The Best Potato Salad Recipe- PERIOD!

There are literally hundreds of ways to make Potato Salad. However, none of them should involve raisins (That’s an internet thing, I’ve never actually seen it in person).

This is my great grandmother Tootie’s Potato Salad Recipe, and I think it’s the best. Luckily for me, we’ve gotten all of the veggie ingredients in this week’s Yasukochi Family Farms CSA box.  And because they sell eggs too as an add-on, you can get most everything you need without leaving home.

This recipe is pretty simple.

Tootie’s Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 cups peeled, cut-up potatoes (bite-size pieces)
  • 3 ribs of green celery, cut into bite-size pieces- I slice each rib in half and into small pieces.
  • 1/4 cup Italian Dressing- I like Wishbone
  • 1/2 cup Full Fat Mayo. I like Best Foods/Hellmans, but Dukes is good too
  • 3 eggs, hard-boiled and chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chives or parsley to garnish- optional

Directions

  1. Boil potatoes in water until they are fork tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Drain potatoes, do not rinse.
  3. Chill potatoes in the fridge (30 minutes to 1 hour-ish).
  4. In a bowl, combine the salad dressing and mayo, pour over cooled potatoes, and stir. You want to coat the potatoes in the mixture.
  5. Add in the celery and eggs. The egg yolks will break down and combine with the dressing/mayo mixture, turning light to medium yellow.
  6. Chill in the fridge at least overnight. If the salad is too dry, add a few more tablespoons of mayo and dressing (a 2-parts mayo to 1-part dressing mixture).
  7. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
  8. Prior to serving top with chives or parsley if desired.

If you like green onions (my mom doesn’t like raw onions so she doesn’t add them), you can add 1-2 sliced green onions to the salad during step 5.  I grew up without it, but they are really good in this salad.

This salad is good in the fridge for up to a week and is perfect for the 4th of July or other summer celebrations.

Dietary options: It’s already vegetarian, but I’m not sure it could be made vegan unless you use veganaise and omit the eggs (in my opinion it needs).

Family Recipe: Cheesy Potatoes!

Potatoes are delicious and versatile. One of our favorite family recipes is these nomtastic cheesy potatoes!

Cheesy Potatoes 

Ingredients:

  • 6 – 8 large potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces (preferably russets)
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons AP flour
  • 1.5 cups whole milk
  • 4 cups cheese (I like medium cheddar, but you could use colby, or a sharper cheddar)
  • 1/2 cup bacon bits (I use Kirkland brand from Costco)
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • One sleeve of Ritz crackers, crushed

Directions:

  1. Parboil potatoes, 6 to 8 minutes, drain.
  2. While potatoes are cooking, in a pot, melt the butter. Sprinkle melted butter with AP flour and stir until a paste forms over a low heat. The paste should brown slightly- DON’T BURN IT!
  3. Pour milk into the flour/butter paste and whisk briskly. You do not want lumps. Cook over low heat until the mixture thickens. This may take a few minutes. As the mixture thickens and there are no lumps, add the cheese slowly, about 1/2 cup at a time, until it is incorporated/melted into the sauce. Once the sauce with complete, remove from the heat.
  4. Mix drained potatoes with sauce, add bacon pieces
  5. Pour into a greased baking dish (I use 11 x 9 baking dish)
  6. Top with half a cup of cheese, and crushed Ritz crackers.
  7. Bake 30 to 45 minutes at 350°.

Serve with steamed veggies, or a green salad. I also like this with crusty French bread. This makes a great side dish, or contribution to a potluck.

You can omit the bacon if you are vegetarian.

You can swap out the bacon for 1 cup cooked, chopped ham or chicken if you want to make this a hardy main dish.

 

6 Baked Potato Toppings That Make a Complete Meal!

Potatoes have gotten a bad rap over the past ten years or so. Potatoes are not the enemy that they have been made out to be. They aren’t an empty vessel to top with copious amounts of butter and sour cream (although that sounds pretty tasty).

In terms of nutrition, potatoes have a lot going on for them. 1 medium-sized potato contains:

  • 25% Daily Value of Potassium
  • 18% Daily Value of Fiber
  • 70% Daily Value of Vitamin C
  • 30% Daily Value of Vitamin B-6
  • 12% Daily Value of Magnesium

Now that you know that potatoes are a healthy food choice, let’s talk about incorporating them into some healthy meals!

Here are six of my favorite baked potato toppings that make a plain ol’ potato a meal!

