Healthy Potato Salad

You know, ever since Dan Quayle insisted on spelling potato with an “e,” I balk every time I have to spell that particular word without aide of spell check. It isn’t because I normally spell it wrong, actually, it’s just that I fear that I may some day, thus resulting in debilitating embarrassment. Kind of like how I have to think about how I’m supposed to say nuclear, so that I don’t haphazardly associate myself with George W. Bush.

However, neither Dan Quale nor GWB have anything to do with this particular potato salad, as far as I know. This salad turned out pretty well considering is has absolutely no added fat and instead utilizes lots of aromatic veggies, and Greek yogurt, my new obsession.

What you need:

  • 5 red potatoes
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 5 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 5 (or so) dill pickles (or a mix of sweet Gerkins and dill if that’s your thang), chopped
  • 1 8-oz. tub of 0% fat Greek Yogurt
  • 1 T. German mustard (with the seeds in it), or any other kind of mustard you like
  • 2 T. apple cider vinager
  • 1 T. white sugar
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. freshly groung black pepper
  • 1 t. dry dill

What to do:

  1. Cook the potatoes: Place the potatoes in a large pan and cover with water. Cook on high until the water boils, and then turn down to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 45 minutes to an hour. At 45 minutes, check to see if the potatoes are cooked by inserting a sharp knife into the potatoes. If the knife goes in easily, they are cooked. If they hit some resistance, they need to stick around for a while longer. When cooked, place the potatoes in a bowl of cool water with ice and let sit to coo.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the yogurt, mustard, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and dill. Whisk together until combined.
  3. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into 1-inch cubes. (I like to keep the skins on for their extra texture and healthiness, but you could peel them before cutting the potatoes up.) Add the potatoes and the rest of the veggies to the dressing.
  4. Using a spatula, fold the dressing around the potatoes and veggies.
  5. Cover the bowl, and place in the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat it. (This will stay good in the fridge for a few days, which is a good thing because this recipe makes quite a bit.)
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Tabbouleh

I made quite the mezze the other day including homemade hummus and this yummy tabbouleh from the NY Times. I doubled the bulgur and the garlic and didn’t bother with the romaine leaves which still resulted in a pleasantly herbacious salad.

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup fine bulgur wheat
  • 2 small garlic clove, minced (optional)
  • Juice of 2 large lemons, to taste
  • 3 cups chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (the original recipe says “from 3 large bunches” but I don’t know what they mean. I got one bunch from the store and just used all of that.)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint (from the garden…)
  • 1/2 pound ripe tomatoes, very finely chopped (I used chopped grape tomatoes)
  • 1 bunch scallions (i.e. green onions), finely chopped
  • Salt, preferably kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

What you do:
1. Place the bulgur in a bowl, and cover with water by 1/2 inch. Soak for 20 minutes, until slightly softened. Drain through a cheesecloth-lined strainer, and press the bulgur against the strainer to squeeze out excess water. Transfer to a large bowl, and toss with the garlic, lemon juice, parsley, mint, tomatoes, scallions and salt. Leave at room temperature or in the refrigerator for two to three hours, so that the bulgur can continue to absorb liquid and swell.
2. Add the olive oil, toss together, taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with lettuce leaves.
Yield: Serves six as part of a larger Middle Eastern appetizer spread (mezze), four as a salad.
Advance preparation: This will keep for a day in the refrigerator, though the bright green color will fade because of the lemon juice.