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Archive for the ‘The Popular Potato’ Category

This is an ideal snack for any kids party….these  potato mice will make little ones squeal with delight.  Omit the cheese if dairy is a no-no…the mice taste super with or without!  At other times a little potato mouse can be served as an exciting side dish to coax little people to eat a complete meal.  Potato on the side is a good substitute for grains.

 

Ingredients

10 medium potatoes

1 cup grated cheddar cheese (optional)

1 -2 carrots, washed and peeled

2 Tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

A few drops of red and green food colors

1/2 teaspoon cornstarch plus half teaspoon water

 

Method

Wash and peel potatoes.

Place peeled potatoes in a saucepan of lightly salted water and boil

Boil on medium heat for about 10 minutes or so, or till potatoes are almost done, but not too soft.  Do not overcook.

Drain water

Place potatoes on a flat lightly greased, or parchment lined baking tray when cool enough to handle

Preheat oven to 350 F

Carefully make slits along length of each potato, without going close to edges.  Slits should be deep, but not so deep that the knife will touch the base and cut off pieces.  Try to make 4-5 slits

Stuff slits with grated cheese.  If cheese cannot be used, brush olive oil mixed with a little salt, pepper and a dash of garlic powder/ dried basil / thyme, or any herb of your choice, into the slits

Cut off top ends of carrot, then slice the top one third of carrot/s into a few coins. Using kitchen scissors, shape carrot coins into triangles to form ears.

Use the narrow part of the carrot to make very thin, long slices for tails

Grate some of the center portion of the carrot for mice whiskers

Push triangular carrot ears on either side of one end of each potato

Mix water into the cornstarch and use the sticky mixture to gently attach a few shreds of carrot to create whiskers a little below ears leaving space to paint eyes and nose

Push in the finely cut long, very thin carrot slices on the other end of each potato.  Use cornstarch mixture if necessary to stick on these tails.

Mix green and red food colors to make a dark brownish color, and paint on eyes and nose.

Place baking tray in preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes or till potatoes brown a little on the outside and are soft cooked inside

These tasty mice are all time party favorites!

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A very easy-to-make side to serve with meat/poultry, or even with a platter of roasted or steamed veggies.  Kids love this healthy and full of goodness potato dish.  No cream or butter—ideal for the dairy allergic– and absolutely no fuss.

Serve your veggies on a bed of steamed quinoa to create a complete meal with Hot Potatoes on the side.

Smashed Hot Potatoes

Ingredients

8 medium size red potatoes

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon fresh minced garlic, or garlic powder

2 teaspoons dried basil

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Boil potatoes in lightly salted water, till cooked (about 15-20 minutes)

Heat oven to 400 F

Place potatoes on a baking tray or any oven proof dish

While potatoes are warm, smash each potato with the back of a large, heavy spoon, till potato is coarsely mashed, with skin on

In a small bowl, mix olive oil, garlic, basil, salt and pepper

Drizzle oil mixture on potato tops

Bake 20 minutes, partially pull out oven rack and carefully sprinkle grated cheese on top of each potato (optional)

Slide tray back and bake for 10 minutes more, or till potatoes are golden brown and crisp and the cheese has melted

When not using cheese, bake for about 25 minutes

Totally yummy!

 

Did you know?

That red potatoes have the lowest glycemic index of all potatoes?

(see my note on potatoes in the Basics section to learn about the goodness of  potatoes)

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Imagine meals with meats and no potatoes—no mashed or baked potatoes on the side, and no French fries at all! What on earth did people do before the potato was discovered?

According to some sources, the potato was introduced to England in the latter half of the 1500s, even though the known history of potato cultivation probably began nearly 2000 years ago in South America.

The popularity of the potato has grown over the years. It is so nutrient dense that some call it a near perfect food. The USDA tells us that a diet of whole milk and potatoes would supply all the elements necessary for the maintenance of the human body. The potato is high in nutrition and low in calories, and with its high water content, makes a filling bulk food.

