in which these beans are magic

Auburn Meadow Farm pork shoulder steaks slow cooked with rustic sauerkraut and white bean mashed potatoes. Perfect warmup for a rainy, dreary February day.

Damp, dark winter days make it hard to resist creamy, warm, comforting foods like mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and other starchy, comforting caloric hugs.
Today, a rainy, muddy beast of a day,  I was craving pork and sauerkraut.  To me that means a big pile of mashed potatoes topped with sauerkraut slow cooked with pork & lots (and lots) of juice. You now what I mean…
Now, we all know potatoes are a restricted group for good reason, BUT.  Potatoes are so loved for  other, equally good reasons too.  Maybe you’d be okay with it, but a life without mashed potatoes sounds kind of bleak to me.  Thank goodness I’ve got a trick or two to help me out.

Beans are a magical gift in so many ways, I swear I never stop being amazed by them. Kind of like Bubba and shrimp, I love the way they look, the amazing number of uses and their importance as a renewable, water conserving, non-animal source of protein and fiber.

Replacing half the potatoes in your mashed potato side dish with pureed white beans helps three ways. One, it’s really good and satisfying. Two, it is healthier, and three, this trick saves you money.

By substituting half the potatoes in your recipe with pureed white beans, you are going to reduce the amount of meat required, increase the protein, fiber and nutrients which will fill you up, keep you full longer and encourage you to eat less.

I love good beans so don’t worry about hiding the evidence, but if you need to go stealth with your trickery, just be sure to use mushy, soft cooked white beans with thin, white skins like canned cannellini. If you need to go super-stealth, whizz your beans in the food processor first.

Yukon Gold potatoes are best choice of potato for this, though any others will do just fine. The Yukon Golds aren’t as absorbent as some others like russetts, and are naturally buttery so you can be a little stingy with the butter and milk and/or cream.
Click here for a printable recipe.


I found this and many, many MANY great ideas in Spilling the Beans,  including one of the best carrot cakes I’ve ever had.  If you live in Pittsburgh, you should check out the very best library system in the whole entire world for cookbooks, The Carnegie Public Library. Seriously. The. Best.

Hope this little trick helps you out a bit, what secrets do you use to make everyday favorites healthier? 


2 thoughts on “in which these beans are magic

  1. Beans are amongst my favorite foods. I love all types. Mashed beans (refried) are so common here but have not seen a recipe with mashed white beans. Good to see you Jackie.

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