Shallot-and-thyme mashed potatoes with cashew gravy for Meatless Monday

Categories: Vegetarian

Mashed potatoes and gravy would seem an option for plant-based eaters during the holidays, but the dish is often full of hidden menaces. Not only are the potatoes usually made with butter and milk, but the gravy almost always contains chicken, turkey or beef. This recipe, though, calls for nothing more dangerous than shallots and thyme in the spuds, and is topped with a creamy cashew gravy for an all-vegetarian version that doesn't sacrifice any flavor.

See also: Lentil shepherd's pie for a holiday main dish on Meatless Monday

You will need:

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots
3 tablespoons Earth Balance vegan butter (this is the very best kind -- use olive oil if you don't have any)
1/2 teaspoon or more of salt
1 teaspoon thyme
Fresh-ground black pepper
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon corn starch
1-2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari (to taste)
1 lemon
1 teaspoon powdered garlic
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Peel and quarter the potatoes.

Put them in a large pot with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes, until fully cooked and tender. While they're boiling, we'll work on the shallots.

2. Peel and thinly slice the shallots.

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