The Farm Fresh Direct Blog is dedicated to sharing news from the field, great potato information, ideas about food, farming in America and any other interesting dirt we dig up. We aim to be seriously addictive.
Did Father’s Day sneak up on you? It’s coming up this Sunday, June 16th, and what better way to celebrate dad than with a delicious, hearty Father’s Day meal?
We love papas around here, and we don’t just mean dads. Papas is Spanish for potatoes, so bust out those tasty spuds and get ready to put together a mouth-watering Father’s Day feast! Cooking for dad can be a little bit tricky, but we’ve got you covered with a fancy spin on some down-home fare that’s perfect for papa.
Dad’s usually the one manning the grill, so for Father’s Day why not give him a break and show off your own grillin’ skills? If you’re new to the grill, don’t worry. Just one of the dishes below is grilled. The rest you can prep in advance, so you can spend time with dad, not in the kitchen.
Instead of a full-on, sit-down situation, we’ve picked out a menu that dad can eat with his hands, so he can munch on good food while doing what dads do best: playing with his kids. We’ve even picked out some beer pairings for you that will knock dad’s socks off!
Father’s Day Starters
Festive Papas Tapas: Think of this as potato bruschetta. Instead of slices of bread, pile your ingredients onto thin slices of potato for a gluten-free treat. And since potatoes don’t get soggy like bread slices do, you can make these a day in advance and just pull ‘em out of the fridge for an instant appetizer.
Baked Jalapenos Poppers: Jalapeno poppers are normally deep fried, and dad will devour this oven-baked version without ever missing all of that extra grease! Prep and stuff these a day or two ahead of time, so all you have to do on Father’s Day is pop ‘em in the oven.
Beer Pairing: Start things off light with a wheat beer, like Hefeweizen.
Father’s Day Main Course
Sliders: Instead of full-sized burgers, pile up a heap of miniature sliders that dad can munch with one hand. You can make the patties and prep the cheese, veggies, and buns on Saturday, so all you have to do is grill those burgers and assemble on Father’s Day.
Sweet Potato Oven Fries: Nothing goes with a burger like some fries. Just like the stuffed jalapenos, you make these fries in the oven. You can blanch and season your potatoes a day ahead, so all that’s left is baking. Pro tip: the jalapenos bake at 325F and the fries say to cook at 400F, but you can make the fries at a lower temperature, just cook them longer – check on them every few minutes until they look done. Your fries are ready when they’re a little bit browned on the edges.
Beer Pairing: Burgers and beer are the perfect match. Try a slightly bitter India pale ale (IPA) like Sierra Nevada.
Father’s Day Dessert
Potato Cake – Potato in cake might not sound too hot, but a little mashed potato makes this cake nice and moist with less fat!
Beer Pairing: Round things off with a smooth stout like Guinness, which is always a reliable choice with its creamy head and deep flavor.
To the new dads, the long-time dads, and the dads-to-be, all of us here at Farm Fresh Direct wish you a happy Father’s Day!
Did you know that June is National Fruits and Vegetables Month? Get in on the healthy eating action with some vegetarian potato recipes.
Yep! You read that right: potatoes are vegetables.
Potatoes and Your Health
Studies show that you can include potatoes as part of a healthy weight loss program. In fact, a medium-sized potato clocks in at just 110 calories. They’re also 100 percent fat free and naturally free of sodium. And with 2 grams of fiber, that potato has 8 percent of your daily value. Fiber makes you feel full longer, which may help with weight loss.
That same potato is also chock full of vitamins and nutrients that are good for your body. Just one medium, skin-on potato contains 45 percent of your daily dose of vitamin C and more potassium than any other vegetable or fruit – even bananas.
Vegetarian Potato Recipes
You might think that a vegetarian meal will leave you hungry, but a healthy dose of potatoes makes any dish filling and satisfying. Studies show that potatoes fill you up and keep you full better than other side dishes like pasta or bread.
Need some potato recipes to kick off National Fruits and Vegetables Month? Check out some of these vegetarian potato recipes to help you get your veggies on at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Start your day off right with some healthy potatoes. You can make ‘em the whole meal with a pie or a hash or serve ‘em up on the side with some eggs for a quick, healthy weekday breakfast.
