Potato-Cauliflower Mash with Mushroom Gravy

Potato-Cauliflower Mash with Mushroom Gravy.jpg

Photos and recipe by Pamela Turczyn

What is more traditional on Thanksgiving than to tuck into a steaming mound of mashed potatoes with gravy? To avoid the usual post-feast need to loosen one’s belt or take a long nap, our version lightens the potato load by half with the addition of cauliflower. The result is a traditional flavor and texture but with less starch.

To compliment the mash, we suggest a mushroom gravy in two variations: one for traditionalists and one for the gluten free crowd. The latter is every bit as delicious but has a translucent rather than opaque quality.  When reheating for leftovers, you may need to add a small amount of additional tapioca flour. This dish amounts to 5 servings at $1 each.

Serves 5


1 pound Yukon Gold or Red Skin potatoes (about 4 small ones)

½ medium-sized cauliflower cut into florets

½ cup warm milk, or hot water from steaming the cauliflower

2 tsp minced garlic

2 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil (can substitute ghee or butter)

1 tsp salt, divided

¼ tsp pepper

  1. Cut the potatoes in half, place in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Add 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil and simmer until soft. A knife should easily slide in. Remove from heat and drain. Cover with cold water. Peel each potato while holding it under cold running water. The peel should easily come off without the use of a peeler.

  2. While the potatoes are boiling, steam the cauliflower until tender. Put the potatoes and cauliflower together and mash with a potato masher.

  3. Heat olive oil in a small skillet and add garlic. Saute until garlic just starts to brown. Add garlic, olive oil and milk or hot water to the mash and season with salt and pepper to taste.


2 cups gravy, enough to pour over the Cauliflower-Potato Mash plus your Thanksgiving turkey or tofu. This recipe includes gluten-free instructions.


2 cups water

¼ cup dried wild mushrooms, either packaged FungusAmongUs Porcini or Mixed Wild Mushrooms from the bulk food area.

1 cup finely chopped fresh Portobello or Crimini mushrooms

2 tsp minced garlic,

¼ cup minced onion

2 tbsp olive oil

Splash of Worcestershire Sauce

Splash of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

salt & pepper to taste

1/4 cup wheat flour*

2 Tbsp olive oil

* For gluten-free version, substitute 2 Tbsp Tapioca Flour or arrow root powder or corn starch, mixed with 1/4 cup water.

  1. Soak the dried mushrooms in room temperature water for 20 minutes.  Then, fish out the mushrooms, checking for any dirt that may be clinging to stems. Cut any oversized pieces. Set mushrooms aside.  Reserve the mushroom liquor.

  2. In a saucepan, heat olive oil and add minced garlic and onions. Saute until onions are transparent. Add fresh and rehydrated mushrooms with ¼ tsp salt. Saute 3 minutes.

  3. Slowly pour in mushroom liquor, so that any sand or sediment is left at the bottom of the bowl and not added to the gravy.  Bring to a simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add Worcestershire Sauce, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, salt and pepper.

  4. Now, add the flour (or skip to step 5 if gluten-free). Heat oil or butter in a small skillet. Add the flour and cook until lightly browned and well integrated into the oil.  Pour about a cup of the mushroom gravy into a small bowl and whisk in the flour/oil combination. Pour the mixture back into the mushroom gravy and continue to whisk until well mixed. Simmer until the gravy reaches the desired thickness.

  5. Gluten-free approach: Put water into a cup and whisk in the tapioca flour with a fork. Pour the mixture into the gravy while continuing to whisk. Stir the simmering gravy until the tapioca has turned clear and the gravy has thickened.