Nutritionists claim that

  1. The average baked potato provides the recommended daily requirement of Riboflavin and Niacin, both B group vitamins..
  2. It is rich in iron and Vitamin C.
  3. It contains more potassium than a banana.
  4. A medium sized baked potato has as many calories as an average sized apple.
  5. It has 2 ½ times fewer calories than a similar quantity of bread. (88 calories in a medium 4 oz. potato). By itself, the potato is not fattening. High fat toppings add to the calories.
  6. Most cereals contain more starch than potatoes
  7. Most important of all, it is one of the least allergenic of all foods and can substitute for grain / cereal accompaniments at the dinner table.

Potato ‘Points to Remember

  • When buying potatoes it is important to choose firm, dry potatoes with unbroken skins.
  • Potatoes should be free from sprouts and green patches. Uneven surfaces or eyes do not cause harm.
  • Always store potatoes unwashed in a cool, dry place. Potatoes should never be stored with onions which can speed their spoilage.
  • New potatoes do not keep as well, and should be bought in small quantities.
  • Potatoes should not be refrigerated. Only new potatoes can be kept in the fridge.

Cooking Tips

  • Cooking potatoes with skins helps to retain most nutrients. We discard nutrients when we discard skins. The water that potatoes are boiled in can be used in soups, casseroles, and in any other cooking
  • Pressure cooking is an excellent way of retaining nutrients. It requires the use of minimal water which can easily be used up.
  • Cooking in the microwave oven is yet another good method of maximizing on the nutrients. It is best to undercook, test for doneness, then cook further if necessary.

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This is great to serve as an after school snack, or after that game on a cold day.  Or the rostis could make a good side dish to balance the meat entrée in a meal.  Whichever way, they are delicious, satisfying and wholesome.

 

Potato Rosti

,Ingredients

4 cups (well packed) frozen, hash brown potatoes, thawed.

(Alternately, use 4 cups boiled, peeled and grated potatoes.  Boil the potatoes till they are just cooked and not too soft.  Allow to cool, then grate.)

1 cup frozen broccoli florets, or 1 cup freshly cut broccoli florets, preferably cut small.

1 medium red pepper, chopped

1/3 cup onion sliced fine, lengthwise

1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, divided into 4 portions

2 Tablespoons water

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil/ olive oil

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

Salt and pepper to taste.

Method

Combine shredded potatoes with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a pan, add onions and saute for a minute or till they are soft and golden.

Add broccoli and red pepper

Stir in 2 Tablespoons water, cover and cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or till the veggies are tender crisp.

Add dried basil, and set aside.

Place a large skillet on medium heat.

Drizzle a few drops of oil on pan, or lightly oil with cooking spray.

While skillet heats up, make 8 portions of the shredded potato mixture.

Shape 4 portions lightly into balls and place each ball on skillet.

Using a spatula, flatten each ball to form pancakes about 4-5” in diameter.

Allow potato ‘pancakes’ to cook for about 4-5 minutes, or till edges start to look golden.

Flip the pancakes.

Divide cooked veggies into 4 portions. 

Place 2 portions on top of two of the pancakes, sprinkle vegetable topping with grated cheese, then flip the remaining two pancakes on top of each of the veggie topped potato pancakes.

You will now have 2 rostis on the skillet.

After a minute of so, gently flip each rosti, or stuffed pancake, so that both sides can be lightly browned.

Gently remove rostis onto serving platter.

Repeat this procedure with the remaining 4 portions of shredded potato, using the two portions of cooked veggies and grated cheese for stuffing in between.

Serve rostis while warm.  Or place all rostis on a baking tray to warm and serve later.

Or else, microwave individual servings on microwavable tableware. and enjoy!

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Served hot on a cold day, this is the ideal comfort food for the whole family.  Great tasting and easy to make, this is a wonderful way of getting the family to enjoy vegetables! Omit the chicken if you want this to be a purely vegetarian dish, and add a few extra veggies of your choice.

