Smart Mash: My Brush With Reality TV

Ontario, Canada


Recipe below, try it out!

I’ve always loved my time in the kitchen since I can’t even remember. I think it started when I was a young teen as my Sister and I fought over what to make for supper while our single Mother worked long hours to pay the bills. Sister baked, I cooked. We learned to


eat good things together and 40 plus years later we still enjoy good food together! Me I get excited about company coming over for a dinner party, so I can test out something new or the day your young kids look you in the eye and say “Dad you’re a good cooker”.


You know you are doing something right somehow. So when Recipes to Riches arrived in Canada on Food Network, I was pushed and poked by many to try out. Finally I was game to give it a try. I don’t shy from much so I polished up my recipe with hope maybe


the $250,000 1st prize would be mine and set out for the Toronto auditions. I’m going the healthy route as Loblaw’s has been heavily promoting healthy options these days and they’re paying for the whole shebang! My recipe “Smart Mash” a healthy side that


my kids thought were mashed potatoes when they were eating it, I kid you not. The tryouts have been going on across Canada for the last month and this is is my introduction to the world of TV, 4 hrs standing in line with my 10 page mandatory


application, copy of my recipe and my finished dish waiting in a cooler for the judges to try. The place is a packed house of 2000 plus people waiting in line to get an audition number. Finally I get mine #2341. Then interviews with producers wanting to know all about you, asking probing


questions and hearing you have this thing good for TV, whatever that means from a producer. Hoping to make it before the host and 3 judges, garner a golden ticket and a spot in the Top 12 for TV tapings. But alas I fell one spot short the unlucky 13, last person to be cut. Not bad out of 25,000 entrants across Canada, but no TV show for me. So after 12 hrs in a crowded downtown


Toronto hotel, hoping to show off my talents all day. I was glad to pack up and head home. All and all it was a fun day, I met the king of the Loblaw’s empire Galen Weston Jr. My Smart Mash recipe was trumped by a Butter Chicken Lasagna in the shows


finale. Not a healthy recipe but he did take home a cool $250,000 and his recipe was made into a President’s Choice frozen product for their grocery chain. All and all it was other great experience in life!


Smart Mash – A Healthy Potato Substitute


  • 2 heads of cauliflower, chopped
  • 1  potato, chopped
  • 2 – 14 oz can of white beans
  • 4 cloves of garlic, diced and slightly sauté in evo
  • 1 cup of Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • In large pot of boiling salted water
  • Cook cauliflower, potato and garlic until fork tender
  • Drain thoroughly and dry on paper towel
  • Add back to pot
  • Add to pot, drained rinsed white beans, Greek yogurt, olive oil
  • Season to taste
  • Puree to a mash potato consistency, don’t over work
  • Spoon in baking dish and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese
  • Bake in oven at 325 degrees until cheese is golden brown

Additions like bacon, roasted garlic, cheeses are endless possibilities. Remember it’s suppose to a healthy substitute. Serve as a side with your favorite dishes.





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