What would you call a food that is fat and cholesterol free, has more potassium than a banana, half of your daily value of vitamin C, as many phytonutrients as broccoli and only 110 calories? I call it nutritious! What food is this? The potato! Yep, the nutrition info above is for a medium size potato ( 5.3 ounces). Why then do so many people
complain believe that potatoes are fattening? Perhaps potatoes have gotten a bad rap because of the ways we prepare them: French fried, doused in sour cream, butter, cheese, or heavy mayonnaise dressings. The truth is, potatoes are by nature healthy. If you love potatoes as much as I do, you can and should include them in your diet, by preparing them in ways that maintain their wholesome nutritional profile. This post is a healthy potato salad challenge. I will attempt to provide you with a healthy potato salad recipe that delivers on taste, presentation and good nutrition, but skimps on calories!
Before I unveil my recipe, I want to share my thought process during its development. The first ingredient I had to decide on was, you guessed it, the potato! I chose fingerlings because they have a high moisture content which makes them a good potato for salads. They won’t fall apart or get mushy and they don’t require you to keep adding dressing (extra calories) too keep them moist! Furthermore, fingerlings have a complex taste and they come in a variety of colors. (I was envisioning a colorful salad!) I decided on using white, red and purple fingerlings. Adding yellow peppers and red onions complements both the taste and colors of the potatoes. Grilling was my preferred cooking method for the vegetables not only because these veggies could be cooked together in one step, but for flavor and texture!
Another important consideration was “how to dress the salad?” I have to admit I have a bias toward vinaigrettes because they are light and flavorful. That makes them a great substitute for mayonnaise in potato salad. I decided on a vinaigrette with canola oil because it’s the heart smart choice. Of the common culinary oils, canola has the least amount of saturated fat, and contains no trans fat or cholesterol. In addition, canola oil is ideal for absorption of the health enhancing carotenoids present in white potatoes. Yes, I did say white potatoes are a source carotenoids! Yet another health benefit from potatoes many are unaware of!
Finally, I used fresh herbs to boost taste without adding additional salt. The following herbs were picked to complement potatoes: basil, thyme and parsley.
In a nut shell, that’s how this potato salad recipe evolved. You too can create healthy potato recipes by swapping healthy ingredients for the not so healthy ones! The possibilities are exciting and infinite! Please be sure to check out the gallery at the end of this post for more delicious ways to serve up healthified potato salad!!!
What is your favorite way to eat potatoes? Would you eat more if you knew how to prepare them in healthy ways?
Grilled Fingerling Potato Salad with Herb Vinaigrette
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients (serves 6)
- 1 pound fingerling potatoes in assorted colors, white, red and purple
- 1 yellow pepper
- 2 small red onions
- crushed black pepper
- 1/16 teaspoon ground sea salt
- 3 Tablespoons of canola oil
- 2 T white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon style mustard
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup thinnly sliced green onion
Wash vegetables. Slice finglering potatoes in half lengthwise. Cut each onion into 8 wedges and cut pepper into one inch cubes. Place vegetables together in a bowl and toss with 1.5 T canola oil until coated well. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper. Grill over medium heat in a grill basket for about 20 minutes or until tender and brown. Stir the vegetables 2-3 times during cooking. Alternatively, you can roast in a 450 degree F oven for about 15- 20 minutes; stirring vegetables 2-3 times during cooking.
While vegetables are cooking, mix together vinaigrette using remaining canola oil, white wine vinegar, mustard, garlic, fresh thyme and salt.
When vegetables are done, place in bowl and toss with herb vinaigrette. Add sliced green onions, fresh chopped basil and fresh chopped parsley. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Disclosure Statement: By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the United States Potato Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.