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A Healthier Potato Salad



With the sunny weather and really warm temperatures we have been enjoying lately we have started to crave things like salads and grilled meats.  Simple meals.  Light meals. Summer Comfort Food.


Yes, there is such a thing as Summer Comfort Food. Wikepedia defines Comfort food as the following: "Comfort food is food that provides a nostalgic or sentimental value to someone, and may be characterized by its high caloric nature, high carbohydrate level, or simple preparation. The nostalgia may be specific to an individual, or it may apply to a specific culture."


I would tend to largely agree with that.  Comfort food indeed is not only delicious, but at once nostalgic, evoking memories of our childhoods, special family moments and memories, individual cultures.  This would greatly vary according your family and where you are from.


People tend to associate Comfort Food eating with the colder winter months, when we want to eat stews, bakes and stodgy, soul enriching foods. 

 Where I don't agree is that Comfort Food necessarily is that it needs to be highly calorific and filled with carbs.  I think there is plenty of comfort foods that are not any of those things.


One of my favourite comfort foods is Canteloupe melons. You might think that strange, and maybe it is.  When I was a child my best friend Susan's mother always served canteloupe melon with vanilla ice cream after dinner on Sundays.  I can remember being invited to have dessert with them and enjoying this "rare for me" treat.


We never had anything as exotic as canteloupe melons in our home.  I can still remember how beautiful they tasted, almost like a delicious perfume . . .  and the textural contrasts between the crisp ripe melon and that rich and creamy vanilla ice cream. Nothing starchy or stodgy there.


Her mother also used to make the most beautiful potato pancakes and it was a special day for me when I would be invited in to share them with her family. I must remember to ask her how her mother used to make them because I have been thinking about them a lot recently.  Those were starchy and stodgy, and yes comforting.


To me Potato Salad is definitely a comfort food dish. I can still see my mother standing at the kitchen counter, spearing  hot boiled potatoes with a fork as she peeled their skins off with a knife.  I my minds eye I can see her methodically cutting everything into cubes . . .  the potatoes, cucumber, celery, onions . . .  and sometimes eggs.


I loved to watch her work in the kitchen.  She was not a woman who tolerated little fingers interfering, but she did not mind me watching.her work so long as I stayed out of the way.



She made beautiful potato salads and coleslaws, soups, stews, breads, pies, etc. She was not a fancy cook, but she was a good cook.  She always said that she wasn't, but I would beg to differ. 



One thing that I really, really dislike is a potato salad that is absolutely swimming in gloopy mayonnaise.  It is so un-necessary.  Mayonnaise should not be the dominant factor in a potato salad.  It should be there, absolutely but  . . .  this is a "POTATO" salad and potato should be the dominant factor.


This is a somewhat healthier version of the traditional potato salad in that it uses half the amount of mayonnaise as my regular one.  I make up for that by combining it equally with a low fat plain yogurt.  This gives the dressing a lovely tang.


I have added plenty of crunch with the additon of chopped sweet pickles.  I use sweet gerkins, but you can use whichever sweet pickles you have to hand which you enjoy.


More crunch and texture comes from the use of chopped English Cucumbers. I wash it really well and leave the skin on.  I also remove the seed portion as it can become somewhat watery upon standing.


There is a hint of sharpness with the use of finely chopped red onions. Not quite as harsh as brown onions in flavour, they also add a hint of colour.  Some chopped hard boiled egg and a few other seasonings such as salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar and some dried dillweed complete the picture. You can use fresh dillweed if you have it, but double the amount.  I like to garnish my salad with pretty things like radish roses, chopped chives and a sprinkl of paprika in homage to my dear mother who always felt a dash of paprika dressed everything up!



Healthy Potato Salad
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Healthy Potato Salad

Yield: 4
Author:
A healthier option for a potato salad that is every bit as delicious as a regular potato salad. In fact I think it is more delicious!

Ingredients:

You will need:
  • 1 pound of red potatoes, boiled in the skins until fork tender
  • 2 large free range eggs, hard boiled
  • 2 sweet pickled cucumbers, dried and diced to 1/4 inch dice
  • 3 inch piece of English cucumber, washed, trimmed and diced to 1/4 inch dice (I leave the skin on)
  • 3 TBS red onion, finely chopped
For the dressing:
  • 65g plain yogurt (1/4 cup)
  • 65g mayonnaise (1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 TBS Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 TBS white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp dried dillweed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
To garnish:
  • sweet paprika to sprinkle
  • radish roses (optional)
  • finely chopped chives

Instructions:

  1. Whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing until well combined and smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as required.  Set aside.
  2. Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch diced. Put into a bowl, along with the diced cucumber, diced pickle and chopped red onion. Peel the eggs and chop coarsely. Add to the bowl.  Toss everything together to combine.  Add the dressing and fold everything together until well combined. 
  3. Spoon into a serving bowl and cover tightly.  Place into the refrigerator and chill for several hours, or as long as overnight.
  4. When you are ready to serve, sprinkle lightly with paprika and minced chived.  Garnish with radish roses if desired.
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @marierayner5530 on instagram and hashtag it #EnglishKitchen
Created using The Recipes Generator


We enjoyed this for supper along with sliced tomatoes and some cold chicken.  Todd added a buttered roll. We were both very happy with this. 




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Marie Rayner
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