Even though this year has been slow in many ways with COVID-19 being the highlight, it still has been going by fast! I cannot believe it is almost thanksgiving! This year has been particularly rough for a lot of people with so many people losing their jobs and with everyone being stuck at home with no social life. I feel that the younger generation – our kids have it really hard as not being able to go to school and be with friends makes them feel isolated. And statistics are also showing an increase in anxiety and depression in teens and young adults.
Our two children have been impacted too to a certain extent and as my husband and I tried to come up with strategies to help them cope better, it suddenly struck me that I was so fortunate that I have been busy. Yes this year has been where I have worked the hardest in all my 20 years of professional life, I think. I have been doing nutritional consulting including group coaching as well as doing online cooking classes. In addition, the past 6 months I have been crazy busy working on my first cookbook! Since I am self-publishing, it has been a lot of work from recipe development and testing to writing to food photography to editing! But I digress. The point I was trying to make is that sometimes being busy is good. It is better than being bored and depressed. So yes I am really grateful to God that I have been busy and that even in such tough times, my nutrition business has thrived and I am able to help so many people!
Recently I have started hosting a live cooking show for a group coaching program and for the last two weeks I have been doing thanksgiving dishes! Last week I made this mashed ‘potatoes’ which is so yummy! This is going to be my AIP version of mashed potatoes for thanksgiving. Even though I can tolerate potatoes to a small extent now, I like to limit my consumption since doing too much gives me problems. And during thanksgiving since roasted potatoes is another favorite of mine, I thought balancing that with this nightshade free potato dish would be nice!
What are the ingredients for this mashed potato?
- The main ingredient is Cassava root! I get fresh cassava (yuca) root and peel and chop it. In case you are not familiar with how to peel and cut cassava, here is my video on that:
- You can find cassava root in most grocers. In the american grocers, you can look for it in the international section of the produce section. In case you cannot find it fresh, you can also look for frozen cassava pieces in the freezer section.
- Turnip is also used additionally to reduce the starchiness a bit. Since cassava is very starchy, using another less starchy vegetable like turnip balances out the starchiness and the texture.
- Bacon and Bacon fat give it richness and lots of flavor!
- Fresh Garlic and fresh rosemary impart lots of flavor too!
- 2 cups frozen or fresh cassava pieces chopped into about 1 inch cubes (about ¾ lb)
- 1 medium size turnip, peeled and cubed
- About 1 tsp sea salt, divided
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- ¼ cup chicken broth (homemade or AIP compliant)
- 1 slice of bacon
- 1 tbsp fresh garlic chopped fine
- 4-6 fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
- extra virgin olive oil to drizzle on top
- Place the cassava pieces in a large stock pot and fill with enough water until the cassava pieces are submerged completely under the water. Add half of the salt and stir. Heat the pot until the water begins to boil after which turn heat to medium and cover the pot with a lid (leaving a small space for the steam to escape). Let cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the cassava is tender and soft when poked with a fork. Turn heat off and drain the water using a colander/strainer. Cover the cooked cassava and keep aside. If the cassava pieces have any fibrous part in the center, take that out and discard.
- In a small cooking pot, add the turnip pieces and cover them with water. Let the water come to a boil and then simmer on low heat covered for about 15 minutes until they are completely cooked. Drain the water and keep aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the boiled cassava and the turnip. Using a masher, mash them completely also mixing them up in the process. You can also use an electric hand mixer to do this.
- Heat a small skillet or a pan and add the bacon slice. Heat on low medium heat until the bacon turns crisp on one side. Then flip and cook on the other side for another couple mins. Take the bacon piece out and chop it up into small bits.
- To the same pan with the bacon fat, add the chopped garlic and rosemary and stir fry for about 30 seconds. Turn heat off.
- When you are ready to serve the mashed potatoes, add the coconut milk and the chicken stock to the bowl with the cassava and turnip. Stir to mix well using a wooden spoon. Add the fried garlic and rosemary along with any leftover bacon fat and mix. Check for seasoning and add more salt if needed. Serve garnished with bacon bits and drizzled with evoo on top!