Mash Up Your Potatoes and Root Vegetables
Mash Up Your Potatoes and Root Vegetables

If you’re looking to liven up your side dishes this holiday season, enhance your festive preparations with these creative mash-ups! Try these recipe ideas that combine versatile and flavorful ingredients.

Rustic Rutabaga Smashed Potatoes
In large saucepot, add 1-1/2 pounds unpeeled Yukon Gold potatoes (cut into 3/4-inch pieces), 3 coarsely chopped garlic cloves and 1 small peeled rutabaga (cut into 1/2-inch pieces); cover with water and heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high and simmer 20 to 30 minutes or until tender. In colander, drain cooked vegetables and return to saucepot. Add 3/4 cup low fat buttermilk, 1/4 cup chopped green onions, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper. With potato masher, mash to slightly chunky consistency.

Root Vegetable Mash
In medium saucepot, add 4 peeled garlic cloves, 8 cups peeled and coarsely chopped root vegetables (carrots, celery root, parsnips and/or turnips) and enough salted water to cover; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cover and simmer 20 to 22 minutes or until vegetables are very tender; drain vegetables. In same saucepot, heat 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg to simmering over medium heat; return vegetables to saucepot. With potato masher, mash vegetables until slightly chunky. Heat through over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Serve topped with 4 chopped green onions (about 1/3 cup). Makes about 6 cups.

Potato-Avocado Mash-up
In large microwave-safe bowl, heat 4 cups leftover mashed potatoes on high for 2 minutes or until warmed. In medium bowl, mash 2 medium pitted and peeled avocados; stir in 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper sauce. Stir avocado mixture into potatoes and warm in microwave. Garnish with cilantro, if desired. Place mash-up into avocado skin for a creative presentation.

Loaded Mashed Potato Bake
Spray 3-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. In small bowl, combine 1/2 cup coarsely crushed cheese crackers and 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter. In large microwave-safe bowl, heat 4 cups leftover mashed potatoes on high for 1 minute to soften. Add 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper to bowl and stir until well combined. Add 1-3/4 cups cheese, about 3/4 of a 2.1 ounce package fully cooked bacon (coarsely chopped), 2 thinly sliced green onions, 1/2 chopped small red onion and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley to bowl; stir until well combined. Transfer mixture to prepared casserole dish and sprinkle evenly with cracker mixture, 1/4 cup cheese and remaining bacon. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until heated through.

Caramelized Onion & Gruyère Mashed Potatoes
Heat large covered saucepot of salted cold water and 5 medium peeled russet potatoes (cut into large chunks) to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Heat medium saucepot over medium-high heat until hot; add 1 large chopped onion and 2 tablespoons olive oil and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 15 to 18 minutes longer or until onion is browned. Drain potatoes; transfer to large bowl. Add 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese, 1/2 cup warmed milk, 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (cut into pieces), 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon white pepper and 1 pinch nutmeg. With mixer on medium-high speed, mix potatoes 2 to 3 minutes until smooth; stir in onion.