Mashed Potato Bowls - Dinner @ 226

It all started with a bag of Organic Golden Potatoes. Those things are pretty heavenly, no matter what you do with them. Mash them, roast them, cube them, soup them...whatever. I just made soup a verb. And that, people, is my genius at work.

I'm not a fan of just any potato. Actually, I prefer a spicy sweet potato any day. But, these babies are creamy and velvety, and unlike their boring baking potato brethren.

The misfortune is that this particular THREE POUND BAG of golden potatoes was starting to grow some unsightly little horns. Not a good sign. I thought about how I could use three pounds of potatoes in one meal. I talked it over with myself. I talked it over with the cat. I talked it over with the shaggy haired almost four year old. He's the genius, I guess. Because he was all, "Mama, let's just have mashed potatoes for dinner."

And I was all, "Yes, I'm glad I passed my genius on to you."

The Mashed Potato Bowl was born, and I recommend it be born in your house as well. Even if you don't have a shaggy haired almost four year old genius running around, you can borrow mine if need be. Truth.

Another lame iPhone photo, my apologies. If you look closely, it was clearly my second helping...this is a we're-lucky-we-got-a-picture-at-all situation.

Beckett's Mashed Potato Bowls

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Drop three pounds of washed golden potatoes in plenty of salted COLD water. No need to peel these potatoes. Bring the water to a boil and let it do it's thing.

Make a quick marinade of 1 T maple syrup, 1 T olive oil, 1 T cumin, a pinch of cayenne, 1 tsp liquid smoke (Trader Joe's smoke seasoning or Smoked Paprika also work well), 1 T soy sauce, and a few grinds of black pepper. Crumble a *brick of tempeh into this mixture, stir until coated and let it sit.

While that is happening, clean, de-rib and roughly chop 2 small bunches of lacinato kale (or one big). Spread them in an even layer on two cookie sheet covered with parchment. Quarter one container of **mushrooms and evenly distribute them on the baking sheets. Drizzle the vegetables with 1 T olive oil and some salt and pepper.

Sprinkle the marinated tempeh over the vegetables. Put both baking sheets in the oven. While the kale, mushrooms and tempeh roast, shred some sharp white cheddar into a bowl. You'll need about 1 1/2 cups.

After 20 mins, rotate the baking sheets. While you're rotating, use tongs to toss the contents around.

If your potatoes are done (a fork easily sticks through them), drain them, return them to the pot on the stove. Add a a few knobs of butter, some milk and a little yogurt. I am NOT technical when making mashed potatoes. Add whatever you normally add to your favorite mashed potatoes and get to mashing or beating (if you like them whipped) until they are smooth. Stir in 1/2 cup of chopped green onions and a generous amount of salt and pepper.

At this point, your vegetables/tempeh should have been in the oven for a total of 30 minutes. Remove them and dump them into a serving bowl. Toss a little.

Take the pot of mashed potatoes, serving bowl of vegetables and tempeh, and the shredded cheese to the table. Let everyone make their bowls. In my house, vegetables are mandatory. Maybe your kids are luckier.

*If you've never worked with tempeh, you should give it a shot. It takes a while to figure out what to do with it, but once you find the right combination it's a great source of yummy (lean) protein! Also, if you're a meat eater, use some great bacon without the marinade. Cook separate from vegetables and mix in before serving. The smoky/saltiness of bacon is the flavor this tempeh is trying to imitate.

**I used Baby Bella mushroom because they are my favorite. Use whatever you have and if you only have half a container, it's cool. If you want more mushrooms, use a full pound. Totes a personal preference.

All the typical eccentricities of a genius. No?