the floor without actually injesting a single bite. Mangled and maimed might be the case but I WILL have sweet potatoes! 🙂

        • frugalfeeding
          November 25, 2012 at 8:46 pm

          I’d definitely put my body in the line of fire to get sweet potatoes!

          • narf77
            November 25, 2012 at 9:00 pm

            You haven’t seen Earl! 😉

          • frugalfeeding
            November 25, 2012 at 11:23 pm

            What’s earl?

          • narf77
            November 25, 2012 at 11:33 pm

            Earl is “he who can’t be left at home because he exercises his teeth on the furniture” our youngest American Staffordshire terrier dog. He has the shape of a termite/Tasmanian devil and is 35kg of pure muscular chewing power. He is incredibly sweet natured but that only runs to humans and other dogs and furniture is exempt from his sphere of loving calm…furniture…and grafted plants…and anything plastic…and anything wooden…and Christmas trees …and …you get the picture…

          • frugalfeeding
            November 25, 2012 at 11:34 pm

            ahha! I see… Lucky objects… 😀

  10. 3citygirlsnyc
    November 20, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Reblogged this on 3CityGirlsNyc.

  11. Tina
    November 20, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Wow that looks delicous! I can’t wait to try it out 🙂

  12. Bluejellybeans
    November 20, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    It looks delicious and photographs are stunning!

  13. lovelanguageoffood
    November 20, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Parsnips, I think, are highly under-utilized and I am thrilled that you have used them in this recipe! This is going to be a nice substitute for the regular mashed-potato dish.

    • frugalfeeding
      November 24, 2012 at 10:07 pm

      They definitely are, but I still dislike them 😀

  14. Willow
    November 20, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    This is *exactly* my kind of Mash! Plain ol’ mashed potatoes are good, but I adore sweet potatoes. Also, I cannot stand sweet potato dishes that are loaded (I mean, just brimming) with butter, cream, sugar, etc. Then, as if that isn’t enough, people top it with marshmallow… *sigh* I will never understand it.

    At our Thanksgiving table my mom would always make mashed rutabagas (or yellow turnips) – they’re kind of like the sweet potato of the turnip family. You might like them!

    • lifelibertyeducation
      November 21, 2012 at 4:15 pm

      In the UK a rutabaga is called a swede and seem much more commonly eaten then in the US.

    • frugalfeeding
      November 24, 2012 at 10:06 pm

      I’m glad we’re on the same wavelength, Willow! Perhaps I would like them… hmm… I’ll keep an eye out!

  15. J Pisani
    November 20, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    This sounds delicious and I just love the colour!

    • frugalfeeding
      November 25, 2012 at 11:57 pm

      Thanks so much – yes, it’s very vibrant 🙂

  16. An Unrefined Vegan
    November 20, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Looks perfect for Thanksgiving – easy to make, light on the pocketbook, colorful. Nicely done, FF.

    • frugalfeeding
      November 24, 2012 at 10:05 pm

      Thanks! Exactly – I’m glad I have the Vegan seal of approval!

  17. littleveg
    November 20, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    That’s hilarious! We both posted mashed vegetables on the same day! I love your addition of the red chili. Plus all the lovely colors. Beautiful!!

    • frugalfeeding
      November 24, 2012 at 10:02 pm

      Hehe – what a delicious coincidence 😀

  18. msw98
    November 21, 2012 at 12:23 am

    Yum! I may try this on the weekend.

  19. EllaDee
    November 21, 2012 at 12:40 am

    Sweet potato mash, is a regular and goes perfectly with slow cooked Autumn/Winter meals. I love how you’ve taken it a step further and made it a meal in itself 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      November 24, 2012 at 10:02 pm

      Thanks – it went down really, really well!

  20. egg me on
    November 21, 2012 at 12:43 am

    Gorgeous color. That mash would be right at home on any Thanksgiving table this week. Nice job!

    • frugalfeeding
      November 24, 2012 at 10:01 pm

      Thanks so much :D. So I’ve been told 🙂

  21. emma
    November 21, 2012 at 2:03 am

    Hey-o! I love parsnips, and turnips, and of course sweet potatoes, so bring on an endless parade of root vegetable medleys, and I will be supa puhhhleased!

    • frugalfeeding
      November 24, 2012 at 10:01 pm

      Fantastic… you may not bring turnips to the party though…

  22. Suzanne @Roll With It
    November 21, 2012 at 2:30 am

    I love it! I am all about colour on your plate right now and this is a perfect example! And SOOOO cheap! Excellent!

  23. Leah
    November 21, 2012 at 3:21 am

    I love mashed sweet potatoes – but I’m liking the sound of all these lovely root vegetables together! Looks awesome!

    • frugalfeeding
      November 24, 2012 at 10:01 pm

      They all compliment each other VERY well!

  24. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen
    November 21, 2012 at 3:38 am

    Now this is my sort of mash, carrots, sweet potatoes.. and I do love parsnips (I know I’m strange).. but only when they’re mashed or if they’ve got something sweet added to them. This is so healthy.. a great vegan meal!

    • frugalfeeding
      November 24, 2012 at 10:01 pm

      I thought you might like it :D. One of my favourite vegan meals yet!

  25. Korena in the Kitchen
    November 21, 2012 at 4:20 am

    The red chili is a great addition to this. If you do find some way to make turnips more palatable, please let me know – I have a turnip from the latest CSA box languishing on my kitchen counter…

    • lifelibertyeducation
      November 21, 2012 at 4:17 pm

      Try a root veg soup. It is the only use I have had for a turnip yet. Perhaps someone can come up with something else that will win me over.

