If you’re looking to reduce carbohydrates and increase protein in your diet, one of those foods that is the most difficult to replace is potatoes, the staple of so many meals that revolve around the traditional meat and vegetables. When it comes to family meals too, removing potatoes, and wishing to reduce tons of pasta or rice, can leave a distinct gap. Fear not, though, the problem has been solved!

Beans are one of the most versatile, and healthy, ingredients there is, and here is a great recipe for replacing mashed potatoes with mashed beans. The protein will keep you fuller for longer, and assist with a wide variety of health benefits, from weight loss goals, hormone support and mood balance to insomnia and cancer prevention.

Creamy, tasty, and absolutely delicious, it gives any meat and veg choices a filling base, and adds a hefty whack of protein, good fats, nutrients and flavour. The classic Irish dish of Colcannon combining potatoes with cabbage is echoed here, along with a touch of gentle Dijon mustard, unctuous creme fraiche, and some extra tweaks to maximise flavour.

Adapt this to your personal taste – you could use cream, Greek yogurt, different herbs, English mustard, or anything else that takes your fancy. Give it a try!


Butterbean Colcannon

  • Author: Jane Hutton
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 1x
  • Diet: Diabetic


  • 1x400g (13oz) can butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • vegetable stock to cover the beans
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 12 tablespoons reduced fat creme fraiche
  • 2 good sprigs fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 100g (3½oz) onion, finely sliced
  • 100g (3½oz) green cabbage or kale, shredded
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 25ml (1fl oz) water
  • ¼ teaspoon soy sauce
  • 80g (3oz) lean ham, shredded (optional)


  1. Put the beans in a saucepan and barely cover them with stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 – 10 minutes until the stock has been reduced to about 25ml (1fl oz).
  2. While the beans are cooking, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and soften the onion over a low heat. Add the cabbage/kale and garlic and stir well. Add the water and soy sauce, turn the heat up and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes until the cabbage is soft. Stir occasionally to prevent any ingredients sticking.
  3. Mash the beans with a potato masher and then mix in the mustard, creme fraiche and parsley, drain the greens mix and stir through.
  4. Ensure it is hot, season to taste, and enjoy!


  • serves two for a light lunch with salad and topped with an egg, or as a side dish – increase quantities for more people,  as main meal or potato replacement to eat with meat or fish. As a potato replacement, this recipe, with or without the ham, is less starchy and calorific, plus adds lots more nutrients and protein. So get busy with the beans!

Keywords: diabetes, weight loss, healthy eating, gluten free, potatoes, mashed potatoes, protein, low carb,

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