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Load Up on Potatoes for Nutrition and Thrift

16 years ago

another tip from Everyday Cheapskate

Load Up on Potatoes for Nutrition and Thrift

Whether youre a news junkie or grocery price hound, you are keenly aware that the cost of food is rising. And not only in America, but around the world. As wheat and rice prices surge, thereÂs one commodity that is getting a lot of attention: potatoes. In fact there are some who predict potatoes will emerge as the solution to world hunger.

As a way to focus on this situation, the United Nations named 2008 the International Year of the Potato, calling the vegetable a "hidden treasure."

Potatoes will grow almost anywhere, require very little water and mature in just 50 days. They are nutritious, have only 5 percent of the fat content of wheat (provided theyÂre not loaded up with butter and sour cream) and come in a rainbow of colors, from alabaster-white to bright yellow and deep purple.

They also have one-fourth of the calories of bread and, when boiled, have more protein than corn and nearly twice the calcium, according to the Potato Center. They contain vitamin C, iron, potassium and zinc.

If youÂre interested in keeping a lid on soaring grocery prices without giving up nutrition, start buying more potatoes. Of course youÂll need to find new and exciting ways to prepare them. HereÂs a start for your new potato repertoire:

Dutch Potatoes

1/4 cup chopped onion

2 teaspoons butter

2 cups peeled, cubed potatoes

1 cup sliced fresh carrots

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 teaspoon salt

snipped chives

In a small skillet, sauté onion in butter for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, place potatoes and carrots in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain. In a small mixing bowl, mash potatoes and carrots. Beat in onion, sour cream and salt. Sprinkle with chives. Servings: 2. Multiplies well.

Garlic Potato Wedges

4 pounds small red potatoes, cut into wedges

1/3 cup olive or canola oil, divided

16 unpeeled cloves garlic

2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup white wine vinegar or cider vinegar

4 teaspoons Dijon mustard

3 teaspoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/3 cup chopped green onions

In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, 1 tablespoon of oil, garlic (leave cloves whole in their skins), rosemary and salt. Pour onto two baking 10 x 15 x 1-inch sheet pans which have been coated with nonstick cooking spray so they are in a single layer. Bake, uncovered, at 450 F for 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring every 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard, sugar, pepper and remaining oil until smooth. Squeeze roasted garlic cloves out of skins and mash into vinegar mixture (discard skins) . Pour over potatoes and toss to coat. Sprinkle with onions. Servings: 8.

Hamburger Hash

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

salt and pepper

3 medium potatoes, diced

2 cans ready-to-serve minestrone soup (or vegetable)

Brown the ground beef, seasoning with salt and pepper. Drain. Add diced potatoes and soup. Stir. Cook over medium heat until potatoes are fully cooked. Servings: 4-6.

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