Did you know that potatoes are classified as a vegetable? Many people think of a potato as something that is starchy, tastes flat (until you douse it with seasoning or butter) and not all that healthy. That misconception can be true, depending how the potatoes are prepared. For the most part potatoes are low in fat and when boiled they contain vitamin C, iron, potassium and zinc. What gets a potato in trouble is when we deep fry them, cook them in a pan with lots of grease or prepare the ever popular “stuffed/loaded” baked potato.
Over a billion people worldwide who eat potatoes and it’s actually the third most important food crop, just behind rice. In some countries, potatoes are eaten three times a day – breakfast, lunch and dinner. Most countries eat potatoes that are fresh but in America we have them available frozen and dehydrated. We can bake, boil, roast, fry and mashed potatoes or add them to copious amounts of recipes. The trick is to know which type of potato is the right one for the application we are using it for. Here is a list of seven common potatoes that are quite accessible and what they are best used for.
Yellow – mashed, baked, roasting or frying (very flavorful)
Red – steaming, roasted, scalloped or in salads
Russet – baking ( this type of potato is very high in starch)
White – mashed, boiled, roasting or au gratin
Fingerlings – baking, roasting, boiling (a bit more expensive but a great potato to make a meal look “special”)
Blue – steaming, baking, boiling (really fun for kids of all ages because they are blue all the way through with a light taste)
Sweet Potato – boil or bake. Don’t peel until after you cook them, the flavor will be more intense.
I want to share a delicious recipe that I use for appetizers, because you can eat them at room temp or I use them when I grill beef tenderloin. They can be a two bite size or you can use a little bit bigger potato, it just depends on your mood. Not only are these stuffed potatoes low in fat but the inside filling is creamy and rich with garlic. I use Laughing Cow Garlic Spice wedges and blend in low fat cream cheese.
All month long you will find some great potato recipes that will have you rethinking your opinion about potatoes. Enjoy!! For comments/questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Creamy Herb Stuffed Mini Potatoes
1 pound of red / blue or small yellow potatoes
8 oz of cheese mixture (using Laughing Cow or other low fat soft cheese mixed with low fat cream cheese) room temp
Boil potatoes until slightly firm. Drain and cool. Slice potatoes in half. Gently using a small scoop or measuring teaspoon, scoop out 1/3 of potato insides. If you potato halves don’t sit upright carefully cut a slice of the bottom of the half. Spray lightly with Pam Olive Oil. Bake in oven at 350 until slightly browned (depending on your oven, check in 8-10 min.) Cool to room temp
Place your cheese mixture in a freezer zip lock bag (less likely to break). Squeeze down to one corner and cut just a bit of the bag so you can push the cheese mixture through the hole. Pipe cheese mixture into potato half.
If you are not going to serve right away, place in frig but bring out before you sever them to get the potatoes to room temp. Sprinkle with cilantro, parsley or fresh grated Parmesan. Place them on your serving tray.
These stuffed potatoes are good for you, low in fat and very filling! Kids will love them too 🙂
Another cheese you can stuff the mini potatoes with is Laughing Cow Tomato Basil or Weight Watchers Jalapeño and you can always add your own herbs to no fat cream cheese to create a spicy mix of your own!