The Daily Beet

04 Sep Saving Time with Char: The Mighty Potato

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Saving Time with Char

potato nutrition(1)

Summer Update

People still ask me the potato question.  It is the number one question I get, after the time thing.  As I have previously mentioned, potatoes are rich and delicious, but in our minds, we think of them as a side dish covered and slathered in oozing, yellow dairy.  The reality, is that the potato is a powerhouse of deliciousness, vitamins, and minerals.  Covered with beans and fresh veggies, and a main course takes on a new meaning for you.

Here’s what January brought to you.  I’ve added a new recipe for you to try, “Smashed Potatoes.”  Hope you’ll try them.  Post a picture if you make them!

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.

This pan is a “must have,” especially if you want to get the final product crispy!  Enjoy

Smashed Potatoes

Four Red Bliss Potatoes

Garlic Powder

Balsamic Reduction

Mrs. Dash (or another brand)

  1. Wash the potatoes.
  2. Boil until they are done.
  3. Let me cool.
  4. Take a potato masher and “smash” the potatoes until they look like a “pancake.”
  5. Coat “sides” of the potato with the garlic powder.
  6. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  7. Place potatoes on the pan above.  Bake until crispy.  Perhaps about 20 minutes.

Plate the food, and drizzle with balsamic glaze.  These are too delicious.  And actually, make more than four, because everyone will LOVE them.

Using the aerated pan will afford you the pleasure of “crispy” foods without using oil.

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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.

  • Sharon
    Posted at 14:12h, 04 September

    Which perforated pan do you use? I don’t see a picture or link in your post. Thanks! I’m doing this next week after grocery shopping for sure!

    • Kathy Joachim Lonergan
      Posted at 16:41h, 04 September

      She said a perforated pizza pan

  • CJ
    Posted at 17:52h, 04 September

    Just went to the store and could not find a perforated pizza pan 🙁 Making these potatoes for dinner anyway!

  • Denise
    Posted at 22:46h, 04 September

    What great ideas! Can’t wait to try baking them on my perforated pizza pan!

  • Annie
    Posted at 17:23h, 09 September

    really great tip!

  • Talos
    Posted at 22:18h, 01 October

    Hi, Can I use the pic of the potato on the site? will credit and link back.

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