Foodie Friday: You Say Potato, I Say Potato

I don’t really remember what types of side dishes we used to eat with dinner, before the food allergies came into our lives.  Heck, I don’t even remember what we used to eat before we became gluten free, anymore, and that was 2 years after we eliminated the other allergens!  But I do know what we eat now.

We pretty much always have some type of veggie (or two).  We regularly have jarred applesauce.  We sometimes have rice, although not everyone in the family is a huge fan.  We sometimes have quinoa, although, again, not everyone in the family is a huge fan.  Most nights, we have some form of potato.

Now, potatoes have gotten a bad name considering that many American children count potatoes as the only vegetable they will eat – and then it is only in the form of a fast food french fry.  But the potatoes in and of themselves are not to blame!  They are actually fairly high in nutritional value, if not sliced up and deep fried in oil and laden with salt.  One large sized, plain baked potato actually has very little fat, no saturated fat, no cholesterol, and very little sodium.  It is high in fiber and has 7 grams of protein.  This same potato contains 48% of your daily vitamin C, 21% of your daily folate, and 18% of your daily iron.  Not too shabby!

The key that we have found to keeping the spud interesting when we use them so much, is to keep a lot of variety going.  And since we are pretty good at that, I’m going to share with you, my lovely readers, all of the different ways we like to prepare our potatoes!

Potatoes 20 Different Ways:
1. Bake them whole!  If you are looking for a dairy (and soy) free alternative to butter and sour cream, try mayonnaise.

2. If it is too hot for the oven, try baking them on the grill, or in the crockpot.

3. Slice them into home style fries, toss lightly in olive oil and oregano (or whatever other spice you like) and bake them.  Healthy baked fries!

4. Dice them into cubes, toss in olive oil and oregano (or whatever spice combo you like), and roast in a 2 – 3 inch baking dish.  Walter refers to this as his “favorite potatoes ever”.

5. Slice in rounds, and lay in a baking dish.  Create a sauce by melting cheese or cheese substitute in a saucepan, along with a little milk, milk substitute, or water.  Add basil and oregano, salt and pepper.  Mix cheese sauce and potatoes and bake for 20 minutes.

6. Slice in rounds and fry in a skillet or a griddle.

7. Dice into cubes and fry in a skillet.

8. Shred and make hashbrowns in a skillet.  Even more fun if you add different toppings!

9. Parboil them, them mash them with milk and butter if you can do dairy.  If you can’t do dairy, mash them with chicken broth and mayonnaise.  Add salt and pepper and serve them up!

10. Roast “new” potatoes – those little bitty ones.

11. Save leftover mashed potatoes and freeze them.  Later, get them out, thaw them, and pop them in a glass baking dish.  Bake just long enough to warm up and then, if the tops aren’t browned, put them under the broiler for just a minute or two.  My grandma calls them twice mashed potatoes and I call them heavenly!  Although, admittedly, I’m not sure where one comes up with these phantom “leftover mashed potatoes”.

12. Lay a whole potato out lengthwise, and using a sharp knife, but the potato almost all of the way through, in very fine “slices”.  It is just like slicing the potato, except that you don’t cut all of the way through.  Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with some seasoning, and bake.  The “slices” will crisp up and are delicious!

13. Dice them up, or use teensy tiny potatoes whole, on skewers when you make shish kebabs.

14. Cold potato salad.  I could cheat and call mustard and mayo variations two different numbers, but I won’t.

15. Potato pancakes.

16. Use some different varieties of potato, like yukon gold, russets, or blue potatoes, for some fun different flavors.

17. Stuffed baked potatoes – bake, scoop out the insides, mix with butter, sour cream, mayo, cheese, bacon, chili, chives, whatever else does it for you, and fill potatoes back up.  I will say that I never personally take the time to do this, but if you have the time, go for it!

18. Put them in soup or a stew.

19. Potato pockets.

20.  Use a sweet potato instead!

And now I want to say I’m out of ideas…  How else do you like to make potatoes?

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