Our family loves mashed potatoes, and before I go any further – NO this is not a recipe for my husband’s great mashed potato recipe! We try to have at least one good meat-and-potatoes style meal each week, and always cook up a big batch of mashed potatoes to serve with our steaks or roast.
Potatoes are a great source of Vitamins C and B6, and they are inexpensive and filling as well. For families on a budget, potatoes should be a weekly staple on the grocery list or a must-have in the garden. Save the peels to compost, or simply mash them up with the flesh of the potato for added nutrients.
Mashed potatoes are easily transformed from a tasty side-dish to the main feature of a family meal. Here is a quick and easy recipe I developed last night with leftovers from the past few days. There are many recipes for leftover mashed potatoes, many of them for potato pancakes, and we will add as many as we can over the next few weeks. This is a great choice for a meal towards the end of the week, when you have a variety of leftover ingredients. Get creative with what you have; the hallmark of frugal and tasty recipes are adaptability. As long as I have a few onions and garlic around, I can usually come up with a dish that pleases most if not all of the family.
1 small cooking onion, diced
1 clove of crushed garlic, or 1 tsp garlic in oil
1 cup of chopped leftover ham
5 strips of bacons, chopped into bits
5 cups leftover mashed potatoes
3/4 cups green peas
1/2 red, orange, green or yellow pepper, chopped.
In a large frying pan, cook your bacon if needed. If the bacon is already cooked, simply toss it into the pan, and when it starts to sizzle a little add the chopped ham, garlic and onions. Cook until the onion bits are translucent, stirring frequently. No butter or oil is needed – there is enough grease in the bacon and ham. Add the chopped red pepper and stir for another minute or two. The mashed potatoes can either be added into the pan with the green peas and stirred until the whole mixture is warmed through, OR the mashed potatoes and peas can be warmed in the microwave and then combined with the bacon, onion and pepper mixture in a large bowl. A prettier way to serve this mashed potatoes recipe is to spoon the potatoes onto each plate, then top with the bacon pepper mixture and garnish with a sprig of fresh parsley or fresh cilantro.
This is also a good recipe to use when camping – and it is delicious when made on a campstove or in a cast iron frying pan – the smoky campfire taste just adds to the flavour!