About two weeks ago, my sister and I were talking on the phone about the cost of food, feeding a family with three hungry, growing children and of course about real food. I had been researching the average cost of food per person per month in the United States after reading a few articles on how to eat as cheaply as possible. As most financial articles will point out, groceries are the one expense in our daily lives that we have the most control of. I will agree to them to a point. However, if you have a child who has certain dietary restrictions, your control becomes more limited. For over the last year, I have been trying to figure out what the most healthy, cost effective meals I can make that are gluten free. I had a head slamming moment when my sister pointed out that the family favorite of “Root Mousse” was the cheapest meal that she made for her family. It does take a little time, unless you have a pressure cooker, but it works really well if you have other things to do and just want to leave it on the stove and check it every so often. I feel ashamed that I hadn’t even made root mousse in about a year…This was a recipe that my Swedish grandfather would make for the family though I hear the most authentic version calls for turnips (which are not in season right now) and I have never had it with them.
I had friends coming the next evening who would have a baby in tow so I figured that now was just as good a time as any to recreate one of my favorite childhood foods. Now this recipe calls for bacon, but vegetarians and vegans can just omit that ingredient if they like (do they make vegan bacon?)
6 Carrots, peeled, and chopped
6 Potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup Milk (any type, cows, rice, almond…)
2 Tablespoons Butter (seriously, only real butter will do)
salt and pepper to taste (I usually use about a teaspoon of salt and a 1/4-1/2 a teaspoon pepper)
Bacon, cooked, drained on paper towels and then cut into small pieces.
Directions: Prepare bacon if using. Boil carrots, in water, until soft (depending on how small you cut them, this can take a couple of hours to 30 minutes. If you have a pressure canner, once it comes to pressure, time it for 8 minutes and then remove from heat). Boil potatoes in water in a pot for 20 minutes. Drain carrots and potatoes and place in a large bowl. Mash with a potato masher after it is all mashed you can puree some of the mixture with an immersion blender if a creamier texture is desired. Then add butter and mix in until all melted. Stir in milk and salt and pepper. Fold in bacon.
Variation: My grandma used to put cheese slices on top of this when I was little and would visit at her house so that would be another way to add some extra protein.
This is good as a leftover, when you need comfort food, for a secondary baby food, or just because you’re hungry. We love it.