One topic that is sure to come up regularly on this blog is that of our struggle to incorporate adequate protein into our diet. It usually results in an argument with me (the cook) on one side and my father and sister hotly disputing my decisions on another. I am determined to uphold my belief that food has the potential to reduce wastage in many different ways, one being wasted social opportunities – food is such a good way of bringing people together. However with our ongoing quarrels surrounding protein I fear that I may be proved wrong – a decent amount of ‘debating’ is healthy in any house hold, however I don’t want it to develop into something more than that, with food being at the root of the problem. Consequently I am on the hunt for a variety of different ways in which I can incorporate protein into our meals, without it always being in the ‘main’ dish.
This creation I believe to be a stroke of pure genius (we are all guilty of becoming a tad big headed at times). In a way I was slightly disgruntled to discover that countless numbers of people have been making ‘bean mash’ for many years. But then I realised I was actually jealous – that they cottoned on to the idea way before I did!
It’s on par with the creaminess of standard mashed potatoes and perhaps even surpasses it. I’m usually not a big fan of butter beans (their textures freaks me out a little. I can’t explain it.) Therefore I was shocked that the texture of this dish was actually quite pleasant. And moreish. Very moreish. But to be honest I’m a sucker for mashed potato – I could eat it for breakfast. Seriously. So perhaps it shouldn’t have been a surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed something that was so similar in taste and consistency.
We ate it as a side with a beautiful Beet Bourginon from the Green Kitchen Stories recipe book and it worked just as a good mash should, soaking up all those evasive juices.
Okay, I think I have preached about the wonders of this dish enough. But perhaps I can squeeze in one last thing; due to my relatively new dislike for butter beans we had about four cans floating around the pantry. Not wanting to throw them out I sought to try preparing them in a different fashion. It’s safe to say that they packed plenty of taste consequently reducing any chance of waste! Corny, I know.
Creamy Butter Bean Mash aka Protein Packed Mashed Potatoes
Serves 2-4 as a side.
1 small floury potato
400g can butter beans
5 spring onions, finely sliced
Peel and quarter potato. Place in a small pot and cover with cold water. Bring to boil and cook until tender – about ten minutes.
Meanwhile, drain and rinse butter beans. When potato is just tender add butter beans to the pot and bring back to boil. Once boiling, drain, then return beans and potato to pot, along with the spring onions. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly for two minutes.
Transfer to medium sized bowl, along with the butter and mash with a fork or potato masher. Once smooth, fold in milk and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Source: A Taste Without Waste original.