  1. Chili, cheese, onions
  2. Stew (This is a great use for leftover stew)
  3. Veggies with Sauce (I like the Birdseye broccoli and cheese sauce)
  4. Madras Lentils (and bonus- this is a vegetarian option)
  5. Curry (Some of these curries are vegan!)
  6. Grilled Chicken, broccoli, and alfredo sauce (BJ’s restaurant has a potato with this combo and it is SOO good and filling)

Leftovers of most varieties make great baked potato toppings. One of our favorite camping meals with a baked potato bar. Make up a mess of baked potatoes and heat up and set out any of the above in addition to:

  • Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Chives
  • Sauteed or grilled veggies

 

7/13/2020 is National French Fry Day!

unnamed.pngThere is a day for everything, I swear! July 13, 2020 is National French Fry Day! And I know you will all want to celebrate.

If you are trying to maintain social distancing, and don’t own your own air fryer (I like this one), check out one of these two delivery services:

When you order through DoorDash, your first order has a $0 Delivery fee!

From your neighborhood sushi spot to the burger and fries you crave, choose from over 300,000 local and national favorites across the U.S. and Canada.

Grubhub has a sweet deal too: Free delivery on an order of $15+ for new customers with code AFFFREEDEL at Grubhub.com.

And if you eat fries, you probably like ketchup too! Heinz is sponsoring a contest to go along with National French Fry Day!

One grand prize winner will receive: $1869 for 57 future takeout orders. 50 Ketchup Artists will win: $57 for a takeout meal (or two) on Heinz.

To enter, simply have to post a picture of your meal along with the hashtags #TheGreatAmericanTakeout and #Sweepstakes, and tag @thegreatamericantakeout on Instagram or @TheGATakeout on Twitter.

Pretty sweet, right?

Talk Back: What is your favorite food to top with Ketchup?

 

Recipe: Veggie Tuscan Soup

IMG_5072.jpg
It’s not a filter, it’s steam!

This is my vegetarian version of the Zuppa Tuscana Recipe found here. This recipe is vegetarian, but not vegan.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 T. Olive Oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 10 ounces)
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups water
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 potatoes, cleaned, peeled, and chopped
  • 4 cups kale, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions:

  1. In a large stock pot, heat olive oil.
  2. Add onions, carrots, and celery, cook on medium/low until onions are soft and clear.
  3. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add water, broth, bay leaves, and potatoes.
  5. Cook on medium low for 45 minutes to an hour, or until potatoes are soft.
  6. Add Milk, Kale and salt and pepper to taste. Cook on low for about 10 minutes, until Kale is cooked, but not soggy.

Serve with breadsticks or cheese toast. This soup makes great leftovers and tastes even better the next day!

 

Zuppa Tuscana Soup CopyCat Recipe

IMG_5194.JPGThis is one of my favorite recipes to make and freeze. It makes a great meal to take to someone who is sick, bereaved, or just had a baby.

I discovered the recipe while I was pregnant with Lil’ Man and craved soup. I’ve tweaked it a bit from the original that I discovered online to fit more of our families tastes and sensibilities (the original recipe called for a lot of butter, half and half, and pork Italian sausage).

It’s gluten free naturally, and can be easily made vegetarian. I’ll include substitutions under the recipe.

 

Creamy Tuscan Soup

(Zuppa Toscana Copy Cat from Olive Garden)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb turkey Italian sausage, crumbled (not in the casing)
  • 1½ tsp crushed red peppers (that’s 1/2 packet of the pepper flakes that come with take out pizza)
  • 1 large diced white onion (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup bacon crumbles (I like the ones from Costco)
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 4 large cartons of chicken broth (your favorite brand/variety)- it’s about 12-ish cups of liquid. You could also do boullion cubes and water if you prefer.
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 3 large potatoes sliced (skin left on)
  • 1/2 bunch Kale or spinach, roughly chopped

Directions:

  1. Cook sausage in a large stockpot, crumble it up as you cook it.
  2. Once sausage is cooked, add bacon, onions, and garlic, and cook until onions are soft and clear (about 10 minutes).
  3. Add the broth, and cook on medium until the soup boils.
  4. Lower stove to low add sliced potatoes and cook over low heat until potatoes are tender, about 30-45 minutes.
  5. Stir in the milk, red pepper, and the kale/spinach and cook on low for 10-15 minutes, until kale/spinach is tender.

Makes about 10-12 servings.

To make this dish vegetarian, use soy italian crumbles and vegetable stock.

To make this dish vegan, use the variation above, and also substitute the evaporated milk for your choice of non-dairy milk.

As you store this soup in the fridge, it will become spicier, so I recommend no more than 2 days in the fridge before freezing it.