Potatoes, whether mashed, fried, or baked, are a classic comfort food adored by many. But misinformation and circulating food fears often leave dancers wondering if potatoes are an okay addition to their meal plans. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the benefits of potatoes and share unique recipes that showcase their potential as a convenient and balanced meal.
Health Benefits of Potatoes
Potatoes pack a multitude of vitamins and minerals including phosphorus, potassium, vitamins C, and B vitamins. Another benefit of potatoes is their resistant starch. Resistant starch is a specific type of fiber found only in certain plant foods like legumes and grains. As the name suggests, resistant starch resists digestion. This characteristic makes these starches available as a prebiotic food source for the friendly bacteria lining your digestive tract. This digestive benefit not only helps to improve the overall health of your gut microflora but may also help those who experience stomach discomfort from disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Potato Boats: Practical Application
Potato boats, like zucchini and avocado toast, offer a unique twist to traditional potato dishes, providing a canvas for a variety of flavors and fillings. As an all-in-one dinner hack, dancers can find ease in building a balanced meal with little prep time. Whether you follow a plant-based diet or not, potato boats can be tailored to meet your preferences.
One of the primary benefits of potato boats lies in their versatility. Potatoes, with their neutral flavor, serve as an excellent base for a wide range of fillings. From savory to sweet, the possibilities are endless.
Potato boats are also an excellent way to minimize food waste. By using the entire potato and creatively incorporating leftovers or ingredients that need to be used, you contribute to a more sustainable kitchen.
Potato Boats: A Guide for Dancers
#1: Start with your base
Scrub your potatoes under running water, slice lengthwise, and coat with olive oil. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes, or until tender. If you don’t have the time, microwave your potatoes for a quick alternative. Take note: the percentage of resistant starch can decrease significantly when potatoes are cooked. Avoid the loss by cooling your cooked potatoes for a few hours after baking. Bonus tip: prep a few potatoes at once and leave them refrigerated for easy meal access during the week.
#2: Prep your fill-ins
Slice your potatoes lengthwise and scoop some, but not all, of the middle. Don’t throw away the potato flesh just yet. Place your potato halves in the oven on broil for 5 minutes to crisp the outside. In a large saucepan, add your favorite chopped veggies (I like broccoli and bell peppers) and ground turkey meat (or tofu, for my vegan dancers) Sauté the mix using olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and your favorite store-bought (or homemade) tomato sauce.
#3: Assemble and serve
Once the potato halves are crisp and your filling is ready, fill your boats. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese (or a dairy-free alternative) and bake until tops are golden. You can make these ahead and freeze them for a quick weeknight meal option. Simply freeze your filled boats and when you’re ready to serve, defrost and put in a 400-degree oven for 10-15 minutes to warm.
Potato Boats: Recipes for Dancers
Whether you opt for a classic loaded version or get adventurous with unique fillings, these potato-based creations are sure to become a staple in your kitchen.
#1: Classic Loaded
- Baked potato
- Cheese or a dairy-free alternative
- Bacon bits
- Sour cream (may sub with whole milk yogurt)
Instructions: scoop out the potato, mix the flesh with cheese and bacon, refill the potato, and bake until golden. Top with yogurt and chives.
#2: Mediterranean Stuffed
- Baked sweet potato
- Cherry tomatoes, sliced
- Olives, sliced
- Feta cheese crumbles
- Fresh herbs
Instructions: Fill the sweet potato with hummus, cherry tomatoes, olives, and feta. Bake until warmed through and garnish with fresh herbs.
#3: Broccoli Cheddar:
- Baked potato
- Broccoli florets, steamed
- Cheddar cheese or a dairy-free alternative
- Greek yogurt or a dairy-free alternative
Instructions: Mix steamed broccoli with cheddar, stuff the potato, and bake. Top with a dollop of yogurt before serving.