Quick and Easy Home Fries – Home fries come together in a flash on busy mornings.
Fennel and Potato Hash – Top this hash with a fried egg, and you are in business.
Mediterranean Vegetable and Cheese Pie – The secret to this quick and easy breakfast pie? A potato crust!
Potatoes cook up so fast and easy, they’re perfect for a vegetarian lunch.
Lightened Up Loaded Baked Potato Soup – Soup and a salad is the picture of a healthy lunch. Just skip the bacon in this soup recipe to make it a vegetarian meal.
Potato and Kale Cakes – This recipe says to cook the potatoes in boiling water, but you can cut the cooking time by 20 minutes if you make ‘em in the microwave instead.
Quick & Healthy Chili Lime Potato Tacos – Use two cans of black beans instead of chicken to make these healthy tacos vegetarian.
Whether potatoes are the main event or a side dish, they’re a healthy, easy way to add some extra veggies to your supper.
Fingerling Jubileez Salad – This quick filling salad can be a meal on its own or a side dish.
Bombay Potato Curry – Curried potatoes don’t have to be a side with chicken or fish. You can dish up big, spicy bowlfuls of this dish all on its own.
Cheese and Trees Potato Soup – Broccoli cheese soup gets a lighter touch with potatoes to thicken it instead of cream.
We’ve got more healthy potato goodness coming up for National Fruits and Vegetable Month, so stay tuned!
Image Credit: Remixed Creative Commons photo by Ari Moore
Memorial Day is this weekend, and here at Farm Fresh Direct our hearts go out to all of the men and women defending our great nation.
This holiday is about honor and reflection, and we think it’s also about doing things that are ingrained in our culture. After all, isn’t our culture part of what makes this country of ours worth fighting for? This weekend, let’s gather close friends and family together to celebrate with a day of togetherness, and what’s more all-American than throwing some food onto the grill?
Whether you grill ‘em, bake ‘em, or microwave ‘em, potatoes are a staple at any all-American cookout. We’ve pulled together some tasty, healthy, and patriotic potato dishes to help you celebrate Memorial Day right! Here’s how you can use potatoes to salute the ol’ red, white, and blue:
Serve up a helping of tasty grilled potato dippers with plenty of red pepper basil dipping sauce. They pair up with any grilled meats or veggies to make a healthy meal!
Bake a batch of Buffalo chicken potato skins, and top them with plenty of fresh, bright red chopped tomato.
Instead of a blend of cheese, use queso blanco or pepper jack to make these tasty baked potato nachos! Nachos might not scream U-S-A, but we bet that your guests’s mouths will be too full of nacho goodness to complain.
Want to keep it simple? No one can pass up a mess of microwave-roasted white potatoes. Nobody has to know how quick they were to whip up.
All right, we admit it — nature doesn’t cook up a lot of blue food, but a batch of purple potatoes are close enough in our book! Try out a purple potato salad as the blue side dish for your cookout. The recipe says to steam the potatoes, but you can also cook them up in the microwave for an even quicker dish.
Are mashed potatoes more your thing? These garlic mashed purple potatoes are just the dish to finish off your Memorial Day meal!
From the whole Farm Fresh Direct family, we hope you have a happy Memorial Day!
Spring took its sweet time in a lot of the U.S. this year, didn’t it? It was a long, cold winter, but the sun is finally starting to peek through, and warmer days are upon us!
Warm weather means trading winter coats for shorts and t-shirts, swapping boots for sandals, and before too long we’ll be going to pool parties and planning summer beach vacations! After a long winter of hiding under bulky sweaters and heavy coats, you might not be bikini-ready, and now’s the time to start eating healthier to help your body bounce back!
When you’re trying to maintain a healthy weight, it’s really calories that count.
Choosing healthy foods like potatoes and sweet potatoes can help you feel full without breaking your calorie budget.
Did you know that a medium-sized potato has only 110 calories, and a medium sweet potato boasts a slim 103 calories? And a sweet potato has four grams of fiber, which is great for anyone trying to trim down without feeling deprived. Also, fiber helps your body feel fuller longer with fewer calories.
Potatoes and sweet potatoes are also fat- and cholesterol-free foods.
Ready to dive into some potato dishes before it’s time to jump into that swimming pool? We’ve got a few light, healthy potato recipes to help you meet your fitness goals….deliciously!
