Don’t be a tater hater. There are a million reasons why potatoes can be part of a healthy diet. In addition to being a good source of potassium and vitamin C, potatoes also provide fiber to help curb your appetite. It’s fine to eat the skin as long as it’s cleaned thoroughly and not green. Green potato skin contains a toxic substance called solanine. Best to peel the green potatoes and skip the skin. Below are a dozen ways to enjoy your spuds.
- Oven-roasted. If you’re trying to get away from French fries, try oven-roasted potatoes. Potatoes can be cleaned, quartered and cut into wedges or fries. Brush with olive or corn oil, dust with seasoned salt and roast for 25 minutes at 400 degrees. Or use a hot air fryer set on "potato chip" for 20 minutes.
- Potato salad. Cooked and chilled potatoes are a good source of resistant starch- the type that helps for good bacteria in the large intestine and helps manage blood sugar. Substitute plain Greek yogurt for mayonnaise and add your favorite ingredients like dill, chopped onion, and celery. Or make a new fangled flavor like "wasabi" by adding wasabi mayonnaise, lettuce, and shelled cooked edamame beans!
- Indian dishes. Nothing beats big chunks of cooked potatoes in curry sauce paired with cauliflower or peas and your favorite meat or legume.
- Baked potatoes- A baked potato can be the great base of a simple vegetarian meal. Try it topped with black beans, salsa, and guacamole or broccoli and melted cheddar.
- Red potatoes with rosemary- boiled and buttered with a dash of dried rosemary, red potatoes make a delicious side dish. Use whipped butter or olive oil to reduce saturated fat content.
- Potato soup- cubed potatoes and leeks or other onions make a great fall soup. Vegetable broth can be used to make the soup vegan or chicken broth works well, too. Top with shredded cheddar cheese or cilantro if desired.
- Mashed potatoes- mashed potatoes are not just for Thanksgiving. You can get creative with the flavor and add minced garlic, thyme or dill in addition to Greek yogurt to give them a tangy taste.
- Home fries- cubed, seasoned potatoes are common in breakfast houses, but can also be served at brunch or as a side at dinner. Add bell peppers and onions for more color, flavor, and nutrition.
- Sheet pan dinners- add cubed or sliced potatoes as part of your sheet pan meal. They can be seasoned with garlic and paired with chicken, fish or lean steak.
- Potatoes au gratin- this French dish tends to be a bit decadent but can be made lighter using 2% milk, light shredded cheese, and 25% less butter than the recipe calls for.
- Potato salad niçoise. A Niçoise salad can be made of any seasonal vegetables, but usually includes tomatoes and green beans combined with tuna, black olives, capers, and hard-boiled eggs. Cubed red potatoes make a colorful addition to this beautiful salad.
- Cacio e pepe potatoes – this Italian dish may become a new favorite. Boil 3 lbs of cleaned, cut Yukon gold or red potatoes in a pot for 15-20 minutes. In the same pot, add 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 4 oz. Pecorino or shredded Asiago cheese and 1 Tbsp. freshly ground pepper. Toss until potatoes are coated and cheese is melted. Transfer potatoes to a platter and add additional cheese or pepper as desired.
Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD
Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD, is a registered dietitian and owner of Sound Bites Nutrition in Cincinnati. She shares her clinical, culinary, and community nutrition knowledge through cooking demos, teaching, and freelance writing. Lisa is a regular contributor to Food and Health Communications and Today’s Dietitian and is the author of the Healing Gout Cookbook, Complete Thyroid Cookbook, and Heart Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook. Her line of food pun merchandise, Lettuce beet hunger, supports those suffering food insecurity in Cincinnati. For more information, visit her website: https://soundbitesnutrition.com/