Mashed Potatoes and Carrots with Onions and a Surprise

Budget Menu & Dirt Cheap Recipes Dirt Cheap Dinners Mashed Potatoes and Carrots with Onions and a Surprise

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      We’ve all tried to sneak something good for you past our children (and relatives at a holiday dinner) one way or another. Whether we’ve disguised it under gravy or sauce, tossed it in with a casserole, or just tried to mix it in with rice…we sometimes fail.


      My daddy’s method when dealing with picky eaters (ahem…none of HIS children [or mine], was to drizzle a little ranch dressing over the unwanted item – usually a vegetable. It worked! I watched kids wolf down broccoli or zucchini just because of the ranch dressing like it was ice cream!

      I still cling to the ‘hidden’ approach and mashed potatoes are my base. When DD was a wee one, we often had her friends over for dinner and/or sleepover – parent exchange for a night off. We invariably received a list prior to the event of foods that the child would not eat.

      My parents didn’t do that. It was expected that we would eat whatever was provided, be appreciative, and to mind our manners! We didn’t force feed our DD, just mandated that she at least try a bite and if she still didn’t like it, she didn’t have to eat the food.

      However, sneaky parents that we are, knowing the importance of well-rounded nutrition came up with ways to circumnavigate our own rules. Fortunately for us, DD liked everything except in the presence of picky eaters. So we leaned!

      AND FYI, we never submitted such a list to the parents where she visited. We were questioned about it and replied, ‘she will eat whatever you provide’ knowing that they would only prepare foods that their child ate.

      My go to is mashed potatoes – worked for DD’s friends and my relatives (the married-in ones) during holidays!

      Mashed Potatoes and Carrots with Onions and a Surprise

      1 lb carrots, finely diced
      1 cup rutabaga, turnip, or parsnip – peeled and finely diced
      1 tsp salt
      1 1/2 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
      8 tbs unsalted butter
      2 tbs cold water
      2 onions, thinly sliced
      2 tsp balsamic vinegar
      1/4 tsp black pepper

      1. Place the carrots and rutabaga (or choice of above vegetables) into a pan of cold water with the salt.
      2. Add potatoes to the same pan as the carrots and rutabaga.
      3. Bring the pan to a boil. Cook until all vegetables are tender, about 15 to 20 min. While the vegetables are cooking, melt half of the butter in a saucepan. Add the water and thinly sliced onion. Cook over medium heat, stirring from time to time, until the onions are soft and golden brown, about 15 min. Add the Balsamic vinegar. 4. Stir and cook for another 5 min.
      5. Drain well and return to the saucepan. Cover with a lid for 5 min to allow the vegetables to rest.
      6. Add the remaining butter to the vegetables and mash thoroughly. 7. Do not over mash. It is good to leave the veggies chunky and rustic looking. Taste for seasoning and add the black pepper, with a little extra salt, if necessary.
      8. Place the mashed vegetables into a warmed serving dish and top with the softened onions. Serves 4

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Budget Menu & Dirt Cheap Recipes Dirt Cheap Dinners Mashed Potatoes and Carrots with Onions and a Surprise