Shepherd's Pie

Ingredients

Potato Topping:

  • 2 cups boiled and mashed potato
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped green onions
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Method

Mix all ingredients and set aside

Vegetable and Poultry base

  1. 2 cups cauliflower florets, cut into small pieces
  2. 1/2 cup diced carrots
  3. 2 Tablespoons finely chopped onions
  4. 1 1/2 cups cooked chicken or turkey breast, diced into small cubes
  5. 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons milk
  6. 1/4 cup cream
  7. 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  8. 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  9. 1/2 teaspoon minced, fresh garlic
  10. 1/4 teaspoon finely cut green jalapeno pepper (green chilli)

Method

  1. Heat oil, add garlic and green jalapeno pepper
  2. Add chopped onions
  3. Saute till soft, then add the other veggies
  4. Drizzle a little water if needed, cover and cook for 3-5 minutes
  5. Add milk and cream, simmer for a minute or two
  6. Mix cornstarch into the extra milk (2 Tablespoons), and pour into simmering mixture.
  7. Stir till sauce thickens and remove from heat
  8. Place into a 9” baking dish
  9. After mixture has cooled and set a little, spread mashed potato mixture on top, as evenly as possible
  10. Sprinkle grated cheese.
  11. Place in pre heated oven and bake for about 40 minutes or till sides of the potato topping turn golden brown.

Variations

Use varied vegetables—broccoli and red and yellow peppers, mushrooms (if they are safe to use), peas and corn, and make your own great tasting combinations. A little fresh basil or a sprinkling of Italian herbs will make it really flavorful.

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This is a good, healthy, after school snack, or a great side dish to serve with a meat/ vegetable entrée.  Make it ahead of time and warm on a skillet or in the oven before serving.  While potato and cheese are wonderful comfort foods,, the addition of quinoa enhances overall nutritional value, making it both wholesome and tasty.

 

Quinoa Potato Croquette

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups boiled and mashed potato
  • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa (use about 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa grain to prepare)
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella-cheddar cheese mix  (use shredded soy cheese for a dairy free version)
  • 1/3 cup finely shredded carrot
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeno pepper (green chilly)—optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix them well together.
  3. If mixture feels too soft to work with, add a tablespoon of oat flour and knead it well.
  4. Make 12 –14 balls and roll them between your palms to form an elongated shape.
  5. Place in single layer on a parchment lined baking pan or lightly grease the pan and place the croquettes.
  6. Bake 25 –30 minutes or till croquettes are golden brown in color and feel crisp on the outside.
  7. You may need to roll them over with an oven proof spatula after 15-20 minutes of baking and bake further for 10-15 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool just a little before serving.

Alternately, these croquettes can be pan/skillet grilled on medium-low heat.  Drizzle a little oil on pan/skillet, and allow oil to heat before placing croquettes

Turn over as sides brown.

Remove from heat, and place on serving platter.

Serve with lettuce, tomato, onions or any salads / veggies of your choice, or just serve as finger foods with a dipping sauce of your choice.

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The whole family will enjoy this hearty soup. It is wholesome and satisfying and adds good nutritional balance to a gluten free pasta or rice meal.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cauliflower florets
  • 2 cups diced, peeled potatoes
  • 1/2 cup sliced onion
  • 2 cups chicken broth / vegetable broth/ water
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk/ soy milk (optional)
  • 4 Tablespoons grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt to
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper (optional)
  • a few sprigs of parsley for garnish

Method

  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan and add the cloves and bay leaf
  2. Add sliced onions and sauté for a minute or so, till onions become soft and translucent.
  3. Add cauliflower florets and potatoes.  Sauté to combine all ingredients.
  4. Pour in broth and water.
  5. Bring to a boil, and allow soup to remain on rolling boil for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Turn off heat and remove clove and bay leaf
  7. Gently spoon out 1/2 cup cauliflower florets and keep aside for garnish
  8. Turn on heat, cover pan, and allow vegetables to cook for about 3-4 minutes more, or till tender.
  9. Add evaporated milk / soy milk and allow soup to boil for a minute
  10. Remove pan from heat, and set aside to cool.
  11. Puree cooled soup in a blender.
  12. Add 1/2 cup more milk or water for a thinner consistency.
  13. Heat to reach boiling point, if more liquid has been added.
  14. Remove from heat.

Pour into individual bowls and serve hot, garnished with cauliflower florets, grated cheese and small sprigs of parsley.

Enjoy!

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