Herb Garden Potato Salad

This potato salad is based on a recipe suggested to me by a Twitter friend who works for the group that publishes FarmFlavor.com, which is affiliated in part with the Tennessee Farm Bureau. The website is full of great, well-tested recipes with an emphasis on local and seasonal ingredients. It’s got a nifty search engine that lets you search by meal type, theme, cooking method, or ingredient. So when I asked for favorite potato salad recipes, it wasn’t hard for her to find this one. The original recipe calls for bacon, but she mentioned that she’d made it without and it was still very good.

And she was right; it’s fantastic. Even better, I was already planning to use Yukon Gold potatoes and I could see that this would also be a good way to use the garlic scapes I’d just cut from my garden (though a couple of weeks later than I should have). Of course, you can make it as it appeared originally or use my recipe (with changes) below or get creative on your own. But do be sure to keep the lemon and basil; I think they were the key to making this potato salad unique and very tasty. It was so good that my mother-in-law asked for some of the leftovers!

ps–I decided to call it “Herb Garden Potato Salad” since I could actually use herbs grown in my own garden!

herb_garden_potato_salad

Herb Garden Potato Salad
adapted from FarmFlavor.com
serves 6-8

Ingredients:
3 pounds potatoes (we used Yukon gold, red and blue potatoes)
1 cups onion, finely chopped and lightly sauteed with a little olive oil
¼ cup fresh chives, finely minced
¾ cup fresh basil, chopped

Dressing:
½ cup mayonnaise
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
⅓ cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons garlic scapes, finely minced
¾ teaspoon salt (I used smoked salt)
½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Place unpeeled potatoes in a large 5- to 8-quart pot. Cover with cold water and place over high heat. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Once water boils, remove cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are fork tender, about 15 to 25 minutes depending on size. Check frequently to prevent overcooking.

Drain potatoes and set aside to cool. Once potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut into bite-size pieces, about ½- to ¾-inch chunks, and place in large bowl. Add onion, chives and basil. Toss very gently to combine.

In a separate bowl, make the dressing: whisk together mayonnaise, oil, lemon juice, mustard, garlic scapes, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over potato mixture and lightly toss with a large wooden spoon, taking care not to break too many potato chunks.

Chill in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container.

Posted in Recipes, Salads, Side Dishes | 12 Comments

Summer Blogger ‘Grill-Off’

round logocookina logos familleThe folks at Colman’s Mustard and Cookina are hosting a Summer Blogger “Grill-Off” to introduce Cookina’s Reusable Grilling Sheet, which is a like a non-stick, reusable (and easy to clean) alternative to aluminum foil.

Last year, I participated in the Mystery Ingredient Blogger Showcase in which the secret ingredient was Colman’s mustard. That contest was great and I was able to win enough Colman’s hot mustard to share with friends. Folks love some spicy mustard. And the barbecue sauce I developed for last year’s contest would be perfect to top anything you’d throw on the grill. Or you can just use the prepared Colman’s mustard straight (from a handy new squeezy bottle), which is what I did when it was time to test the grilling sheet out.

What I really like about the Cookina sheet is that I can put it on the grill and I don’t have to worry that my not dogs are contaminated with any critter juice and they will still get a nice char and smoky flavor, despite the seeming barrier of the grilling sheet. And it was nothing to remove it from the grill and wipe it clean. Of course, most people would use it for fish, veggie kabobs, or grilled pizza, I’m sure.

photo(119)You can use the Cookina Reusable Grilling Sheet in the oven, too. Speaking of pizza, it’s perfect for use with your pizza stone since it will keep it clean and also in any way you would use a Silpat or parchment for baking. The grilling sheets are inexpensive, too. You can find them at Home Depot stores for about $15 each.

Right now, there’s a #YesYouCanCookina contest going on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The grand prize is a trip for two to Las Vegas!

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Posted in Product Reviews | 2 Comments

KIND Healthy Snacks and Stur: Ingredients You Can See and Pronounce

KINDIt’s been a while since I’ve done any product reviews. I actually have a great, long list of items I love that I need to share pretty soon. But this is a special post about really great products with “ingredients that you can see and pronounce,” to borrow the very accurate phrasing from KIND snacks. This isn’t something I’ve always paid attention to, but I’m beginning to be alarmed by all the unnecessary additives and artificial ingredients in foods. When I have to purchase snacks and other foods, I’d prefer that they be made of the ingredients I’d use if I were making them myself.

No doubt, I could probably make the KIND bars and granola myself. But I don’t. And sometimes, I find myself out and about and in need of a snack and I’m happy to have a healthy option. Not just for me, but for my daughter, also. Recently, KIND has expanded their product line and added some awesome flavors, too. They sent me a package of bars and clusters to try out and I have loved each and every one. I have to say that my favorites are the Cashew and Ginger Spice, Madagascar Vanilla Almond, and the Almond and Coconut. I’ve sprinkled the Cinnamon Oat Clusters on Mini Eats’s cereal to make it a healthier meal and she loves it. She really loves the flax seeds!

Along with new flavors of bars and clusters, KIND also has a new product line called Strong & Kind, which is geared more toward the power protein bar eaters with flavors like roasted jalapeno and Thai sweet chili. All KIND Healthy Snacks are made from whole nuts, fruits, and whole grains and other all-natural ingredients and flavors. They’re a delicious way of getting your body essential nutrients like fiber, protein and antioxidants when you’re on the go. You can find them in most groceries, but for the best selection, see their online store.

sturI also recently received a product called Stur. It’s a  flavored liquid water enhancer. When I first heard from the Stur team, I didn’t think much about it other than, yeah, I’d love to try something that will make Nashville’s water taste better. I’m originally from Memphis—which has artesian well water that is amazingly good—so I struggle to drink as much as I should here of what we call “Cumberland Punch” (so named for the river, which is our water source).

Stur was developed by a man who wanted to help encourage his pregnant wife to drink more water. But the other flavor enhancers were full of ingredients that concerned him. On a recent trip to Target, I checked them out myself (Mio, Vitamin Water, Dasani, Crystal Light and even Kool-Aid and the tea makers have gotten in on this trend). Though many of the unpronounceable words are vitamin supplements, I saw a lot of dyes, preservatives, and artificial sweeteners as well as propylene glycol. No wonder he didn’t want to give those to his pregnant wife! Stur uses stevia extract (an all-natural, plant-derived, zero-calorie sweetener) and natural vegetable dyes for color. There are no preservatives or caffeine and only vitamin C from citric acid is added. Even better—one little squirt makes a 16 ounce glass of water taste great!

So far, I’ve only tried the fruit punch flavor, but I plan to buy more. I’m really excited about orange mango, tea + lemon, and mint cucumber. I also like that this is a good way for me to get more water into Mini Eats without more sugar. I love the carrot juice blend I buy for her from Trader Joe’s, but this is a great option for later in the evening and certainly for when we’re out and about. Stur is easy to carry along in a purse or pocket. I haven’t yet seen Stur in stores, but you can buy it online as well through amazon.com.

Posted in Product Reviews | 11 Comments