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Enjoy healthy, mayo-free Irish potato salads

June 29, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
There is no doubt the fat and calories in potato salad are enough to make any weight watcher take a pass. But we met a healthy Irish chef who cooked up some sensational potato salads to enjoy all summer long.

When cutting back on calories or trying to slim down, potato salad doesn't usually come to mind. One reason is the mayo. Well we are suggesting a slimmer spud, that's going to give you a lot of taste and little of what you don't need.

"Mayo is just too heavy. I find that it is too heavy, and it's oily and it's just nasty," said personal chef and caterer Gavan Murphy. "So I decided to make all sorts of potato salads with vinaigrettes, focusing on the quality of ingredients."

Murphy grew up eating potatoes, the comfort food of Ireland. But he knew there was more to sprucing spuds up than butter, mayo and sour cream. To prove it, he created plates full of potato salads that are sure to make a nutritionist smile.

"One of my favorites also is a sort of a hot-cold salad, which I am a big fan of. I grill some asparagus and I roast some finger-link potatoes, which are just those little baby ones, with some purple potatoes. Toss that with some butter lettuce," said Murphy.

He also has a take on sweet potatoes, which are lightly oiled then grilled. As you may have heard, this tuber exceeds your daily quota for vitamin A with fiber to boot. Just by adding a simple cilantro lime vinaigrette with some caramelized onions, you've got a great side dish for a picnic or dinner.

"We have some new potatoes that I just roasted in the oven. I put some radish with it. Again, it's all seasonal cooking. I just finished with some green onions and a light lemon olive oil vinaigrette," said Murphy.

Murphy's Indian spiced spuds contain cumin seeds, fresh ginger, garlic and cayenne pepper, tossed with baby arugula - a sure palate pleaser. And the best part about all these spuds?

"This is a starch that will sustain you. It will keep you satiated," said Murphy. "It will keep your energy level up. It's nice and level-headed."

Current research suggests the resistant starch in potatoes helps burn fat and keeps you fuller longer.

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