February 5, 2009 at 7:50 a.m.

An ideal food: the potato

An ideal food: the potato
An ideal food: the potato

One potato, two potato, three potato, four... and I don't remember the rest! Obviously it's about potatoes. Though the potato was considered, in this first half of the century, as starchy and fattening, it is now known as an ideal food. It has only a trace of fat and very little sodium. A medium-sized potato has about 120 calories, unless you add butter, sour cream and some shredded cheese, It's an excellent source of vitamins C and B-6, plus niacin and a good amount of potassium and fiber. If you eat the skin of a baked potato, that's where you get a lot of fiber. In the United States we eat more potatoes than any other veggie, more than twice as many as our next most popular veggie, the tomato. It is also the most important crop in the world after wheat, rice and corn.

Let's do recipes with this important food.

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CHEESY-BACON POTATOES

8 medium red potatoes

1/2 c. finely chopped onion

1 lb. processed American cheese, cubed

1 c. mayonnaise

1/2 lb. sliced bacon, fried, drained on paper towel and crumbled

3/4 c. sliced ripe olives

chopped, fresh parsley - optional

Paprika - optional

Peel potatoes; put in a saucepan and cover with water. Cook until tender but firm; drain, cool and cube. In a bowl, mix potatoes with the onions, cheese and mayo. Turn into an ungreased 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle with bacon and olives. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. If you wish, sprinkle with parsley and paprika.

Makes 8-10 servings.

This recipe is easily cut in half or it will keep for 4 days refrigerated. If you're halving it, make the whole recipe & before you bake it, take out half & refrigerate. Use an 8x8 pan for half a recipe.

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CONFETTI SCALLOPED POTATOES

1/2 c. butter or margarine

1/2 c. diced onion

1-16 oz. pkg. frozen hash brown potatoes

1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted

1 soup can milk

1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

1 small green pepper, cut into short strips

2 T. chopped pimiento

Dash of pepper

1 c. cheese cracker crumbs, divided

In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Saute onion in butter until tender. Stir in potatoes, soup and milk (I mix the soup and milk until smooth and add with potatoes). Add cheese, green pepper, pimiento, pepper and 1/2 c. crumbs. Pour into greased, shallow 1-1/2 qt. casserole or 9x9-inch pan; top with remaining crumbs. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Makes 6 servings.

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PARMESAN POTATO ROUNDS

1/3 c. melted butter or margarine

1/4 c. flour

1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

6 medium potatoes, each sliced in to four rounds

1/2 t. Italian seasoning

Pour butter into a jelly roll pan (15x10), spreading around. In a large plastic bag, combine flour, cheese, salt and pepper. Shake a few potato slices at a time in the bag to coat with flour mixture. Put potatoes in a single layer over the butter. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Turn slices and sprinkle with Italian seasoning or until potatoes are tender.

Makes 6 servings.

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RANCH ROASTED

POTATOES

1 packet (1 oz) Hidden Valley Original Ranch dressing mix

2 lbs., small red potatoes, quartered

1/4 c. canola or vegetable dressing

Put potatoes in a large plastic bag. Add oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle dressing mix over potatoes and toss to coat. Bake on ungreased baking pan (9x13) at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until tender.

Makes 4-6 servings.

TFD: Why is it you have to wait for night to call it a day.

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