Blend up some fresh veggies with low-fat milk and cheese for a tasty spring soup! You can serve this on its own or with some whole grain bread for dipping for a satisfying, healthy meal. One bowl has just 159 calories!
Instead of cheddar and sour cream, try a different spin on the loaded baked potato, and top it with fresh veggies instead. A little bit of zesty feta cheese finishes off this quick, 211 calorie dish that won’t let your tastebuds down!
Sweet potato pairs beautifully with spicy curry seasonings in this light, one-dish meal that’s less than 200 calories per serving. Spoon it over brown rice for a little extra fiber to keep you feeling full.
Image Source: MyRecipes.com
You can make this zesty dish even lighter by toasting your quesadillas in the oven or melting the cheese in the microwave instead of pan-frying. At just 391 calories per serving, though, you’re eating healthy any way you slice it!
Who doesn’t love taco night? Chicken and potatoes pair up with fresh vegetables and a zesty sauce for a supper that clocks in at just 220 calories per two taco serving. Best of all, you can mix it up with the many variations and make tacos just the way you like.
6. Sweet Potato Latkes
A sweet take on this traditional dish, these sweet potato pancakes clock in at only 73 calories each. The secret? Instead of pan frying, you bake these up in the oven.
Spice up that traditional potato salad with plenty of fresh veggies to add vitamins and fiber without adding too many calories. The secret to this lightened up potato salad? We use Greek yogurt instead of fat-laden mayo.
Mother’s Day is this Sunday! Are you having trouble coming up with a recipe that’s just right for your mom? We’ve got you covered!
Moms come in as many flavors as our potatoes do colors, and it can be tough coming up with recipe ideas for a momma with discerning taste. Whether your mom is a total foodie, prefers comfort food, or falls somewhere in between, we have recipe suggestions for you!
We also want your Mother’s Day brunch to be about hanging with mom, not about standing over the stove, so we’ve picked out recipes that you can prep in advance, so you’ll spend minimal time in the kitchen on Sunday.
1. Foodie Momma
Does your mom love cooking shows, subscribe to Gourmet magazine, and like recipes that involve creme fraiche? Impress her palate with something fancy, like this Potato and Boursin Fritata. You can make the potato mixture in advance, so on the day-of, you’ll just spread it into the skillet, pour on the eggs and cheese, and bake. No stove time required!
2. Healthy Momma
If your mom is trying to eat light, you can still treat her right! Toss together a bed of field greens and top them with our Light and Lively Fingerling Potato Salad. A light vinaigrette replaces the heavy mayo that’s in most potato salad recipes, and the potatoes are filling without adding too many calories! This salad keeps beautifully in the fridge; you can prepare it up to two days in advance.
3. Vegetarian Momma
More and more folks are going meatless, and if you’re not used to cooking a vegetarian meal, it might be tough coming up with something tasty for Mother’s Day that your mom can eat. Make an Asian-themed meal centered around some delicious Japanese potato croquettes! You can make the croquettes the day before and just pop them into the oven on Mother’s Day.
4. Meat and Potatoes Momma
Cooking for a mom who likes more hearty fare, but want to add a bit of flair? She will love our Beef and Potato Tamale Casserole. You can assemble the casserole a day ahead, then just cook it up in the microwave when it’s almost brunch time. This is a super quick recipe that takes just 20 minutes in the microwave!
5. Traditional Momma
If your mom likes to keep it simple, surprise her with a good ol’ Chicken and Potato Pot Pie! Get all of the chopping done the day before, and this recipe will come together in less than half an hour on Sunday.
Are you planning a Cinco de Mayo shindig? Potatoes are a big part of Mexican cuisine, and they pair beautifully with traditional Mexican spices. We’ve rounded up some our favorite festive recipes to help you celebrate right!
The fifth of May is the anniversary of the Mexican army defeating the French in 1862, and it’s actually not a big holiday in Mexico. Here in the U.S., though, we love to celebrate with Mexican-themed fare, and of course plenty of frosty margaritas.
But sometimes we can overdo it on Cinco de Mayo, so balance out those margaritas with a good-for-you spread of healthy potato recipes! Check out our healthy Cinco de Mayo menu, along with a bonus recipe for our tangy (totally not healthy) margarita!
