Friday, March 29, 2013

Spinach and Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Spinach and Garlic Mashed Potatoes
I'm having a very strange phase lately, you guys...
to put it simply...
I've been eating spinach.

I KNOW! It's like...I don't even know who I am anymore! 15 year old Kayle (let's face it...birth through age 19 year old Kayle's) is staring at me, wide mouthed with horror. Here is how that conversation might go:

15 y/o Kayle: OMG WHAT ARE YOU LIKE DOING? EATING SPINACH!? EWWW SO GROSS! 

Me: Calm down...seriously...just...calm down. Not just right now. Overall. You need to chill out. Trust me. But also...it's really not gross. You haven't even tried spinach.

15 y/o K: IT'S GROSS AND BITTER AND MUSHY AND COMES IN A CAN AND POPEYE EATS IT! THAT'S ALL I NEED TO KNOW!

Me: Oh my heavens was I seriously this loud and excitable?  *grabs 15 year old self and shakes* YOU CANNOT TAKE LIFE LESSONS FROM CARTOONS! Also, spinach can be eaten other ways.

15 K: I had a leaf of it raw once...it tasted like a leaf. WHO WANTS TO EAT LEAVES!?

Me: FOR PETE'S SAKE CALM DOWN! Ok, you're not 100% wrong there. Just...trust me kid...something about combining spinach with other stuff-say, garlic-makes it not gross. I promise.

15 K: Why can't you just eat like an entire thing of oreo's instead?

Me: *sigh* These lessons are just gonna take time. Go back to high school...you've got a lot of stuff coming your way. Oh but have fun in the musical! Try not to flirt too much with the boys, you look ridiculous.

15 K: *fully ignores me and goes off and does all the stupid things she'll do that'll eventually lead to me now*
Spinach and Garlic Mashed Potatoes
As you can see...we've come a long way. Anyway, like I was saying-I've been eating spinach. You already know about the pies/pastries I've been making, and I've also been putting a few leaves in my salads lately (but not too many because 15 year old Kayle is right...they do just taste like leaves and I am not a giraffe).

So, all of this spinach eating made me think about a mashed potato recipe I made a while back. It used kale and...it was fine but...well...kale is super bitter. I could hardly handle it even when camouflaged with mashed potatoes. But spinach, to me at least, has a much more mild flavor so I thought "Hey! Let's see what we can make with that!"

Success! These potatoes are full of delicious flavor (yay roasted garlic, scallions, and parmesan cheese!) but without the guilt! These potatoes have fiber, nutrients, and a touch of good fats. A perfect side dish to make your taste buds and your belly be in complete agreement (even if you and your 15 year old self are not).

Spinach and Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Kayle original, adapted from this recipe

Spinach and Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Ingredients:
  • 3 pounds potatoes (Russet, gold, or red)
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • 2 large hand-fulls of spinach
  • 2-3 tbsp. olive oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 scallions
  • 1+ cup milk
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preparation:
Spinach and Garlic Mashed Potatoes
  • Scrub and peel (or leave the skins on if you like, or leave some skins on, your choice) the potatoes. Chop into 1 in. chunks. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water.
  • Bring water to a boil and cook the potatoes until tender (time varies, anywhere from 10-25 minutes).
  • Meanwhile, dice the garlic and chop the spinach. In a small skillet heat 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat and add the garlic and spinach. Saute for a few minutes until the spinach is wilted and tender. Season with kosher salt.
  • Chop the scallions.
  • Warm the milk in a microwave until warm (about 1 minute).
  • When finished, remove from heat and drain the potatoes, then return them to the large pot and mash. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add all the other ingredients (and 1 tbsp. olive oil if needed) to the potatoes and stir/mash to combine.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings and other ingredients as desired.
Spinach and Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Hurray for the last Friday of Lent! Next Friday I can eat meat if I want! woot!
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