White spuds don’t stand a chance against trendy grains and sweet potatoes among health-conscious eaters. The association with restaurant fryers and copious amounts of ketchup probably explains why, but it’s not a fair comparison because deep-fried, sugar-coated anything isn’t very healthy. In fact, potatoes themselves are actually packed with vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. And you can dig into an entire baked spud for just 110 calories.
The real key to enjoying potatoes as part of a healthy diet is preparing them properly. Think baked, boiled, sautéed, and steamed. Need some inspiration? These five potato recipes will have you eating healthy and enjoying every last bite.
1. Potato Coins with Fried Eggs
Starting the day with black coffee and a granola bar isn’t going to keep you feeling satisfied for very long. In order to avoid a grumbling stomach and the ensuing foggy feeling mid-morning, you need a more substantial breakfast. Try Oxmoor House‘s potato and egg combo, which will give you plenty of satisfying protein and fiber. With earthy potatoes, sweet onions, and plenty of fresh herbs, it’s one of the most delicious ways to start your day.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound fingerling potatoes, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
- 1 cup (¼-inch-thick) vertically sliced onion
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 large eggs
Directions: Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and swirl to coat. Add potatoes, onion, and salt. Cook for 6 minutes, stirring after 3 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 6 minutes. Add garlic during the last 1 minute of cooking time.
Remove from heat and stir in thyme, parsley, rosemary, and pepper. Remove from skillet and keep warm. Heat same pan over medium-low heat. Add remaining oil and swirl to coat. Add eggs and cook for 1 minute, or until whites are set around edges. Carefully turn eggs and cook 1 additional minute, or until the whites are fully set. Serve eggs with potatoes.
2. Healthy Potato and Spinach Casserole
Chef Joël Robuchon is famous for many spectacular dishes, yet his take on mashed potatoes may be his most famous. The reason his spuds are so good is because the formula is one part butter to two parts potatoes, so it’s not exactly the lightest dish in the world. Instead of giving up one of your favorite sides, give it a healthy twist with Chef Phoebe Lapine’s spinach spuds, featured on Food & Wine. The luxurious texture comes from the clever addition of vegetable stock, which also keeps this dish firmly in the healthy category.
Potatoes are a particularly great food for anyone logging intense workouts. In addition to providing plenty of carbohydrates for energy, potatoes are brimming with potassium. This electrolyte is crucial for maintaining proper fluid balance as well as for supporting heart and muscle function.
- 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 10 ounces spinach
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper
- ½ cup fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place potatoes in a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Cook until fork tender, about 15 minutes. During the last minute of cook time, add spinach. Drain, shaking to remove moisture, and return to same pot.
Add oil and mash potatoes until smooth. Stir in stock and season with salt and pepper.
Transfer potato mixture to a 3-quart ceramic baking dish and top with breadcrumbs. Bake for 15 minutes, or until top is lightly browned. Serve.
3. Crockpot Three Bean Turkey Chili Baked Potatoes
Dinner doesn’t get much easier than a batch of crockpot chili ladled over potatoes cooked in the microwave. Try it with these turkey chili spuds from Fit Foodie Finds. Just assemble the chili in the morning, let it cook all day, then just zap the potatoes while you gather your toppings. It’s a healthy and delicious dinner that also happens to taste fantastic.
One of the reasons healthy eaters tend to avoid potatoes is because of the root veggie’s high ranking on the glycemic index, which means the food rapidly raises your blood sugar. You can easily lower the GI load with accompanying foods, though. Leslie Bonci, RD, told Runner’s World, adding fat or protein does the trick.
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (15-ounce) can white beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 (4.5-ounce) can diced green chiles
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1½ teaspoons paprika
- 1½ teaspoon cumin
- Salt and pepper
Potatoes and toppings
- 8 medium potatoes
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Diced avocado
- Low-fat Colby-Jack cheese
Directions: Combine all chili ingredients in slow cooker and stir well. Cover and cook on low setting for 8 hours or on high setting for 4 to 5 hours.
Pierce potatoes several times with the tines of a fork and microwave until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes each. Alternatively, bake potatoes in a 400-degree-Fahrenheit oven until tender, about 1 hour.
Split potatoes and top with chili and desired toppings. Serve.
4. Little Purple Potatoes with Baby Green Beans in Lemon Vinaigrette
For a fun way to shake up your midweek cooking, try using purple potatoes instead of your regular white specimens. We like the simplicity of Fresh‘s potato and green bean salad. It’s just eight ingredients and tastes great warm, room temperature, or cold, so it’s also a great lunch option.
Even if you’re not interested in noshing on purple potatoes for the appearance, you will be for the nutritional benefits. Like many brightly hued fruits and vegetables, purple potatoes pack a punch. One study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reported eating purple potatoes may reduce the risk of heart disease.
- 1 pound baby purple potatoes
- 1 pound baby green beans
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more
- 1 garlic cloves, pressed or pasted with a pinch of salt, plus more
- ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
Directions: Place potatoes in a heavy pot and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil and cook just until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain.
Bring a separate pot of water to a boil and cook green beans just until bright green. Remove beans with a spider or slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl filled with ice water. Once cool, drain, and set aside to dry.
Whisk lemon juice, oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and lemon zest to combine.
Cut potatoes in half and add to a large bowl. Add beans and dressing and toss to coat. Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed. Serve.
5. Salmon, Spinach, and Potatoes Baked in Parchment
Parchment packets may be the easiest method for cooking seafood, and they have the added bonus of making cleanup go super fast. We particularly like Martha Stewart Living‘s salmon version with greens and potatoes. A little bit of caper butter adds just enough richness and makes this healthy meal feel really satisfying.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon salt-packed capers, rinsed well and coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 large russet potato, cut into ⅛-inch-thick slices
- Salt and pepper
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 3 ounces baby spinach
- 2 (6-ounce, 1½-inch-thick) skinned salmon fillets
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced, divided
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a rimmed baking sheet in oven to preheat. Cut two large sheets of parchment and fold in half to crease. Stir butter, capers, parsley, and garlic in a small bowl to combine. Set aside.
Divide potato slices between parchment sheets, layering to form a bed to one side of each crease. Season with salt and pepper, then top each with one-quarter of shallots and half of the spinach. Add salmon and top with remaining shallots. Add two lemon slices to each, dot with caper butter, and season with salt and pepper.
Fold parchment over ingredients at crease. Starting at one end and keeping edges together, make small overlapping pleats the length of the paper, creasing as you go to shape an arc. Once folded, packets should form half-moons.
Carefully transfer packets to hot baking sheet and bake until puffed, about 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer to plates and serve by opening at the table. Garnish with remaining lemon slices.
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