Traditional Simplicity ~ Shelled Beans, Mashed Potatoes, and Fresh Veggies

I wanted to post this wonderfully simple dinner we had the other night because they are always some of the best meals there are!! An ode to mamma because this recipe runs in the family xoxo. Don’t spend too much time in the kitchen when there’s books to be read and a garden to be tended (or on the internet writing blog posts)!!

Shelled Beans, Mashed Potatoes, and Veggies

1 can of shelled beans

~ 6 potatoes (depending on who you plan on feeding)

4 Tbs. of salted butter (you can choose to go lighter)

2 Tbs. of cream cheese

chopped fresh chives

two splashes of milk

Veggie accompaniments of your choice, in this case:

~8-10 good sized leaves of rainbow chard, chopped

~6 small to medium sized colorful carrots

and as always a splash of olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

I always like to get my potatoes started because they take the longest. There are many many mashed potato variations, but I really wanted the ones my mom always made, so I used gold potatoes and peeled them. I cut them into quarters and boiled in the water until perfectly tender (not flaking apart or to hard to get a fork through). I know that this method may create slightly more starchy mashed potatoes (pre-peeling and quartering before boiling), but I don’t mind for simple meals and most of the time it’s not noticeable.

Crack open that beautiful old can of shelled beans and pour the whole thing (including juices) into a saucepan add about one or two tablespoons of butter (no need for s & p, it’s pretty salty) and a splash of milk, just to turn it into a good consistency and a nice golden color. I like to simmer it for a few minutes just to get it really hot and also to the right texture.

Drain those potatoes out, add 2-3 tablespoons of butter, another splash of milk, the cream cheese (and sometimes I add other leftover cheeses we have around- parm., cheddar, etc…), and some good cracks of fresh pepper, then mash it up!! Once I’ve got it all mashed up, that’s when I fold in the chopped chives (I don’t want them wilting or turning brown at all).

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At this point I have the cast iron heating up with a little olive oil and I have cut all of my carrots in half the long way (only because they were small enough).

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I put the lid on (keeping a close eye on them) and let them cook through and then caramelize on the outside. Once I pulled the carrots out of the pan I put a knob of butter into the already warm skillet and threw on all of my chopped chard and tossed it around until just wilted.

Assemble veggies how you like, a nice pile of potatoes, and then pour some of your shelled beans on top (it should be like gravy) of your mountain. Of course at this point I saw an avocado on the shelf and couldn’t resist so I cut that up and added it to the plate too. Add a good summer drink (ginger kombucha worked really well with this) and now all the veggies are ready to eat mm… mm… it is truly like a summer thanksgiving!! Thanks again farmers who provided the colorful carrots and chard!!

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