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.
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
• 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).
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.
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!