Saturday, July 14, 2012

Food Facts Friday: Potatoes

Last night, it was just Girlfriend and me. Side-kick was away on business and Mini-man is at camp. Dinner was very simple: Grilled chicken breast, potatoes and a tossed salad.
These potatoes were mmm, mmm, gooood!
I love potatoes served just about any way, except deep fried, a.k.a. french fries. No one else in my home likes potatoes as much as I do, so the starchy carbs are usually pasta, rice or quinoa. But with half the people out of the house, Girlfriend had no choice!

Potatoes are so versatile (and cheap) and they're available year-round. You can boil them, quarter them or mash 'em, bake 'em whole or sliced, put them in salads, frittatas or just eat 'em whole with a tiny bit of salt. They are an excellent source of fiber, niacin, B6 (great for endurance & cellular-energy), vitamin C, copper, iron, magnesium and potassium. Potatoes are also a great source of over 50 types of phytochemicals, like flavanoids, which help to boost heart health and protect against lung and prostate cancer.
Potatoes also contain a chemical called kukoamines, which help fight hypertension, which, everybody around me seems to have!
Eat your potatoes, dude!
Whenever I make potatoes, no one eats the skin - I love the skin. The skin contains a special type of flavanoid, quercitin. Research on quercitin has shown that this flavanoid can bolster immunity, fight inflammation and increase mitochondrial growth (---> > ATP ---> >ENERGY --> Happy Running).

Unfortunately, potatoes are on the EWG Dirty Dozen list, which means, unless they are organically grown, they could be contaminated with lots of pesticides, which are hard to wash off. You can use a peeler and dodge some of those pesticides, but then you will be cheating yourself out of those great phytochemicals, which are mostly found directly under the skin. I recommend buying organic potatoes, this way you get to keep the potato skins and dodge the toxic pesticides.

Another great tip for potatoes is in preparing them. Some research shows that acrylamide, a potential carcinogen, forms when potatoes are cooked over 248*F (120*C). But by simply soaking potatoes 2hours before cooking them, you can reduce acrylamide by ~50%, give them a quick rinse and you reduce acrylamide by about another 20%. And if you still want to take precaution, you can slice your potatoes and microwave them for 30seconds to reduce levels of acrylamide by about 60%.

So, last night, I soaked my potatoes (about 5new red potatoes) for about 2hours. Then I rinsed them off, cut them (about 1/4inch thick slices) and placed them on a foil sheet that I coated with EVOO. Next I chopped up fresh parsley (enough to sprinkle over each slice), chopped up 1/2 of a sweet onion and about 4cloves of garlic (enough to sprinkle over potatoes slices) and sprinkled a bit of sea salt. Next, I sprayed the slices with some EVOO with my Misto olive oil sprayer and covered with another foil sheet and crimped the edges tightly on all four sides.
Love the Misto!
Since it's been so hot and humid, I decided to cook these potatoes outside, on the grill. I cooked them for 15minutes on one side, flipped them (it's all in the wrist), and cooked them for another 15minutes on the other side!

They came out perfectly! So delicious and so perfect with the grilled chicken breasts and salad! With the fresh parsley, the potatoes came out a little sweet, and with the bits of roasted garlic and caramelized onion, they were delicious!

Of course, the next day I wreaked of garlic, but so worth it!
TRAIN (and eat) SMART TODAY!
Post a Comment