Big Game Grub: 4 Easy Recipes for Super Bowl Party Appetizers

It’s been a long season with many surprises and great moments. Here in Colorado, we said goodbye to Tim Tebow and welcomed Peyton Manning to the Denver Broncos, and boy did he impress in his first season, taking us all the way to the playoffs and making us dream of the Super Bowl! Too bad those pesky Baltimore Ravens just had to get in the way.

Anyway, Super Bowl XLVII is just 4 days away, and if you’re throwing a party and inviting friends over, that means it’s time to start planning ideas for appetizers and snacks for Game Day. Just like last year, you can always count on us to share recipes recipes for the Big Game that are full of flavor and easy to make. Whether you go with finger food, tacos, a casserole or good ol’ mashed taters, these 4 recipes are sure to score a touchdown with your guests. Enjoy!

Potato Dippers with Sauces

Grilled Potato Dippers with a Trio of Sauces

These ain’t any regular old potato wedges. What truly makes these special are three dipping sauces packed with so much flavor, taking just one bite is like being sacked with deliciousness. All three sauces: red pepper basil, caramelized onion and chive, and avocado cilantro use fat-free Greek yogurt and can be chilled in the fridge for up to 24 hours before the game.

Potato Tacos

Chili Lime Potato Tacos

These chili lime potato tacos will be a big hit with all of your guests! You can make them with chicken and salsa verde, turkey and red chili, keep them vegetarian with soy chorizo and veggies, or even make them gluten free! The chili and lime flavors taste truly authentic and with all four recipes at less than 250 calories and 7 grams of fat per serving, you won’t blitz your guests with calories.

Beef and Potato Tamale Casserole

Beef and Potato Tamale Casserole

This is a fun Mexican-style recipe that’s easy to make and a proven crowd pleaser. It’s also a time-saver, since you can make it in your microwave. Along with tomatoes, potatoes, beef and cheese, you can use corn tortillas or flavored corn chips. Best of all, just like with a taco, you can add your favorite toppings like hot sauce, guacamole, sour cream or plain yogurt, green onion or salsa.

Chipotle Mashed Potatoes

Chipotle Mashed Potatoes

You’ve never seen mashed potatoes quite like these. With so many flavors including monterey jack cheese, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and fresh cilantro, you’ll never look at mashed potatoes the same way after taking your first bite. For guests that have love mashed potatoes but think they’ve seen it all, this will be a welcome spicy surprise.
 
Are you making other potato appetizers and snacks for the Big Game? Let us know in the comments!

 

Healthy Holiday Potato Recipes

Holiday Potatoes

The feasting season is upon us. And we are so glad, because there is lots of delicious food to look forward to.

However, it also means a lot more temptation on the eating front (the parties, the fantastic meals, the toasts, the sweets, the eggnog), and for many of us, less time in December to take care of ourselves (eat well, workout, relax and rest).

Overeating is part of December, period. But you can counter balance that, easy peasy. Here are 3 easy recipes and a snack tip for keeping your potato cooking light, but delicious and healthy this holiday season.

PotatOHs: the Perfect Antidote to Overindulgence

Pop a PotatOH into the microwave at work for a fast, healthy lunch. Or stop off at home on a busy Saturday to power up for hours more of shopping fun. In less than three minutes, you’ll have a healthy, satisfying meal that will help keep your hunger at bay. Just keep the toppings trim. Go for veggie chili, low-fat yogurt or a dash of olive oil (a healthy fat) and some salt and pepper.

Bonus tip: to keep the naughty noshing to a minimum, try a PotatOH with salsa as a pre-soiree snack. If you don’t go to the party starving, you’ll be less likely to eat the whole dang cheese platter.

Holiday Recipes

Lightened Potato Latkes
Potato Latkes

An important part of Jewish holidays, latkes are cooked in oil to remind folks of the oil that gave light in the temple for eight days.

Try this lightened up Latkes recipe that lets you enjoy tradition and taste without without extra calories. You can use any potato you like, but for crispiest results, use the starchiest (Russets.) Enjoy.

 

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

This buttermilk mashed potatoes recipe is a family favorite at our house. The garlic cloves make it super special, because they give the potato puree extra body and lots of flavor. We also like to add some chopped chives to the top because it looks great and adds even more taste.

 

Au Gratin Potatoes
Au Gratin

Richly cheesy sauce coats perfectly cooked potatoes in this classic holiday casserole we dream of all year long. Our go-to recipe for Au Gratin potatoes is healthy and omits butter, keeps the milk and low fat, and backs off a bit on the cheese. You won’t miss it.

