Dr Megan Chircop
Why do potatoes get a bad rap in the diet world. They are delicious and have many health benefits. Potatoes weight for weight are far lower in calories than other carbohydrate and have more fibre. Meaning that you can eat a reasonable-sized portion and be satisfied till the next meal. This is ideal if for achieving & maintain a healthy, lean, strong body.
The key to including them in your weight loss diet is how you cook them. And we don't mean boiled bland potatoes.
Take a look at our top 5 delicious potato recipes.
1) Smashed potatoes
Boil potatoes (with skin) until just cooked through. You can pierce it with a sharp knife to the centre. If you can’t wait use the microwave – prick potatoes all over and place in a microwave-safe bowl with a table spoon of water. Cover with cling film and cook on high for 5-6 minutes or until just cooked through.
Remove potatoes to a board and cut a few slits in the skin on the top side. Use the back of a fork to gently ‘smash’ them. This will expose all the little bits that will go crunchy. Gently transfer potatoes to the hot baking tray. Drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and bake for about 10 minutes. Watch out they don’t burn.
BOOST the FLAVOUR – Use a herb-infused olive oil. Or sprinkle over sage, thyme or rosemary which pair beautifully with potatoes.
2) Scalloped potatoes
A decadent creamy side dish. The trick is to use stock and a little extra light Philadelphia cream cheese to get that same creaminess without the added calories and fat.
Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Spray a baking dish with olive oil. Place a layer of thinly sliced potatoes, slightly overlapping, over the base. We use a mandolin to slice the potatoes so they will cook evenly. Scatter over some sliced onion then place a few dots of cream cheese. Repeat layers 1-2 more times. Remember to season with salt and pepper each layer. Pour over stock (use one quarter the volume of stock to potatoes). Cover with foil. Place in the oven for 40-50 minutes or until cooked through. Remove foil and bump up the oven temperature to make the top golden brown. We often can’t wait or don’t have the time so we cheat by pre-cooking the potato bake (assembled covered in cling film) in the microwave for about 10 minutes before popping it in the oven. Will now only take about 15-20 minutes.
BOOST the FLAVOUR – Sprinkle top with a mixture of breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.
3) Roasted hasslebacks
Look like a ‘masterchef’ in the kitchen with these. Perfect for a dinner party – posh chips that are healthy. Slice potato thinly along its length but don’t cut all the way through. A trick is to place a wooden spoon on either side of the potato so you won’t hit the bottom of the board. Place in a pre-heated baking dish in a hot oven and cook for 30-40 minutes or until tender on the inside but crispy on the outside.
BOOST the FLAVOUR – When the potato starts to fan out about half way though cooking, season them with salt and pepper and drizzle over some olive oil. Or spray with olive oil to cut back on the fat further.
An Italian delight of soft pillowy potato that melts in your mouth. The perfect Italian comfort food dish. The secret is perfect light gnocchi that do not contain buckets of flour is to bake the potatoes instead of boiling them. That way they won’t be stodgy full of water, which means you need to add more flour.
Bake potatoes in their skins in a moderate oven for 40-45 minutes on the wire rack. Remove the potatoes and immediately remove their skins. They will be dam hot so hold the potatoes with rubber gloves or with a clean tea towel. Mash potato flesh and some flour and an egg. Gently fold mixture together with your hands is best. Incorporate just enough flour so the mixture holds together. Take small amounts and roll out to a sausage shape. Cut into ‘pillows’. Place on a floured tray until ready to cook.
Cook gnocchi in boiling water. You know they are done when they float to the surface.
BOOST the FLAVOUR – Add some parmesan cheese to the mixture. And gently pan fry cooked gnocchi before tossing in a napolitana tomato sauce. Top with some freshly grated parmesan cheese and enjoy! Super simple but absolutely delicious. Make sure you save the potato skins (see below) as they make great ‘chips’ for the kids. Just season, spray with olive oil and place on a baking tray until crispy.
5) Potato skins
Bake potatoes as you would to make gnocchi (above).
Cut the potato into wedges. Scoop out the flesh (use this to make gnocchi or bubble ‘n’ squeak). Spray the potato skins with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and bake again until crispy. Yummy just as they are!
BOOST the FLAVOUR – Serve potato skins with our lemon and caper dipping sauce as a healthy tangy ‘mayo’. Or fill up each potato skin boat with salsa, grated cheese, avocado and yoghurt.
The Body Sculptors Australia team prides itself on developing nutritious recipes that are absolutely delicious. You will wonder why you have not eaten like this your whole life when food tastes this good.
Our mission is to help as many people as possible achieve their ideal healthy, lean and active body to have confidence and happiness in their everyday lives.
Do you know...
How much (carbs) you need to eat to achieve optimal health and energy?
How to turn healthy food in to delicious meals?
then let us teach you how....its easy...
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Nutritional optimisation for weight loss
The secret to eating for weight loss
Why you should and how you can include white potato in a weight loss diet
Understanding portion sizes
Is salt making you fat?
The low-GI and gluten-free answer to pasta
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