The Daily Beet

24 Jan Saving Time with Char: One Potato-Two Potato-Three Potato-Four

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For a long time, potatoes have gotten a bad rap and mainly because they’ve either been fried, or smothered with fattening dairy.  But, the reality is that potatoes pack a punch…loaded with potassium and Vitamin C., you can’t go wrong with a potato.

I love potatoes.  They are very versatile and are a great grab and go snack.  But, talk about a mainstay in the plant-strong kitchen, potatoes are it.  From Red Russet, Fingerling, and Yukon Gold, you will also have a rather colorful kitchen.  And, how could I forget the yam or sweet potato?  All splendid.

Organic potatoes are a must in my kitchen.  I grew up on Long Island where potatoes continue to grow in abundance (there’s loads of competition among Maine, Long Island, and Idaho).  But today on Long Island’s Suffolk County, housing sub-divisions are plotted where potato farms once were.  Yet, you can still find acres and acres of potato fields on either fork of the Island.  You could say, potatoes are in my blood.  My Italian grandmother used to bake them with tomatoes and oregano, and that is a recipe I still cherish today.

So, you’re saying to yourself, “Enough about the geography of Long Island.  How do potatoes save time?”  Easy-breezy.  Here’s what you can do to save time and add deliciousness to your daily plant strong life.

Saving Tater Time

~Get a five pound bag of Yukon Gold or Red Russet Potatoes.  Wash them well.  Place them on a perforated pizza pan.  What happens is that they get an extra crispiness to them.  I bake them until they are soft to touch with a toothpick (about 40 minutes).  I overcook them a little, because they seem “less starchy” to me.  And, here’s what I do…

~Let them cool.  You can then store them in the vegetable crisper in a bag.

~Use them for:

+  Quarter them, and use in a crudite platter.  Adds some variety to an ordinary platter of carrots!  Nothing makes hummus taste as delicious as a cold baked potato.

+Dice them to use as a garnish for a soup, salad.

+Slice and bake them, you’ll have an “oven fry.”  Very tasty.

+Make a “quick soup” by smashing a potato and adding broth and spices.

+Split one open, and cover with soup, bean, or a salad.  Sort of a new “salad bowl.”

+Make “twice baked potatoes” by scooping out potato, fix for a “mashed potato,” and bake at 400 degrees for about twenty minutes.  So good!

+You’ll be able to make a quick potato salad.  Use any E2 recipe from our website or book.  Make sure you add loads of veggies to the potato salad.

+Need to thicken a soup?  A pureed potato with a little low-sodium broth will make your soup extra creamy,

But, the point is this.  You will have LOADS of time to make great meals, because there will be an arsenal of potatoes ready for you to use when dinner time is near.  Or, if you need a snack, or are planning lunch, potatoes are your new BFF.  Whatever.  Potatoes used to fall into that category of, “I’d love to have a baked potato, but I do not have the time to wait until they are done.”  Your new reality is that your desire to have a baked potato is sort of like a “presto” moment, because they’re already for food prep.

After a day filled with activity (I work and play), I’m going to grab a potato, cover it with some beans and broccoli, tomato sauce, and nutritional yeast…and I am good to go.  That is surely a five minute meal.

Try baking a five pound bag of potatoes, then tell us how you use them to save time in your kitchen.  And tell us what you’ll do with that extra time!

This is the perforated pan I use for baking potatoes.  Adds a nice crunchiness and cooks very evenly.  A must try.

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Five potato-six potato-seven potato, more.


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Char Nolan for Engine 2
Char Nolan

Char Nolan is a blog contributor and Engine 2 Extra Coach. She's been plant-strong for almost five years. From Philadelphia, she works in the plant-based whole foods arena, and is also the "vegan features writer," for the "Town Dish." She's lost a great deal of weight from being plant-strong, practices yoga, and is always dabbling in her kitchen to create new, plant-strong recipes. Armed with a degree in public health, Char also holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from e-Cornell.

  • alorinna
    Posted at 11:17h, 24 January

    What temp do you bake them at?

  • Barbara Nicholson
    Posted at 11:36h, 24 January

    I love white potatoes, but have always limited them since I was taught they are a starch and I may as well be eating sugar! What is your answer to the starch/sugar argument?

    • Aldousmom
      Posted at 12:13h, 24 January

      Did you look at the sugar content on the nutritional facts above? Not quite sugar, right?

      • Barbara Nicholson
        Posted at 12:32h, 25 January

        I know it doesn’t have sugar as part of the nutritional profile…what I was asking about was the teaching that simple carbs or starches like this will convert to sugar in the body.

  • Jennifer Edwards
    Posted at 15:21h, 24 January

    My lunch time go-to is a nuked ‘baked’ potato. Everyone coming through the office breakroom always comments on how good it smells and looks. It travels well, and takes 10 seconds to pack in the morning.

  • Nancy J
    Posted at 15:21h, 24 January

    I cook about 7 yukon golds at a time in my pressure cooker for about 6 minutes. They come out perfect. I keep them in the fridge, and they’ve been good up to a week. My favorites are 1) puree as you suggest with some veggie broth and use as a soup thickener
    2) I have actually added pureed potatoes to hummus, thin down a little and that is my sauce for potato salad
    3) heat up one of them and top with salsa and black beans; and
    4) my favorite of all is to eat one cold around 3pm for a great pick me up. I just eat it like an apple!

  • Karrie Leib
    Posted at 15:37h, 30 January

    Great ideas, Char! My potato-loving, gluten free partner is going to flip for all of these potato ideas! Karrie

  • Ginger
    Posted at 20:54h, 31 January

    bake them with tomatoes and oregano

    OK…drool…give up the recipe…please

  • dingy19
    Posted at 15:39h, 07 February

    should use red potatoes as they don’t raise your glycemic index. i believe all the other types of potatoes do.

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