I am a potato fiend. Whatever form they're in (mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, boiled, baked, fried...), they're undoubtedly my favourite part of a meal. I'll quite happily eat them cold too, so don't you go thinking those leftover roasties are safe...
Buuut, although potatoes are far from nutritionless (they contain plenty of vitamin C, potassium and vitamin B6, for example), they're not really the best thing to fill your plate with day after day. So in an effort to inject a bit more goodness into my favourite mash, I decided to make it with white beans instead.
I never intended for this white bean mash to imitate mashed potatoes at all (it was meant to be merely an alternative, not an impersonator), but actually it was a really good likeness! I left my beans a bit chunky for texture - there are even a few whole beans in there still - but I reckon if your puréed the mixture to be quite smooth, this white bean mash would be a really good imitation of mashed potato, especially once you've added the other ingredients! It definitely curbed all of my potato cravings.
Beans don't have a huge amount of flavour on their own (like potatoes, I guess), but just one spoonful of pesto and a handful of parmesan completely transformed this white bean mash into something seriously special - I couldn't get enough of it! And it was really good to know that rather than just eating a big heap of carbs, I was getting some protein in me as well. As a vegetarian, it's always handy to find new ways of getting protein that don't just involve eating 'fake meat' every day (which I actually do really like, but it's nice to have a bit of variation!).
By the way - I know I've posted three super cheesy recipes in a row. I'm kind of ashamed (but not really, because I love cheese). I'd just like to point out that three of the four recipes that came before were totally vegan, so please don't judge me (apart from maybe for my blog organisational skills, or lack thereof)!
Cheesy pesto white bean mash
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- 2 x 400g tin white cannellini beans 240g each when drained, drained
- 100 ml vegetable stock
- 75 g vegetarian parmesan-style cheese finely grated
- 1 tablespoon basil pesto
- Black pepper
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil optional
- Add the drained beans to a saucepan with the vegetable stock, and place over a medium-low heat. Simmer gently for around 5-10 minutes, until the beans are hot and very soft. Mash with a potato masher (I left mine a little chunky for texture, but you can make them completely smooth if you prefer).
- Remove from the heat, and add the parmesan and pesto, along with plenty of black pepper (you probably won't need any salt unless you used low-sodium stock). Mix until well combined.
- Serve immediately drizzled with a little extra virgin olive oil, if desired - or, keep in the fridge to reheat in the microwave later.
Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.