Kick things off with some tasty crowd-pleasing starters! If you’re not doing a sit-down shindig, you can just serve these appetizers as finger foods, so your guests will have something festive and healthy to munch on between cocktails.
- Baked Potato Nachos – Serve up our healthier twist on conventional nachos.
- Fiesta Potato Smashers – This colorful potato dish features plenty of healthy sweet peppers.
- Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Chipotle Ranch Dressing – OK, so fries aren’t traditional Mexican fare, but dip them in some chipotle ranch dressing, and you are in business!
The Main Event
Cinco de Mayo is on a Sunday this year, which means you can celebrate with a yummy brunch. We’ve got a few main course options for you, so whether you go brunchy or for more standard fare, we’ve got you covered!
- Mexican Potato Omelet – If a Mexican-themed brunch is what you’re after, this recipe is it.
- Quick & Healthy Chili Lime Potato Tacos – You can serve these healthy tacos up for a sit-down meal or set them out as finger food.
- Potato and Black Bean Burritos – If burritos are more your speed, check out this recipe that combines white and sweet potatoes for a healthy, satisfying main dish.
Cinco de Mayo Margarita
Margaritas are not what we’d call health food, but it’s a holiday, so indulge a little! We’ll never tell.
Makes: 8 margaritas
- 12 ounces tequila
- 8 ounces of triple sec
- 1 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/3 cup simple syrup (optional)
Pour all of the ingredients into the blender, adding enough ice so the liquid is just covering it. Blend until smooth, and serve immediately.
Image Credit: Remixed Creative Commons photo by Lee Edwin Coursey
Have you been trying to eat a little bit healthier this spring? After a winter of eating rich, heavy meals and snacks it makes sense that folks might want to health things up a bit in the food department. You might think that potatoes don’t have a place in a healthy eating plan, but that couldn’t be more wrong!
An average sized potato has only a lean 110 calories, contains almost half of your daily vitamin C requirements, and a skin-on potato has more potassium than a banana. Not too shabby for one humble little tuber, if we do say so ourselves!
Eat the Rainbow
When nutritionists talk about common-sense eating rules, one concept that we see stressed over and over is to have a rainbow of food on your plate. Those colors in different vegetables – including different potato varieties – often represent different vitamin and mineral content, so having an array of colors on your plate usually means that you’re eating a healthy, well-rounded meal.
Add a splash of red to your next meal with some Bombay Potato Curry. Red potatoes pair up with nutritious tomatoes to deliver a vitamin A punch along with plenty of vitamin C and potassium.
Sweet potatoes and other orange vegetables are good sources of fiber and vitamins A and B. You can bake a sweet potato as a side to a meal, but you can also make it the star of the show! Fancy up your next baked sweet potato with our recipe for Sweet Potato Topped with Chicken Apple Sausage and Apples!
The Mediterranean Diet has been getting a lot of buzz on the health front lately. According to a recent Spanish study, a Mediterranean diet rich in healthy fats like olive oil can dramatically improve heart health. Add some delicious, sunny yellow and healthy olive oil to your plate with a Mediterranean Sun Kissed Savory Salad!
Spruce up your plate with a dash of iron and plenty of fiber and niacin with leafy greens! Our Spinach and Artichoke Two Potato Casserole packs that leafy green goodness into a tasty side dish. Even the kids will want to eat their greens!
Wait, what about blue? There aren’t many naturally blue foods, and most of them don’t pair so well with potatoes, so our little rainbow goes right from green to purple. Get your blue on during dessert with a yummy bowl of fresh blueberries and cream!
Purple potatoes might look a little bit different, but they have a nice, mellow potato taste that’s very similar to any other more conventional potato. Never cooked a purple potato before? We’ve got you covered with this Purple Potato Salad with Beets and Arugula!
Who says that eating healthy can’t also be delicious? Do you have a favorite healthy potato recipe? Tell us about it in the comments!
April Fool’s Day is here again, so we figured there’s no better time to pull back the truth on the top five potato myths that have countless people fooled—maybe even you.
After all, there’s plenty of chatter going on about how these tasty spuds aren’t all they’re cut out to be, but we bet you’ll be surprised how much of it is certifiably F.A.L.S.E.
