Once, a long time ago, I worked as dietitian for the WIC program in South Dakota. Part of my job was to check clients’ diet and guide him or her on the path to healthy eating. I would ask clients to bring a list of everything they ate or drank in the last week with them to their visit with me. I would then go over the food and drink choices they made and see where we need to make changes.
Potatoes were the only vegetable that was part of almost every client’s diet. Most of the time, potatoes would appear three times a day: tater tots or hash browns at breakfast, french fries at lunch and a loaded baked potato during dinner. The client would listen patiently to my suggestions without any comment or protest, except for the potato. “But you said I should eat vegetables!” “My Dr. said I should eat potatoes to lower my high blood pressure!” ” I thought potatoes are a good starch!” “What is next no chips?” … Maybe that is why I did not last long in that job.
Yes, the potato is a great vegetable and it is part of the DASH diet to lower blood pressure and lose weight. It is high in potassium, high in vitamin C, low in calories and had no fat. But HOW we prepare them is the key word here.
This potato salad is like your dose of healthy eating for a day. The ingredients for this salad include tomatoes, peppers, onions, capers, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil. Every ingredient is on the “Healthy Eating List 101.” Also, because this salad had no mayo, it is safer to serve in your next out door party. But the greatest part of this salad is the texture: you can actually use your teeth and hear the crunch of the vegetables in every bite.
- 4 medium size russet potatoes
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 medium ripe red tomato, diced
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 punch Italian parsley, finely chopped
- ½ cup capers
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ½ cup olive oil
- zest of one lemon
- ½ cup chopped fresh mint or 1 teaspoon dry mint
- salt to taste
- Place the potatoes in pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil until the potato are cooked but not mushy or very soft.
- Place the chopped vegetables in a chilled glass bowl. Add the mint, the lemon zest, the lemon juice, the olive oil and salt. Toss well.
- Remove the potatoes from the stove, drain the water, cool slightly and then peel the skin. Cut the potatoes into ½ inch cubes pieces. Add the diced potatoes to the vegetables and toss gently.
- Adjust the seasoning and serve.