Expert Vegan Cooking Tips
Go Vegan on the Cheap
The potato became famous in seventeenth century Europe because it was recognized as a food source that could save people in times of famine.
by Amanda Sapp
While our economy is shaky, we're certainly not a country on the verge of starvation. Conversely, we're overweight. Unfortunately, many health food items are more expensive than junk food.
The good old potato, however, is a healthy staple that costs pennies, can be bought in bulk, fills you up, and delivers nutrients that every body needs.
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A 5 lb. bag of potatoes costs, on average, five dollars or less. Each potato delivers potassium, iron, calcium, Vitamin C and folic acid. While the potato often gets a bad rap for being too starchy, eating them won't make you fat, unless they're smothered in butter and sour cream or a cheesy sauce. Like every other food, deep frying them isn't the best health option either.
Potatoes can be easily and deliciously prepared in a healthy manner though, which will save on the grocery bill as well. Kay Hansen, author of the cookbook, Vegan Homestyle: Simple Recipes for Healthy Living, has several recipes for preparing delicious potato dishes so you can tighten your belt and your wallet.
- 6-8 medium Russet potatoes, steamed until just tender and cooked
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon basil (optional)
Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Cut potatoes into quarter and then into 1" chunks. Place potatoes in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and paprika (basil, if desired), stirring to coat evenly. Place on a baking sheet and bake until crispy and browned, about 20minutes. Serve immediately. They're the perfect low-fat answer to French fries. Serves 8.
Nutritional Information: 1 serving; 193 calories; 3 grams fat; 165 mg. sodium; 36 grams carbohydrate; 4 grams fiber; 2 grams sugar; 4 grams protein.
- 4 large potatoes
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- dried parsley
Scrub potatoes and dry. Cut into 1/2" strips. Place in a 9"x11" baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray. Stir tahini smooth in the water. Add the rest of the seasonings and garlic. Pour over potatoes and turn to coat all sides. Bake at 400F degrees, uncovered, for 1 hour or until tender. (Place a stainless steel cookie sheet under the casserole to prevent burning, if needed). Stir occasionally. Serve hot. Serves 4.
Nutritional Information: 1 serving; 160 calories; 1 gram fat; 160 mg. sodium; 33 grams carbohydrate; 3 grams fiber; 2 grams sugar; 4 grams protein
Latkes (Potato Pancakes)
A traditional Jewish favorite. My mother served them with applesauce and a dollop of sour cream. This vegan version makes a nice light evening supper dish.
- 2 cups warm mashed potatoes
- 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup soy milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons Rumford baking powder or EnerG baking Powder
Stir together all ingredients to make a soft batter. Preheat the oven to 400F degrees. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Create pancakes by spooning batter onto the baking sheet. Bake until brown on the bottom, for about 10 minutes. Turn and bake for about 10 minutes more. Remove to a platter and keep hot in a low oven until ready to serve. (Latkes can also be baked on a non-stick griddle.) Serve with applesauce and Tofu sour cream or plain soy yogurt. Makes 12 pancakes.
Nutritional Information: 1 pancake; 67 calories; 1 gram fat; 193 mg. sodium; 12 grams carbohydrate; 1 gram fiber; 0 grams sugar; 2 grams protein
Vegan Homestyle (ISBN 978-0-9788632-0-3; $24.95) is available at major booksellers like Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com. It is also available directly from www.emeraldwellness.com or by calling 866-279-2852.
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