Okay, let’s dig right in to our first slice of potato fiction, shall we?
Myth #1: Potatoes are high in carbs, which means they’ll make you gain weight.
First of all, carbohydrates have an unfairly bum rap. In reality, we all need carbohydrates to live. They’re the primary fuel that our muscles burn to keep us active, and they’re the ONLY source of energy utilized by our brains. And despite what advertisements or fad diets claim, carbohydrates can’t be blamed for extra inches to your waistline.
Fact is, clinical studies show there is no association between potato consumption and obesity.1 These aren’t some fat-laden, processed food. They are a nutrient rich vegetable that—yes—has carbohydrates, but that doesn’t mean they’ll up the number on your bathroom scale. Potatoes can actually be a fantastic addition to any weight management program as they’re highly satisfying and jam-packed with nutrients and filling fiber. Now there’s some food for thought.
Myth #2: Potatoes have a high glycemic index (GI).
This one’s easy because the numbers don’t lie. The GI of potatoes is highly variable, so this whole “Potatoes always have a high GI, so I’m steering clear” thing is totally unreasonable. The glycemic index is not a set property of a food but rather depends on a variety of different factors, including processing and preparation; variety, origin and maturity; and the addition of other macronutrients (protein, fat and fiber). For example, the GI for potato varieties range from a low of 56 for a boiled Pontiac potato grown in Australia to a high of 111 for a baked U.S. Russet Burbank.2 Myth disproven? Yeah, we thought so too.
Myth #3: All of potatoes’ nutrients are found in the skin.
Wrong again. There are countless potato lovers who insist that peeling a potato reduces the nutritional value to next-to-nothing. But the truth is, the only nutrient that’s significantly lost when you peel a potato is fiber (you’ll go from about 2g to 1g after peeling). The good news is that the majority of a potato’s valuable potassium and vitamin C are found in the flesh.
Myth #4: Sweet potatoes are healthier than white ones.
For this particular myth, it all comes down to prep and perception. First off, white potatoes are commonly consumed in a highly processed form, like French fries for instance, while sweet potatoes tend to be enjoyed in a more natural state. Of course this discrepancy makes a difference to the nutrition value of a dish, but we can’t credit that to the potatoes themselves, but rather the preparation method and added ingredients.
What’s more, there is very comparable nutrition between sweet and white potatoes, but it’s just focused on different things. For instance, where sweet potatoes have more fiber and vitamin A, white potatoes have more iron and magnesium. So it’s really more of a tradeoff than a competition.
Myth #5: Potatoes are just empty calories.
We’re going to keep this one short simply because this idea is just downright ridiculous. Yes, potatoes are starchy, but that doesn’t mean they have nothing more to offer than calories. The average unpeeled spud is actually incredibly nutrient dense with 3g of protein, 620mg of potassium, 2 g of fiber, 45% DV of vitamin C, 10% DV of vitamin B6, plus ZERO sodium, ZERO fat and only 110 calories. Case closed.
So, we hope that helps clear up some of the untruths surrounding spuds these days. Next time someone brings up one of these potato myths, you can tell them they’re full of sprouts! Happy April Fool’s Day!
1 Center for Disease Control, Economic Research Service, USDA, Vegetables and Specialties Situation and Outlook Yearbook, 2008; CDC 2008
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by wenday
St. Patrick’s Day is Sunday! Celebrate with 7 delicious traditional Irish potato recipes. There’s something for everyone, from pancakes to soups and even potato candy!
As always, though many of these recipes call for steaming, baking or boiling, you can always use Express Bake PotatOHs as a shortcut and reduce cooking time, because they’re ready in just 4-7 minutes in the microwave. Enjoy!
Traditional Irish potato pancakes are also called Boxty, and date back to the days of the potato famine. Families would make them to stretch potatoes for as many meals as possible. Today, Irish potato pancakes are a popular dish, even in restaurants. Our recipe adds flavor with cheddar cheese and an extra kick to with the addition of hot sauce and a touch of cayenne pepper.
This recipe puts a spin on traditional Irish Colcannon, which is a mixture of warm mashed potatoes and cabbage, and turns it into a hearty chowder. You can add smoked chicken or turkey sausage for extra flavor, or keep it vegetarian with cabbage, onion, carrots and of course, potatoes.
