For many people, potato salad is a traditional staple, especially at potlucks and picnics. With summer around the corner, you may be looking for a healthy twist on potato salad. Often, these salads can be laden with mayo. Homemade mayo is great – I love my garlic aioli version (to come on the blog soon) – though I’ve concocted a recipe that uses an oil-based dressing to change-up a traditional staple.
This recipe is good for the gut. How? Potatoes that are cooked then cooled are sources of resistant starches, which have a prebiotic affect. Lentils are a source of galactooligosaccharides while spring onions are a source of fructans, both of which are prebiotics.
In addition, resistant starches drive down the glycemic index of a vegetable notorious for rapidly increasing blood sugar. This is not only a problem for people with diabetes. High spikes in blood sugar also make weight loss more difficult. The lentils in this recipe are also a source of starch (complex carbohydrates), but a good type, one that promotes a slow, gradual increase in blood sugar. The solution is not avoiding carbohydrates, but choosing better types, paring carbs with sources protein and fat, and eating healthy portion sizes.
Gutsy Potato Salad
Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 30 mins | Total time: 40 mins | Yield: 6 cups | Author: Sarah Campbell
- 1 lbs. yams, peeled and chopped in 1” cubes
- 1 lbs. Yukon white or red potato, peeled and chopped in 1” cubes
- 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- ¼ tsp. freshly group pepper
- ½ cup dry French lentils
- 2 cups water
- ½ cup green onion, sliced
- 1 cup fennel stock and fronds, chopped
- freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
- zest of ½ lemon (~½ tsp.)
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp. maple syrup or liquid honey
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. dried tarragon
- ½ tsp. whole celery seeds
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
- ½ tsp. salt
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Spread cubed yams and potatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes, stir, then roast for another 15 minutes. Vegetables should be fork-tender and crispy after 30 minutes. (Stoneware baking pans, such as bar pans from Pampered Chef, are ideal for crisping starchy vegetables without much added oil. Sometimes these are available second-hand, on kijiji or garage sales. Using healthy non-aluminum bakeware does not have to be expensive.)
2. Meanwhile, prepare lentils. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Rinse dry lentils in a sieve and add to boiling water. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 22-25 minutes, or until slightly tender. Careful not to overcook. Drain in a sieve and allow to cool.
3. Make the dressing: Mix lemon juice, lemon zest, vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, oil, tarragon, celery seeds, pepper, and salt together in a jar. Fasten lid, and shake until well mixed.
4. Transfer roasted vegetables to a large bowl. Allow to cool. Add cooled lentils, green onions, fennel, and ½ of dressing. Mix. Add more dressing to suit.
Night-shade vegetable intolerance: Swap the white potatoes with roasted butternut squash cubes. Most people with this intolerance tolerate yams, but, if you don’t, swap these with squash too. Butternut squash will not have the same crispy firmness as roasted potatoes. I’d suggest peeling a butternut squash and roasting it with a little oil at 375ºF for 15 minutes, or until fork-tender, then continue with the recipe as above.