      • Korena in the Kitchen
        November 22, 2012 at 2:06 am

        Thanks for the suggestion – unfortunately the turnip bit the dust, it was getting mushy so I composted it!

        • frugalfeeding
          November 24, 2012 at 9:50 pm

          Ah – most un-frugal… 😀

          • Korena in the Kitchen
            November 24, 2012 at 9:55 pm

            LOL, not very, but where turnips are concerned, I don’t care much 😉

          • frugalfeeding
            November 24, 2012 at 9:56 pm

            Haha – me neither 😀

      • frugalfeeding
        November 24, 2012 at 9:54 pm

        I shall have to try it, yes! I’d just rather not us it though :D.

    • frugalfeeding
      November 24, 2012 at 10:00 pm

      Thanks :D. I’ll give it a go for the next one you get… then perhaps you wouldn’t have to chuck it out. I’m fairly sure you can make a turnip carpaccio…

  26. Villy
    November 21, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Potatoes for President!! I love that it is chunky and not completely mashed. And a confession: I tried parsnip and turnip for the first time a week ago.. Always the last to know things..

    • frugalfeeding
      November 24, 2012 at 9:59 pm

      Haha – that would be an interesting presidency! turnip isn’t that nice… what did you think?

      • Villy
        November 26, 2012 at 11:29 am

        I think I prefer both of them is soup rather than just eating them…

  27. Sophia
    November 21, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Normally I totally agree with you that plenty of things can be done frugally and done well – e.g. I happily munch on some savoury semolina/masa harina topped with some stirfried mushrooms or greens and a sprinkle of parmigiano and some black pepper and don’t feel I am missing out on the ‘real’ Polenta experience and all the butter that it comes with … but mash without butter, hmmm. Admittedly, at home I often leave out the butter (precious baking ingredient) and the cream (the remainder of which will only go off in my house unless I remember to make some truffles) … but the other day when I went for dinner in a little French bistro I had the creamiest and fluffiest potato mash sitting underneath a grilled duck breast and while you could taste the half pound of butter that must have been sitting on my plate, the mash was unbelievably delicious, so creamy, so smooth and simply heavenly! Not sure I can go back to mash without butter … although maybe your suggestion of roasting the veg with some olive oil will help!

    Love the light in the pictures – that light reflector ‘thing’ you bought must be doing its trick (or you have insanely nice light in your new place!).

    • frugalfeeding
      November 24, 2012 at 9:59 pm

      They can! The point is, the flavour of this doesn’t require butter – that much butter would utterly spoil it. There’s no need for this to taste of butter! The light reflector is amazing 😀

  28. infinebalance
    November 21, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    I love that you added chilli to this dish. I remember many a holiday meal with some sort of mashed orange vegetable on the side… a boring but totally comforting side dish. The chilli definitely adds some excitment.

    • frugalfeeding
      November 24, 2012 at 9:58 pm

      Thanks – I love chilli. IT does indeed make things a little more interesting!

  29. GiRRL_Earth
    November 21, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    As a vegan, I thank you for this recipe and your timing is impeccable with Thanksgiving right around the corner…

    As an American, who resides in Boston, what I absolutely cannot wrap my brain around, is the need for adding marshmallows to sweet potato mash!!!! What is that? In fact, the other day while at Whole Foods, I noticed they had packages of marshmallows next to the sweet potatoes!

    We Americans are a bit of a puzzle, eh?


    • frugalfeeding
      November 24, 2012 at 9:57 pm

      Thanks :D. I don’t get it either… it makes no sense. You are indeed.

  30. Danny Breslin
    November 21, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Sorry mate, you lost me with parsnips uuuugggggghhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • frugalfeeding
      November 25, 2012 at 11:38 pm

      I don;t like parsnips either and this taste good!

  31. allythebell
    November 21, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    That’s funny — I just made a soup version of almost exactly this. And I will continue to campaign for the awesomeness of the parsnip. It’s pretty much the only vegetable that’s local this time of year.

    • frugalfeeding
      November 24, 2012 at 9:55 pm

      Awesome! Yes, that is one definite benefit!

  32. Life is Short. Eat Hard!
    November 21, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    I love your blog and return time and time again. I am always inspired! Because of this I am nominating you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. See my latest post for how to participate! Thanks!

    • frugalfeeding
      November 25, 2012 at 11:35 pm

      Thanks so much 🙂 – I shall check it out!

  33. The Economic Vegetarian
    November 21, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Of course vegetables can be endearing. Okra has a special place in my heart, despite it’s unfortunate habit of excreting a slimy substance. Don’t know why but parsnips are not my thing, would you recommend something else that can be substituted?

    • frugalfeeding
      November 24, 2012 at 9:53 pm

      Oh indeed :D. I’ll have to give it a go. You honestly don’t taste the parsnip!

  34. helencripps63
    November 21, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Hi I love the idea of this mash, currently having no teeth it sounds good. Do you mind if I add a link to this and your site on mine? cancerjourney63

    • frugalfeeding
      November 24, 2012 at 9:52 pm

      Thanks – yes, it sounds pretty well up your street :D. Go ahead!

  35. petit4chocolatier
    November 21, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Loving the parsnips in the recipe! I like that it is all mashed. I have never seen anything quite like this; absolutely delicious!

  36. Susan
    November 21, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    Nice, and very autumnal.