Spring Potato Salad

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I don’t remember ever paying much attention to the seasons when it comes to food. It’s both a privilege and a curse of living in America. In fact, it wasn’t really until I studied abroad in Argentina that I was really confronted with the we-don’t-have-it-if-it’s-not-in-season nature of finding and cooking food. But, even then, Argentina, and all travels before that, preceded the deep interest I now have in cooking and eating healthy, so it was more of a nuisance than anything else.  All I wanted was some fresh veggies to balance out the extreme amounts of delicious beef I was eating, but alas.

Now, however, with farmer’s markets, with the tons of food blogs I now follow, with my realization that “in season” actually means good, I’m  paying attention. I’m certainly not at the point where I will only cook vegetables that are in season–that seems like a waste of a supermarket to me– but I have definitely found that my tastes are much more in tune with the flavors and foods of fall, say, or now, of spring.

So when I saw this recipe for a new potato and arugula salad, I was sold. If I hadn’t seen this recipe, one visit to the farmer’s market alone could’ve told me that arugula is in season.  And doesn’t it remind you of spring?  Plus, not being a fan of traditional potato salad, I was pleased to find one that wasn’t so heavy on the mayo and had the tartness of Greek yogurt. I didn’t modify the recipe much, but I did change the steps to make it a one-bowl deal. I figured with the nice weather we’ve been having, you might want to make it for the BBQ I’m sure you’re having this weekend. 😉

Spring Potato Salad
Recipe courtesy of TheKitchn
Serves 6 as a side, 4 if you make it a meal

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs new potatoes (I got a variety of purple, red, and white), scrubbed well
1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup olive-oil mayonnaise
2 large shallots, sliced thin
1 large bunch of arugula (I used baby)
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
1 tsp garlic powder
Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper
Optional: diced ham or diced hard-boiled eggs to give it a protein boost and make it a meal

Directions:

1. Add your potatoes to a large pot, and fill the pot until the potatoes are covered with about 2 inches of water. Add at least 1 tbsp of salt to the water, and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium and continue to simmer for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork. Drain the potatoes and either return to the pot, or set the strainer over the pot so they continue to drain.

2. While the potatoes are cooking, whisk together the Greek yogurt and mayonnaise in a large bowl with a lid.  Add the garlic powder, and add black pepper to taste.
IMG_71133. Set up a station where you have the hot potatoes at the beginning, your cutting board in the middle, and the bowl with the yogurt/mayo mix at the end, like this:
IMG_71144. Take one potato at a time from the pot, and cut it into quarters.  Add the quarters to the yogurt bowl, and repeat this process until you’re out of potatoes.

5. Toss the potatoes with the yogurt mixture until well coated.
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6. Add in the arugula, dill, and shallots, and mix to coat. Season to taste with salt and more pepper. Serve warm (my preferred method) or refrigerate for at least an hour and serve cold.
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7. OPTIONAL: if you would like to eat this as a complete meal, I would recommend adding some diced deli ham or a diced hard-boiled egg. I did the ham method, and it was delicious!

Spring Potato Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sides
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1.5 lbs new potatoes (I got a variety of purple, red, and white), scrubbed well
  • ½ cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup olive-oil mayonnaise
  • 2 large shallots, sliced thin
  • 1 large bunch of arugula (I used baby)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper
  • Optional: diced ham or diced hard-boiled eggs to give it a protein boost and make it a meal
Directions
  1. Add your potatoes to a large pot, and fill the pot until the potatoes are covered with about 2 inches of water. Add at least 1 tbsp of salt to the water, and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium and continue to simmer for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork. Drain the potatoes and either return to the pot, or set the strainer over the pot so they continue to drain.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, whisk together the Greek yogurt and mayonnaise in a large bowl with a lid. Add the garlic powder, and add black pepper to taste.
  3. Set up a station where you have the hot potatoes at the beginning, your cutting board in the middle, and the bowl with the yogurt/mayo mix at the end, like this:
  4. Take one potato at a time from the pot, and cut it into quarters. Add the quarters to the yogurt bowl, and repeat this process until you're out of potatoes.
  5. Toss the potatoes with the yogurt mixture until well coated.
  6. Add in the arugula, dill, and shallots, and mix to coat. Season to taste with salt and more pepper. Serve warm (my preferred method) or refrigerate for at least an hour and serve cold.
  7. OPTIONAL: if you would like to eat this as a complete meal, I would recommend adding some diced deli ham or a diced hard-boiled egg. I did the ham method, and it was delicious!

 

 

Lighter Shepherd’s Pie

Finally, something not breakfast related!  This is a recipe I had on the back burner for a while.  Mr. Little Fish is very much a (lean) meat and potatoes kind of guy, so he tends not to be overly willing to try new things.

