I remember one of the very first Thanksgivings I spent here. I was newly married, and went to one of my husband’s relatives for dinner. I had heard many times what a fabulous cook she was. And I had been “warned” in advance about her apparently-out-of-this-world mashed potatoes.
The table was filled with traditional Thanksgiving dishes I was completely unfamiliar with. And although I couldn’t taste a lot of them because they were made with some kind of turkey product, I was still excited to try whatever I was able to.
But the first thing I went for, of course, was the famous mashed potatoes. They were, indeed, delicious. I was thoroughly enjoy myself, until someone had to go and ask the question: “What’s in these mashed potatoes? They’re so good!”. If I told you that potatoes were actually the last ingredient on the list, I wouldn’t be lying. Butter, cream, cream cheese and sour cream were at the top. And I’m pretty sure I dropped my fork as soon as I heard that, and I’m to this day I wonder if anyone saw my face turn … Not only because I could feel my arteries clogging with every bite, but also because it was a complete shock for me. The mashed potatoes I remembered eating as a child had basically 3 ingredients: potatoes, olive oil and salt. Cultural shock, to say the least!
Now that we’ve spent quite a few years (and Thanksgiving dinners) here, we’ve learned to make over most traditional recipes (well, except for the big bird obviously), by giving them our own healthy twist.
These stuffed yams are definitely one of our favorites.
You can think of these as a hybrid of a yam casserole and mashed potatoes, only slightly healthier. The yams are baked until super soft. The buttery flesh is then scooped out and whipped with GO VEGGIE vegan cream cheese, some coconut oil and a touch of cinnamon. Right there you can see how we’ve reduced the amount of calories and saturated fat significantly, and eliminated cholesterol completely, by omitting the dairy products traditionally used.
The whipped yams are stuffed back into the yam skins and topped with a slightly sweet and crisp oat topping ( because in our opinion, marshmallows have no business being at the dinner table until dessert is served!).
The result is a delicious, satisfying side dish that is vegan and gluten free.
Hope you enjoy it 🙂
- 4 large yams, thoroughly washed and scrubbed
- 1/2 cup GO VEGGIE Plain Vegan Cream Cheese
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- For the topping:
- 2/3 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/4 cup raw pecans, chopped
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Carefully stab the yams with a knife a few times. Wrap each one in aluminum foil and place them on a baking sheet. Bake for an hour and a half or until tender. Reduce the oven temperature to 350F.
- Once the yams are baked, let them cool until they are safe enough to handle
- While the yams cool, prepare the topping. Combine oats, pecans, brown sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Add melted coconut oil and mix well, using a fork or your fingers
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil coated with cooking spray. Spread the topping on a single layer and bake for 18 minutes, stirring occasional to prevent it from burning. Remove it for the oven and let it cool
- Slice the yams down the middle lengthwise. Using a spoon, carefully, scoop out as much flesh as you can, being careful not to poke a hole in the skin. Transfer it to a large bowl
- Add cream cheese, coconut oil, cinnamon and salt and whip, using an electric mixer, until smooth. Scoop it into each yam and sprinkle the topping on top of each one right before serving
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