A common dish found at any St. Patrick’s Day celebration, corned beef and cabbage is part of Irish-American culture loved by all. It became popular in the United States after Irish immigrants began substituting corned beef for instead of pork. This recipe takes a while to cook, but we assure you it will be well worth the wait.
Image Source: All Recipes
This recipe combines the delicious flavors of three favorite foods: apples, potatoes and bacon! The added flavors of vinegar, butter and sugar and nutmeg give this adventurous side dish a taste that’s a little sweet and completely just right.
Image Source: Taste of Home
The word farl originates from the Gaelic word fardel, which means “four parts.” Though this recipe calls for cooking fresh potatoes, these potato griddle breads can be made with leftover mashed potatoes too. You can serve it hot with a little butter and salt, or fry them alongside soda bread.
Image Source: All Recipes
Beginning in the 18th century, potatoes began appearing in Irish soups to make them heartier meals. Potato soup has persisted over the centuries and today it remains a popular dish, especially to warm up with on cold days in fall and winter. With cheddar cheese, cooked bacon and chives, this recipe is sure to please your palate.
Image Source: My Recipes
These are a bit of a misnomer. “Irish potato candy” isn’t really Irish — they originated in Philadelphia! Also, they’re not actually made with potatoes, but cream cheese and coconut! But because they are cute, delicious and look like little potatoes, we love them anyway, and we know you will, too.
Image Source: All Recipes
Potatoes are delicious, but waiting for them to cook in the oven is the pits. Luckily, we have a solution: PotatOHs!
Nothing says comfort food like a steamy baked potato, but sometimes you don’t have time to bake up fresh spuds in the oven. Whether you’re baking or roasting, it can take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to make your potatoes in a conventional oven, and that doesn’t even include the time it takes to preheat!
That’s fine for a special occasion, but on a busy weeknight, chances are you need to get supper on the table a little bit faster than that. Or a lot faster.
Cooking your potatoes in the microwave saves a ton of time, but have you noticed how when you cook regular potatoes in the microwave, the skin gets shriveled, and sometimes you end up with those not-so-appetizing hard spots?
That’s because microwaving food without the right packaging causes it to lose moisture. When you toss a typical naked potato in the microwave, you’re losing all of the natural moisture that keeps it tasting fresh. Also, more delicate potatoes like fingerlings don’t fare well in the microwave at all. They tend to just shrivel up into terrible little rocks. Not exactly the steamy, satisfying dish you were going for!
This is where the PotatOH comes in!
With PotatOHs, you can get a nutrition-packed meal on the table in 4-7 minutes instead of almost an hour, and that means less time in the kitchen and more time with your family. But what makes PotatOHs any different from other spuds? The secret is in the packaging.
We wrap every PotatOH in our special, BPA-free and recyclable SavorSeal™ wrap, designed to work with your microwave to lock in moisture and steam up every PotatOH so it’s just right.
That SavorSeal™ means no more hard spots or unappetizing, wrinkled skins! Whether you choose a tray of Fingerlings, our miniature Ruby or Gold Jubileez, or a good ‘ol russet or sweet potato, we tell you right on the package how to cook ‘em up so they’re just right, and the SavorSeal™ makes sure that they come out as perfectly as any oven-baked potato. No waiting, no guesswork. Just perfect, delicious potatoes.
Once they’re steamed, your PotatOH is ready to serve! You can load ‘em up with your favorite toppings – like cheese, salsa, or sour cream – and mash ‘em, or get a little fancy. One of our favorite weeknight PotatOH dishes is this simple salad starring our Fingerling Jubileez. You can serve it up as a side dish, or make it a meal all on its own!
Fingerling Jubileez Salad
Yield: 4 appetizers or 2 meal-sized servings; Prep time: around 6 minutes
- 1 tray PotatOH Fingerling Jubileez
- 4 cups fresh lettuce, chopped
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup of your favorite salad dressing
- Toss the PotatOHs in the microwave, and cook ‘em up according to the package directions.
- While the PotatOHs cook, toss the veggies in a serving bowl. When they’re ready, add the PotatOHs, toss with the dressing, and serve!
What recipes have you created with PotatOHs? Let us know in the comments!