Potatoes are my favourite food, hands down. So how happy was I (also surprised) to learn that potatoes are actually valuable cancer crushers? They are chock full of potassium, a mineral that some natural cancer-fighting protocols have been designed around, and vitamin B6, which helps break down protein and supports red blood cell health. That’s right, potatoes are good for you.
The problem with potatoes is how easily they can be led down the garden path. You will almost always find them peeled (goodbye fiber), fried (potato chips, French fries), or drowning in cream or mayo -potato salad being a good example of this. The word ‘salad’ used almost as loosely as when it is used for macaroni salad. Salad? Really? Let’s make the salad part of this potato salad as present as the potato part.
So if we use some/all purple potatoes (the pigment means extra antioxidants), leave the peel on, and bake them at a low temperature, we will have the pure potato taste, texture and the majority of the nutrients intact. Now we just need a little help from the potato’s farmer’s market friends.
We will dry some beautiful cherry tomatoes in a low oven with a bit of garlic and thyme. Drying them will bring out their sweetness, gently evaporate their water content so as not to water down the salad, AND up the lycopene levels, a famous crushing cancer phytonutrient.(btw -zucchini pasta loooves these little gems too).
Cut some fresh (organic/non-GMO) corn off the cob. At its peak of freshness, none of its sugars have turned into starches yet, and you can throw the corn in raw. It’s like candy.
Other veggies that are along for the ride: Brussels sprouts to add a bit of that cruciferous skunk that terrifies cancer cells, avocado (healthy fats, smooth texture, good friends with everything else in the salad), radishes (CRUNCH! Peppery to offset the sweet corn and tomatoes, vitamin C, digestion aid), celery, (more crunch, natural salt content, diuretic), parsley and dill (big flavour to punch things up a bit, and all that that green plant blood). I also topped it with watercress, again, for the peppery jab to offset all of the summery sweetness. I don’t mix the watercress in with the rest of the salad though, the dressing would weigh it down too much and it would lose its bouncy freshness. Just give it a wash and add it as a curly afterthought.
The dressing is creamy and rich, bringing all of the mellow that potato salad is known for, without any mayo, dairy or refined oils. Avocado and cashews are responsible for the smooth, veggie-coating qualities, while the addition of some corn, odts, lemon juice and thyme give it a more distinctive personality. This dressing tastes awesome and can be used on any salad that requires, or can hold up to, a heavier salad dressing (cabbage, roast veg, kale). It would also make an amazing dip for a poolside veggies and dip situation (because we all spend the summer, poolside with a beautifully handcrafted crudités platter, right?)
PS -I told my husband what I was making this week, and his response was ‘Yeah, potato salad! Did you know potato salad is my favourite?’ Actually, no…no I didn’t… Happy summer everyone! To picnics and potato salad, vitamin D and feeling good. And to getting to know each other a little better :)
- 2 lbs Nugget Potatoes, purple ones preferably
- 2-3 c Brussels sprouts, sliced
- 1½ Cobs of corn, de-cobbed
- 6 Green Onions, sliced
- 5 Radishes, sliced into rounds
- 2 Celery ribs, diced
- 1 c Fresh Herbs (parsley, dill, basil, cilantro), chopped
- ½ Avocado, diced
- 1 recipe of Oven-dried Tomatoes (see below)
- 1 Lemon, juice & zest
- 2 c ripe Cherry Tomatoes, halved
- 4 Garlic cloves, lightly squashed
- 4 Thyme sprigs
- ¼ c Cashews, soaked overnight
- ¼ Avocado
- ¼ c Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
- ½ tsp Turmeric, dried (1 tsp if fresh)
- 1 Garlic Clove
- The roast Garlic and Thyme from the oven-dried tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp Dulse
- ½ Cob of Corn, de-cobbed
- ¼ c Oven Dried Tomatoes
- Sea (weed) salt & Pepper
- Preheat the oven to 325*F
- Wash the potatoes and lay them out on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Stab them all over with a fork or paring knife. (Purple potatoes are baking potatoes or 'floury' potatoes. This means if you don't stab them, they will explode in your oven. For real. Nothing ruins a good potato salad like having to scrub expensive, cooked-on potato starch off the insides of your oven.)
- Bake for 45 min-1 hour or until the are cooked through.
- minutes in, add the sliced Brussels sprouts to the potato sheet, with a splash of water. Allow them to cook as the potatoes finish cooking (15-20 minutes).
- Once cooled off a bit, slice the potatoes in half.
- Put them in the salad bowl and toss with the lemon juice and zest, and a pinch of seaweed salt (or plain sea salt). (They absorb more flavour this way, as opposed to just adding the dressing).
- Add the Brussels Sprouts and all of the other veggies.
- Toss with the dressing and top with some fresh watercress.
- Preheat the oven to 325*F (a lower oven works too, but for the sake of multi-tasking, use the potato oven.)
- Lay the tomatoes, garlic and thyme out on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Roast for 45 minutes, or until the tomatoes are still plump, but wrinkly too... (preferably not brown)
- Reserve the garlic and thyme for the salad dressing recipe.
- Blend the cashews, avocado, raw garlic, roast garlic, turmeric, dulse, sea (weed) salt and pepper and vinegar until well blended and silky smooth. Add a little bit of water if it helps it blend better.
- Add the corn, thyme and oven-dried tomatoes, and pulse your blender until combined and chopped up a bit but not totally smooth. (over-blending will make it sweeter and you'll lose the texture. Not the end of the world if it happens though).