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Healthy Potato Salad

Reduce the mayo, keep the delicious taste with this simple summer classic

Sweet Potato Salad

Pam Anderson's healthy potato salad calls for roasted sweet potatoes and multicolored fingerlings. — Threemanycooks.com

Hot dogs or hamburgers on the grill, barbecue chicken, pulled pork — none would be complete for me without potato salad. The downside to the summer side dish standard is that it's often bound with heaping spoonfuls of mayo and dotted generously with chopped eggs. It's not the worst thing you could eat, but I wanted to develop a potato salad that would have less fat and cholesterol.

Starting with the main ingredient: I considered switching to the beautiful ocher-hued sweet potato, often touted these days as a superfood. With its extremely high vitamin A count (one serving satisfies 400 percent of your daily requirement) sweet potatoes do score slightly higher than white potatoes. They also have more vitamin C, fewer calories, more fiber and, despite their sugar content, fewer total carbs. But the white potato is no slouch either. It offers more of certain essential minerals, including iron, magnesium and potassium.

So I decided to feature both kinds in my salad, using a slightly higher ratio of sweet to white. Not only does that cover more nutritional bases, the salad is also more attractive — especially when I include multicolored fingerlings with deep purples, muted yellows and earthy whites.

Roasting the potatoes in a hot oven until tender (but not browned) retains more of their nutritional value than boiling them in water, then dumping the cooking liquid.

No one in my family missed the boiled eggs in my new healthier version. Nor did they notice I had replaced much of the mayo with Greek yogurt, dramatically reducing fat, calories and cholesterol, while increasing protein.

At the end of the meal my daughter scooped the little bit of leftover potato salad into her dish. I took that as a big thumbs-up.

Mixed Potato Salad With Creamy Yogurt Dressing

Serves 6

If you can't find fingerling potatoes, just use a pound of small red boiling potatoes, Yukon Gold or Yellow Finnish potatoes.

  • 1-1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 medium), peeled and cut into medium dice
  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes (a mix of colors is nice)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup red onion, cut into small dice
  • 1/2 cup celery, cut into small dice
  • 1/4 cup peppadew or other sweet peppers, cut into small dice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss potatoes with oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Roast until they're just tender, but still hold their shape, about 18 minutes. Remove from heat, drizzle with vinegar and shake to coat; cool to room temperature.

Transfer potatoes to a large bowl and, without mixing, add onion, celery, peppers and parsley. Mix yogurt and mayonnaise in a small bowl. (Both salad and dressing can be covered and refrigerated overnight.) When ready to serve, add dressing to salad and toss to coat. Taste and adjust seasonings, including salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

AARP food expert Pam Anderson is a best-selling cookbook author and blogger at threemanycooks.com.

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