Potato détente

At the risk of trivialising and being flippant about the Anzac legend and the atrocities of World War I, dinner time at my house does on occasion have me contemplating the war strategies faced by the German leaders of the time. Just as things calm down on one front, another opens up and just as the French are learning to sit still and eat their peas, the Russians start screaming “I don’t want anything mushy”.

What I’m clumsily saying is that the food and vegetable fight is fought on two battlefronts at my house. There’s the flavour battle, which is one I’m winning, thanks to my ever-growing stockpile of smuggling recipes. But then there’s the texture war. While Corporal Meat-and-Potatoes refuses mush or any soft food, Lieutenant Fruitarian fights anything too chewy or requiring too much utensil work and I struggle to find a happy balance.

Unlike the mums on the homefront in 1914, I do have a few mod cons working to my advantage, the freezer being a particularly useful one. Whilst I refuse to cook two dinners in one night, I do have to make textural concessions. I can get them eating the same piece of protein (ok, yes, perhaps it is just sausages), but potatoes for Mr Meat-and-Potatoes are best served chopped into chunks, tossed in oil and baked for 25 minutes and Miss Fruitarian gets a serve of this mash.

To avoid daily inconvenience, make a huge quantity of this recipe. Freeze large spoonfuls on oven trays and when solid, transfer to freezer bags for easy storage.

End the war with a stockpile of mash in the freezer.

Vegie Mash

1 carrot, peeled, diced
1 swede, peeled, diced
4 potatoes, peeled, diced
1 zucchini, grated (peel first if your child is scared of green bits)
1 cup grated cheese
¼ cup milk
Olive oil
Salt & black pepper

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the carrot and swede and boil for 5 minutes. Add the potato and boil for 10-15 minutes more. Use a fork to test that the vegies are cooked enough to mash easily. Drain.

Meanwhile, place the zucchini in a microwave-proof dish, cover and zap on high for 1 minute. Drain any excess water.

Mash the carrot, swede and potato for as long as you need to get the texture your kids will enjoy. Stir in the cheese and zucchini – the cheese should melt nicely. Add the milk and olive oil as needed to get a nice creamy texture. Season to taste.

On a good parenting day, serve this with fish fillets baked in lemon juice and herbs. On a bad day, add drained canned tuna. On a terrible day, serve with an enticing dollop of tomato sauce and peas.


Scoop separate portions onto an oven tray, cover with a large freezer bag and freeze for a couple of hours. Once frozen, snap them off the tray and store in a freezer bag back in the freezer. Squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible. Use within 1 month. Reheat in the microwave, stirring every minute until steaming hot.

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5 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Leah said,

    I had to laugh reading this post, as my 2 kids are exactly the same. Miss 3 refuses to eat mash, while Mr 5 won’t eat solid potato chunks. Well, that was until recently, and possibly after forcing them to eat what they had on their plates so many times, they actually now just eat it without a fuss. Perhaps persistence has paid off???

  2. 2

    MJ said,

    Mine are the same, but younger :/ Monster (3) won’t eat potato unless its chips or sometimes chunks of baked potato (aka SPECIAL chips!) and Squish (16 months) likes mashed. Or more, loves mash with every fiber lol

    • 3

      wendyblume said,

      yes, I’d run out of my freezer stocks and poor Miss F hadn’t had mash for months. She came to me all forlorn the other day and said “pleeeeeaaasssee can we have mash sometime”, which is what got me started thinking about this post again! Good luck with yours, at least mash lovers are easy to smuggle into…

  3. 4

    Karen said,

    Thanks for posting this again, our little girl has backflipped on mash, from hate to love! This might be a good way to sneak some of her most despised vegetables in… which basically means anything orange ;o)

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