Archives for posts with tag: potatoes

roasted root vegetablesRoasted root vegetables are a more colorful and nutritious alternative to mashed potatoes. They are simple to make and are a rich source of nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin C and fibre.

Ingredients:

2 sweet potatoes (orange or white), peeled and chopped

4 carrots, peeled and chopped

3 medium sized potatoes, chopped

3 beets, peeled and chopped

2 parsnips, peeled and chopped

6 cloves garlic, peeled and halved

4 shallots, halved, or one small onion, chopped in large pieces

2 tbsp olive or vegetable oil

1 tbsp rosemary

1/2 tsp each salt and pepper

Directions:

Place all vegetables in a bowl. Vegetables should be chopped into 3/4 inch (2 cm) pieces. Toss with oil, rosemary, salt and pepper. Place on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast in a 400°F oven until tender and browned (about 40 minutes). Stir once or twice during cooking. Serves 8.

Nutrition (per serving or 1/8 of the recipe):

  • Calories: 130
  • Carbs: 25 g
  • Protein: 2.5 g
  • Fat: 2 g
  • Fibre: 4 g
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If you have never tasted miso gravy, I suggest you give it a try. This version is low in fat and the addition of nutritional yeast makes it rich in B-vitamins, which are important for metabolism and energy production.

Fries:

4 Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into wedges

2 tsp olive oil

1 tsp sesame oil

1/2 tsp turmeric (optional)

1 tbsp sesame seeds

Ground black pepper

Miso Gravy:

3 tbsp miso paste (check the ingredients if you are gluten intolerant)

1  cup water

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 tsp oil

2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes (optional: this gives at a “cheesy” flavour)

1 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder

Directions:

Mix the turmeric and oils together in a small bowl.  Place the potato wedges in a large bowl. Add oil/turmeric mixture, sesame seeds, and  pepper. Stir to coat the potatoes. Alternatively, you can place all of the ingredients in a container with a tightly fitting lid and shake to coat the potatoes. Spread the potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 400°F (200°C) until they are golden brown and feel soft when pierced with a fork (about 30-40 minutes). Turn over half way through baking. Makes 4 servings.

While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the miso gravy. Dissolve the miso paste in the water. In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the garlic in the oil for about 2 minutes. Add the miso mixture and whisk in the nutritional yeast and cornstarch or arrowroot powder. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until the gravy has thickened. Serve warm.

Nutrition (per serving, without gravy):

  • Calories: 144
  • Carbs: 27 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Fat: 3 g
  • Fibre: 5 g

1/4 recipe of miso gravy (with nutritional yeast) provides 43 calories; 100% DV of B1, B2 and B3; 81% DV of B12; 15% DV of folate. (DV= recommended daily value)

Pronounced NOH-kee or NYOH-kee, this simple Italian dish generally sells for about $13+ dollars per plate in an Italian restaurant. However, it is surprisingly easy to prepare at home and costs very little. Be prepared to impress.

Dough Ingredients:

1 ¾ lb potatoes

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour, plus extra for kneading

2 eggs

salt

Sauce Ingredients:

1 tbsp  butter or olive oil

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 italian sausages, sliced

1 yellow pepper, julienned

3 large mushrooms, sliced

1-28 oz can diced tomatoes

fresh basil, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

Wash and peel the potatoes (I used new potatoes, so I didn’t bother peeling them). Boil until cooked and then mash. Transfer to a bowl containing the flour. Add the two eggs and season with a good pinch of salt. Knead in the bowl and then on a board, adding additional flour as needed, until you have obtained a soft, elastic dough. Form the dough into long rolls, which you will then cut into segments about ¾ inch long. Press against a grater or the back of a fork to form the characteristic gnocchi shape. Spread out so they do not stick to one another.

In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook about two minutes. Add the sausage and sautee until browned. Add the yellow pepper and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, about 3 more minutes. Add the tomatoes and basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, until the sauce is thick.

While the sauce is simmering, cook the gnocchi in plenty of salted, boiling water. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon as soon as they are ready (they will float to the top-about 2 minutes) and transfer to individual dishes. Cover each portion with sauce. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and serve immediately. Serves 4-6.

Nutrition (1/6 of the recipe, made with enriched flour):

  • Calories: 388
  • Carbs: 55 g
  • Protein: 14.5 g
  • Fat: 12 g
  • Fibre: 4.5 g
  • Iron:  3.8 mg (27% DV)
  • Zinc: 1.5 mg (18% DV)
  • Folate: 88 mcg (22% DV)
DV= Daily Value
Tips:
  • For a vegetarian version, simply omit the sausage. The gnocchi can be made without egg as well.
  • The cooked gnocchi can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge (up to a few days) or the freezer (a few months) for later use. Simply toss with a bit of oil before storing so they don’t stick together. Thaw then sauté to reheat.


This common, simple vegetable may seem unimpressive at first glance. However, the potato, with its humble appearance, is in fact incredibly impressive. It is surprisingly nutritious, has countless uses and in the past has sustained entire societies. So much is its importance that when a potato blight spread through Western Ireland in 1845 wiping out the potato crops, what resulted was the Great Irish Famine. Today the potato is the most consumed vegetable in the world.

VARIETIES AND USES

There are thousands of varieties of potatoes (of course, they are not all available at the grocery store). Different types of potatoes have different textures and therefore have different uses. Russet potatoes are starchy in texture and are great for baking, mashing, fries, and potato chips. Red and white potatoes (with a smooth skin) have a much waxier texture and are good for boiling, mashing, and in potato salad.

NUTRITION

Potatoes are fat free, sodium free and are an excellent source of vitamin C (45% DV) and a good source of potassium (18% DV). One medium potato also contains 8% of your daily intake of fibre, 10% of vitamin B6 and are a source of iron, thiamin, folate and magnesium. They are also slightly more nutritious with the skin on.

STORAGE

As I was looking into the proper home storage conditions for potatoes, I discovered that maximizing your potato storage potential is not as simple as you might think. In fact, the University of Idaho has devoted an entire research facility to this matter.

There are four things to consider when storing potatoes at home: temperature, light, humidity, and ventilation. If you are using the potatoes within a few days, it doesn’t matter as much where you store them. But if you are buying large quantities and intend to keep them for a long period of time, the storage location matters. Mature potatoes can be stored for months in the right conditions. New potatoes should be used within a week.

To maximize the length of your potato storage, follow these tips:

Temperature

Potatoes should be stored between 5-12°C (42-55°F). Colder than this (such as in the fridge) makes the potatoes taste sweet and encourages rotting, and warmer than this (room temperature) encourages sprouting and the growth of disease-causing microorganisms.

Light

Potatoes should be stored in the dark. Light causes the skins to turn green which tastes bitter and produces a toxic compound if eaten in large enough amounts. If your potatoes have some green skin, simply cut it off and use the rest of the potato.

Humidity

Potatoes are 80% water, therefore they need to be stored in a humid environment. If they are stored in a dry place, they will shrivel.

Ventilation

Potatoes are living organisms, even after they are harvested. This means that they use oxygen and give off carbon dioxide (like they are breathing). Therefore ventilation is important.

So where should potatoes be stored in the home?

The best place is a root cellar, but most people don’t have one, so instead they can be stored away from light in an unheated room, closet or cabinet in your home or garage. Place the potatoes in a brown paper, burlap, or perforated plastic bag to increase humidity and to prevent water loss. Do not completely seal the bag. Check the potatoes occasionally and remove those that have become soft or shriveled, as well as those that have sprouted. Do not wash potatoes prior to storage. Of course, to avoid the problem of storage, potatoes can be bought in small quantities or on an “as-needed” basis.