By Karen Gaudette Brewer

Mashed potatoes, don't fret: No one's trying to steal your thunder. It's just that there's a big ol' world of other starches and veggies that make you taste even better. I think they call that strength in numbers.

Heirloom recipes are such gems because they're typically easy, hearty, affordable, and delicious. This simple, slightly spicy mash comes to us from Irish-Canadian grandmother Agnes Walsh. Thanks, Mrs. Walsh!

972484 Trio of Mashed Roots (Parsnip, Turnip and Carrot) 230772 ~Lissa~
Photo by ~Lissa~

Because you can never have too many recipes from grandmothers...time to find out why Bubby's deceptively simple combo of potatoes and turnips was a family favorite for generations.

187868 Nana's Mashed Turnip 46250 Melissa F.
Photo by Melissa F.

It's November. Yams are on sale. (Tip: What most Americans call yam are actually sweet potatoes.) Here's an awesome way to make them work for you. Imagine digging your spoon into this gorgeous, hot and bubbly side dish at Thanksgiving. A hit even with those who claim to despise sweet potatos (who ARE you people?).

605456 Rosemary Mashed Potatoes and Yams 13555 Dianne
Photo by Dianne

"I don't care much for eggplant," writes the recipe creator peawormsworth. "But I found an ideal way to consume it and it actually improves on the classic." Try this for creamy mashed potatoes with no butter, milk, or gravy required.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Eggplant
Photo by LindaT

This recipe is good as is. But here's how to make it even better: As Allrecipes member naples34102 suggests, add a few garlic cloves to the potatoes as they boil; wilt fresh spinach and use that in place of frozen; add cooked, crumbled bacon and green onion; omit the dill weed. She even advises you to—gasp!—skip the cheese, because "at this point this dish was SO delicious and SO beautiful that I thought the shredded cheese would only ruin its elegance."

mashed potatoes with spinach
Photo by BrooklynKyler
| Credit: BrooklynKyler