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The Healthy Potato

Whether mashed, baked or roasted, people often consider potatoes comfort food. It is an important food staple and the number one vegetable crop in the world. Potatoes are available year-round. Unfortunately most people consume this nutritious vegetable in the form of greasy French fries or potato chips, but if you take away the extra fat and deep-frying, a baked potato is an exceptionally healthy, low calorie, high fiber food that offers significant protection against cardiovascular disease and cancer. They are good sources of vitamin B6, vitamin C, copper, potassium, and manganese as well. Not only do potatoes have great health benefits, but they are easy on your wallets! So try some of these delicious and filling recipes to incorporate this underrated veggie into your diet!
 
Sweet Potato and Canadian Bacon Hash
For this recipe you will need 4 cups diced and peeled sweet potato, 2 cups diced red potato, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1 cup diced Canadian bacon, 1 cup chopped green bell pepper, 2/3 cup chopped green onion, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1/4 cup fat-free chicken broth, 1 tablespoon cider vinegar. Place potatoes in a saucepan, and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Drain. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add bell pepper and green onions and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add potatoes, salt, and pepper; cook 4 minutes, gently stirring occasionally. Stir in broth and vinegar. Toss gently until liquid is absorbed.
 
Mashed Potato Casserole
For this recipe you will need 1.5 pounds Yukon gold potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices, 1.5 pounds
russet potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices, 5 thinly sliced garlic cloves, 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt, 3/4 cup reduced fat cream cheese softened, cooking spray, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs), 4 green onions thinly sliced. Preheat oven to 350°. Place potatoes, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan, and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Put potato mixture in large bowl and mash with large fork. Stir in reserved 1/2 cup cooking liquid, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, and cream cheese. Spoon potato mixture into an 11x7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Preheat broiler. Combine parmesan and panko; sprinkle evenly over top of potatoes. Broil 4 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with onions.

 
Zesty Chicken Stuffed Potatoes
For this recipe you will need 4 Yukon gold potatoes, cooking spray, 2/3 cup canola mayonnaise, 3 tablespoons
white vinegar, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons ground black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1.5 cups shredded rotisserie chicken breast, 3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish, 1/4 cup sliced green onions. Preheat oven to 450°. Pierce potatoes with a fork, and coat lightly with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 50 minutes or until tender. Remove potatoes from oven, and cool slightly. Cut a lengthwise slit in each potato that goes to, but not through, the other side, and squeeze the ends to loosen potato flesh. Combine mayonnaise and next 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir in chicken and relish. Divide the chicken mixture evenly among potatoes. Top each potato with 1 tablespoon onions.
 
Cheesy Stuffed Potato Skins
For this recipe you will need 3.25 pounds russet potatoes, 1 cup whole milk, 1/3 cup light sour cream, 1/4 cup
reduced-far buttermilk, 1 cup shredded fontina cheese, 1/4 cup finely chopped chives, 2 tablespoons butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 6 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Preheat oven to 400°. Pierce potatoes with a fork; bake at 400° for 1 hour or until tender. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop out flesh, leaving about a 1/4-inch-thick shell. Combine flesh, milk, sour cream, and buttermilk; mash with a potato masher to desired consistency. Stir in fontina and next 4 ingredients (through pepper). Divide mixture evenly among shells. Place potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet; sprinkle potatoes evenly with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake at 400° for 12 minutes or until heated. Preheat broiler. Broil potatoes 2 minutes or until browned and bubbly.
 
These recipes are full of flavor and nutrients. Try them as a side dish or a light main dish for your next meal and see how cheap and delicious potatoes can be!!
 
 
 

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