Healthy Holiday Potatoes, Three Ways

Featured Article, Healthy Meal Ideas, Healthy Recipes and Nutrition
on November 17, 2014
Roasted Red Potatoes with Sundried Tomatoes and Parmesan (8)
Robin Miller
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From mounds of mashed potatoes swimming in gravy to butter-drenched sweet potato casseroles, potatoes are arguably the most beloved of all holiday foods. It wouldn’t be a proper Thanksgiving meal without some sort of spud dish, right? Unfortunately, though, many classic potato dishes are loaded with sugar, salt and saturated fat, adding hundreds of calories to your already-fattening holiday meal. This holiday season, ramp up your holiday table by serving a brand new style of potato. From twice-baked yams to roasted red potatoes to a cheesy hash brown casserole, these three lightened-up potato dishes save on calories and fat without sacrificing flavor. Pick one or pick all three – your guests will thank you for that!

Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole

Mashed potato fans will love this decadent, very cheesy hash brown casserole—it’s sure to rival the best mashed spuds you’ve ever had. Plus, using Neufchâtel cheese, which has one-third the fat of regular cream cheese, slashes calories and fat. And, by using bold-tasting sharp cheddar cheese (instead of mild), the flavor shines through and you can use less.

Robin Miller

Robin Miller

 Ingredients:

  • Cooking spray
  • 8 ounces Neufchâtel cheese or light cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes or 1 extra-large cube, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 4 Russet/baking potatoes (about 3 pounds), peeled and shredded

 Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a shallow baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a food processor, combine the Neufchâtel cheese, bouillon cubes, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Process until the bouillon is well incorporated. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and fold in the potatoes and 3/4 cup of the cheddar cheese. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and top with the remaining cheddar cheese.
  3. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 to 20 more minutes, until the top is golden brown.

Serves 8

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories: 279 Fat: 11g Carbohydrates: 36g Sugar: 3g Sodium: 341mg Fiber: 2g Protein: 10g Cholesterol: 37mg

Twice Baked Yams with Candied Pecans

For those who savor sweet potatoes or yams and pumpkin pie, these twice-baked yams fit the bill for both. The candied pecans add the perfect crunch (almost like a pie crust) and the creamy yam filling is made even more sumptuous with brown sugar and cinnamon. Since the pecans take an hour to cook in the oven, you can prep them up to two days in advance and store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Robin Miller

Robin Miller

 Ingredients:

Candied Pecans:

  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 3/4 cup pecan halves or pieces

Twice Baked Yams:

  • 3 large yams (about 2 pounds), even in size, scrubbed
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light butter or margarine spread (such as Brummel & Brown)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch ground nutmeg

 Directions:

  1. To make the candied pecans, preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil (this helps with cleanup).
  2. In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar, cinnamon and salt. Mix well to combine. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg white and water until frothy. Add the pecans and toss to coat. Add the sugar mixture and toss to coat the pecans evenly with the mixture. Transfer the pecans to the baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, until pecans are browned, stirring every 15 minutes. Allow to cool.
  3. To make the twice baked yams, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the yams on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, until tender.
  4. When cool enough to handle, halve the yams lengthwise and scoop out the flesh, reserving about 1/4-inch of the flesh with the skin. Transfer the flesh to a medium bowl and add the brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Mash with a fork and mix well to combine. Spoon the filling back into the yam shells and return to the baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Top the yams with the candied pecans just before serving.

Serves 6

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories: 292 Fat: 14g Carbohydrates: 41g Sugar: 17g Sodium: 388mg Fiber: 7g Protein: 5g Cholesterol: 7mg

Roasted Red Potatoes with Sundried Tomatoes and Parmesan

For roasted potato fans, check out this scrumptious red potato dish – a spectacular blend of tender, browned potatoes, sweet and chewy sun-dried tomatoes and tangy parmesan cheese. When choosing your baking dish, pick one that’s large enough to spread the potatoes out in a single layer. This enables each piece of potato to get golden brown on all sides.

Robin Miller

Robin Miller

 Ingredients:

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 pounds red potatoes, scrubbed and quartered (for larger red potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces)
  • 1/2 cup sliced oil-packed sundried tomatoes plus 1 tablespoon oil from jar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese

 Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a shallow baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, sundried tomatoes and oil from the jar, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat the potatoes with the oil and seasonings. Transfer the potatoes to the prepared pan and spread out in a single layer. Sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese.
  3. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 to 15 more minutes, until golden brown.

Serves 6

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories: 201 Fat: 7g Carbohydrates: 28g Sugar: 3g Sodium: 378mg Fiber: 3g Protein: 9g Cholesterol: 12mg