Do the mashed potato without a load of butter and fat

Eating Well

April 02, 1996|By Colleen Pierre | Colleen Pierre,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Mashed potatoes, Mother Nature's great comfort food, are suddenly back in style. Their recent return to restaurant menus, decked out in trendy seasoning combinations, could be your cue to get creative at home.

Today's zesty, trimmed-down versions can save you 100 calories per one-cup serving over the classic whipped-with-butter-and-half-and-half kind. The mouth-watering flavors and down-home comfort of "'90s mashed" arise from spices, herbs, garlic and horseradish that deliciously make up for trimming the fat.

Potatoes are a rich source of fat-free complex carbohydrates. One cup of unseasoned cooked potato provides 34 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of protein, 2 grams of dietary fiber and 155 milligrams of iron, along with all the B vitamins and a wide variety of minerals.

If you like your potatoes cooked from scratch, experiment with Yukon Golds. They have a waxy, creamy texture, deep yellow color and rich potato flavor that requires little enhancement from butter or other fats. Cook them the way chefs do. Barely cover the peeled potatoes with cold water, cover the pot, then turn the heat to high. The potatoes and water heat up at the same time, so potatoes cook more evenly.

Busy cooks (or non-cooks!) not fond of instant potatoes have a treat in store. "Simply Potatoes" is available in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores. They're fresh mashed potatoes seasoned with just a little skim milk.

All the hard work is done. You don't have to peel, cut, cook or

mash. Just stir in your favorite seasonings and zap them in the microwave. Creamy mashed potatoes

Serves four

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes,

peeled and cut into cubes

1/2 cup each nonfat cottage cheese

and skim milk, or 1 cup evaporated skim milk

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan, cover potatoes with cold water. Partially cover, bring to a boil, and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Meanwhile, in a blender, liquefy the cottage cheese and milk.

Drain potatoes and return to pot. Using an electric mixer or potato masher, mash potatoes until almost smooth. Turn heat on low, and slowly stir in cottage cheese mixture. Add olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrients per serving: calories, 204; protein, 8 grams; carbohydrates, 35 grams; fat, 3 grams. Adapted from "The Pyramid Cookbook" by Pat Baird, Henry Holt & Co., 1993. $14.95.

Herbed mashed potatoes

Serves two

2 cups Simply Potatoes

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh or

refrigerated garlic

2 tablespoons 1 percent milk

2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

or 2 teaspoons dried parsley

1/2 tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 tablespoon minced fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 1/2 teaspoons butter or margarine

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

Combine cold potatoes with other ingredients. Stir until well blended. Heat in microwave two minutes, or until heated through. Nutrients per serving: calories, 184; protein, 5 grams; carbohydrates, 32 grams; fat, 5 grams. Adapted from "Cooking Light" magazine, July-Aug. 1995. Subscription information 1-800-336-0125.

Tangy mashed potatoes

Serves two

2 cups mashed potatoes

1/2 cup plain, nonfat yogurt

2 tablespoons fresh chives

1 teaspoon butter Combine mashed potatoes with yogurt, chives and butter, blending well.

Heat in microwave.

Nutrients per serving: calories, 212; carbohydrates, 36 grams; protein, 6 grams; fat, 3 grams.

Colleen Pierre, a registered dietitian, is the nutrition consultant at the Union Memorial Sports Medicine Center and Vanderhorst & Associates in Baltimore.

Pub Date: 4/02/96

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