Is Potato Salad a Diet Food???

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Potato Salad served with Short Ribs

When it comes to food, I am not striving for a perfect diet because I am not sure that that a perfectly balanced diet exists. After all it’s mathematically imprecise to believe that with thousands and maybe hundreds of thousands of diet advocates in the world that they can all be right. Thank God the debate over a perfect diet has not degenerated to the point of the abortion debate or the search for a Perfect Religion, or people would be shooting gluttons and blowing up swine factories.

Now with that out of the way, I have to admit that I made Potato Salad four times this year and while I have learned to scale it down to one potato, this is more summer time convenience food than wholesome diet food. I mean you take a perfectly good potato and in some way smother it in grease.

Potatoes are very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. They are also a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium and Manganese. Of course the quarter cup of mayonnaise has 360 calories all from fat which is 60% of your daily requirement for fat and 16% of sodium before the salt was added to the dressing.

Now not wanting to incite the food Nazi’s, I will remind all that there is a constant potato salad debate over hot or cold, white or yellow, and what ingredients to use. When you Google “Potato Salad Recipe” there are over five million recipes on line so I’m not sure the world needed my contribution. Then I discovered when you search for a coffeepot “potato salad recipe” there are only 2000 cited references and not a single one tells you how to do it so here is the recipe and method for all the senior citizens, college students and others who are living alone and cooking “meals for one”.

In my mind there really is no debate over the proper potato salad recipe. My mother made the basic white potato salad and I learned to love it.

Ingredients:

I medium Potato

½ teaspoon salt

1 small onion diced

¼ cup finely diced celery

1 Tablespoon fresh dill

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar

½ Teaspoon salt

pepper to taste

This is pretty much the recipe from the Idaho Potato Commission which was highlighted as a recipe of the week at gourmetspot.com. Preparation is rather easy.

Cookingn the Potatoes

Peal and cube the potato and place in the coffee pot with about ½ teaspoon salt. Run 10 cups of water through the coffee maker and let cook for 2-3 hours.

Cooked Potatoes

Drain the potatoes and let cool. Refrigerate for about 2 hours.

Diced Celery Onion and Dill

While the potatoes were cooking there is plenty of time to dice the celery and onion and pull the small dill leaves from the stems. I used the celery heart because I like the flavor and that is the yellow diced vegetable on the plate.

The sauce was mixed separately and poured over the combined potatoes, celery, onions and dill. The bowl of all ingredients was carefully mixed so as not to mash the potatoes. The tendency to overcook the potatoes and end up with a mess is greater on the hotter stove top than it is in the coffeepot. As shown in the introductory picture, I served it with short ribs which is sort of a summer match in my mind; the old classic of ribs, corn on the cob and potato salad, the comfort foods of my youth although my Mother’s ribs were always swine.

While I don’t feel terribly guilty about over indulging myself with fatty foods on occasion, I misplaced my white potato salad recipe and took it as a sign from the gods that I should tone down my fat consumption.

I found a recipe for yellow potato salad which I have since misplaced but fortunately kept notes on what I did. The recipe is essentially the same, except three Tablespoons of Mayonnaise and one of Mustard are used in the sauce.

Since there are only 4 Tablespoons in a ¼ cup, this really is not a whole lot healthier so I reverted back to my shamefully decadent white potato salad the next two times I made it. Now I am down almost 50 pounds so I am not worried about a bad food choice once in awhile – that is, if I believed there was anything really wrong with the potato salad I ate every summer of my life until I left my Mother’s Home.

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