Now, sometimes, when I think Mr. LF isn’t going to like something (or particularly when I know he isn’t gonna like something), I like to play a little game where I try to hide the things in foods he does like, and then SPRING IT ON HIM after he gives a good review.  I’m sure it does not surprise you that I enjoy this game much more than he does.  My special guest star in this recipe?  Cauliflower.  Dude doesn’t like it.  But he does like mashed potatoes.  So, I went halfsies, wanting to get more veggies out of the dish while reducing the starch/carb content a little.  I think my plan would have been perfectly executed, if not for the fact that he actually got home before I did and so saw me unpack the groceries.  =/

In case you are wondering about my protein choice in the Pie, I have nothing against red meat.  I buy mine grass-fed where possible, because it’s lower in saturated fats and doesn’t have inflammatory grains.  We eat some form of beef about once a week.  In fact, I substituted the ground beef that is in traditional Pies with ground turkey precisely because we had just had large steaks a couple days before.  Again, it’s just a balancing issue for me–I try to vary the proteins I eat, as well as the veggies, so that I make sure I get all the nutrients from the different sources.  In any case, because I subbed in poultry, I changed the broth in the recipe to chicken so that the flavors matched.

One last note:  while this recipe is not difficult, it does have a few steps to it.  I modified the original a bit so that you could use one pan for most of the things, but if you are new to cooking, I would recommend doing this on a Sunday afternoon rather than a weeknight.  Then you have lunches for the whole week!

Lighter Shepherd’s Pie
Adapted from Comfort of Cooking

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Ingredients:

For the mash topping:
1.5 lbs white potatoes
1 head cauliflower
1 tbsps softened cream cheese or sour cream
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 green onions, chopped

For the filling:
2 lbs lean ground turkey
1 tsp olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, diced
2 tbsps butter
2 tbsps all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
2 tsps Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/4 tsp paprika

Directions

1.  Cut the cauliflower in half, and trim away the cauliflower florets from the base in the middle, like so.
2.  Boil the potatoes and cauliflower in salted water in a large stainless steel pot until tender, for about 12 minutes or when a fork can easily pierce them.*
3.  While the potatoes are boiling, preheat the olive oil in a large dutch oven** over medium high heat.  Add the ground turkey, season with salt and pepper, and brown the meat until mostly cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
4.  Add the carrot and onion to the meat, and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Lower the heat to low.
5.  When the veggies are done, drain them, and then pour them back into the pot.  Set aside while you get the gravy started.
6.  Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  When melted, whisk in the flour, and cook for 1 minute.  Whisk in the broth and Worcestershire sauce, and then let the gravy thicken for about a minute.  Pour the mixture over the meat filling in the dutch oven, add the peas, and mix together.
7.  Then, add the cream cheese, egg yolk, chicken broth, and chopped green onions to the potatoes and cauliflower.  Mash by hand, or use a hand mixer or immersion blender to blend until smooth.
8.  Preheat the broiler to high, and set the highest rack to about 6-8 inches away from the broiler.  While it is preheating, spoon the mash evenly over the meat.  Sprinkle the top with paprika.
9.  Put the  dutch oven in the oven and broil until the potatoes are evenly browned, about 5-7 minutes.

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*I wrote these directions with multi-tasking in mind.  If you aren’t comfortable in the kitchen, I would finish the potatoes all the way through first (ie. skip to step 7), and then go back and start with the meat (after having prepped your mise en place, of course).

**I used a dutch oven so that I could go from stove-top to broiler with the meat.  The original recipe calls for filling a rectangular oven-safe dish with the meat and vegetables, but I didn’t want to dirty more dishes.  Feel free to follow the original recipe if you don’t have a dutch or french oven.

Lighter Shepherd's Pie
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • For the mash topping:
  • 1.5 lbs white potatoes
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 tbsps softened cream cheese or sour cream
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • For the filling:
  • 2 lbs lean ground turkey
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tbsps butter
  • 2 tbsps all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tsps Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ¼ tsp paprika
Directions
  1. Cut the cauliflower in half, and trim away the cauliflower florets from the base in the middle.
  2. Boil the potatoes and cauliflower in salted water in a large stainless steel pot until tender, for about 12 minutes or when a fork can easily pierce them.*
  3. While the potatoes are boiling, preheat the olive oil in a large dutch oven** over medium high heat. Add the ground turkey, season with salt and pepper, and brown the meat until mostly cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add the carrot and onion to the meat, and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Lower the heat to low.
  5. When the veggies are done, drain them, and then pour them back into the pot. Set aside while you get the gravy started.
  6. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. When melted, whisk in the flour, and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the broth and Worcestershire sauce, and then let the gravy thicken for about a minute. Pour the mixture over the meat filling in the dutch oven, add the peas, and mix together.
  7. Then, add the cream cheese, egg yolk, chicken broth, and chopped green onions to the potatoes and cauliflower. Mash by hand, or use a hand mixer or immersion blender to blend until smooth.
  8. Preheat the broiler to high, and set the highest rack to about 6-8 inches away from the broiler. While it is preheating, spoon the mash evenly over the meat. Sprinkle the top with paprika.
  9. Put the dutch oven in the oven and broil until the potatoes are evenly browned, about 5-7 minutes.
Notes
*I wrote these directions with multi-tasking in mind. If you aren't comfortable in the kitchen, I would finish the potatoes all the way through first (ie. skip to step 7), and then go back and start with the meat (after having prepped your mise en place, of course).

**I used a dutch oven so that I could go from stove-top to broiler with the meat. The original recipe calls for filling a rectangular oven-safe dish with the meat and vegetables, but I didn't want to dirty more dishes. Feel free to follow the original recipe if you don't have a dutch or french oven.