From Side Dish to Center of Plate: Mashed Potatoes with Protein-rich Beans

Blending cooked white beans into mashed potatoes moves the ultimate comfort food from side dish to center of plate. Creating this protein-rich entrée is simple: just add a cup or so of cooked white beans when you mash the potatoes. Either navy or Great Northern beans work well. You can also try the following recipe which incorporates savory aromatic flavors of onions and garlic with just a few added steps.

1 1/4 cups navy beans, soaked in water to cover for at least four hours
3 cups unsalted vegetable broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, quartered
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 pound Yukon gold or Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Drain soaked beans and place in a large saucepan with vegetable broth, onion and crushed garlic cloves. Bring to a gentle boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Add salt and simmer another 30 minutes. Add potatoes and continue to simmer until beans and potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the onions and discard.

Drain the beans and potatoes, reserving one cup of the cooking liquid. Transfer the beans and potatoes to a food processor. Add the butter, thyme and ½ cup of the cooking liquid and process until smooth and creamy. Add more cooking liquid to achieve the consistency you prefer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.