 

What are your favorite holiday potato recipes? Let us know in the comments!

Thanksgiving With Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes

Browned Butter Smashed Potatoes with Butternut Squash

 

Although it wasn’t a national holiday until 1863, Thanksgiving has been happening for nearly 400 years.

You probably still remember what you learned in grade school about that first celebration: it was held in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. A three-day party (feast plus games) to celebrate the fall harvest, it was enjoyed by about 50 Pilgrims and 90 or so members of the Wampanoag tribe.

What was on the menu? They probably ate venison, maybe some turkey, for sure some other birds. We know there was seafood, corn and pumpkins. But probably no pies or sweets—sugar was scarce. And no potatoes.

What!?

Around here, it’s not Thanksgiving without at least a 1/2 pound of mashed potatoes for every man, woman and child. Maybe, just maybe, you could get by with 1/3 of a pound, if you had some sweet potatoes—which we always do—and lots of other sides. But then again, mashed potatoes and turkey gravy are about the most delicious combination in the whole world.

So no matter how many sides we make, we serve potatoes. And we like to keep some of the dishes classic, using the same tried and true recipe every year. But we also do a little experimenting, too. Last year we had fried Brussels sprout leaves and they were awesome! This year, we’re trying a new recipe for sweet potato casserole.

So below are two classic recipes for potatoes and sweet potatoes and two more experimental but equally delicious takes. Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your long weekend!

Classic Thanksgiving Mashed Potatoes

These are the mashed potatoes we all remember eating as a child. Classic, creamy and delicious, you can’t go wrong with this recipe. We make these at the last minute to be sure they’re hot. And before we bring them to the table, we like to sprinkle a little paprika on the top because it looks really pretty. Enjoy!

Brown Butter Smashed Potatoes with Butternut Squash

This is a great recipe to try if you’re not already making a side of squash. It’s kind of two sides in one. We love the beautiful color and awesome fall flavor of the squash and sage. Like everything else in the world, it tastes even better with a little gravy. Try it out!

Sweet Potatoes With Maple Syrup


This recipe roasts the sweet potatoes before mashing them, bringing out a wonderfully rich taste and smooth texture. Feel free to add more or less maple syrup. If you have it, grind your nutmeg with a rasp yourself. It makes a difference in the flavor. Dig in.

Spiced Sweet Potato Gratin

Completely delicious AND gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan, this recipe was originally posted by Alice Currah on her blog, Savory Sweet Life. The recipe is a little less sweet than traditional sweet potato casserole, adding in some savory and salty tones to replace it. Not only does it sound incredible, we think it looks beautiful, too. We’re going for it this year, for sure.

Potatoes and Pumpkins

Potatoes and Pumpkins

Suddenly, it’s that time again. Almost every house on our road has pumpkins out on display. On Sunday, we drove by a local farm where you can pick your own pumpkins, wander through a cornfield maze, take a hayride and enjoy a cup of hot apple cider. It was full of families in the fall spirit. Without a doubt, it’s high pumpkin season, which made us happy, and of course, hungry.

Not just another festive fall decoration, pumpkins make amazing eating. We like pumpkins as luscious creamy soups, incredible savory and sweet breads and, of course, holiday pies. Just like we like potatoes.

So it goes without saying that we like to pair potatoes, sweet potatoes and pumpkin in all kinds of recipes. Whether you’re going to improvise a bit with a potato recipe or look for something created specifically to bring together these complimentary flavors, we’re sure you’ll enjoy whatever your making. So go for it.

Super-Easy to Improvise: Quick and Healthy Potato and Pumpkin Soup 

This recipe for potato soup can easily be changed up by swapping out some of the potato for sweet potato and pumpkin. Because the vegetables cook in the stock, it’s fast and easy. You can play with the ratio of sweet potato and pumpkin. We have also served the corn variation here made with sweet potato with great success. You can try seasoning this with sage and rosemary, too, rather than thyme or Italian seasoning. Or, for a more developed flavor, you can roast the vegetables in the oven first, then add them to the broth. Yum.

Easy to Improvise: Mashed potatoes, with Pumpkin and Sweet Potato

We like to mix things up a bit. So a few years ago we began occasionally adding a sweet potato or two to our traditional mashed potatoes. Adding sweet potatoes broadens the nutritional value, and changes the flavor and texture in exciting ways.

Now that it’s fall, we also like to add a bit of pumpkin to the mix. It’s easy and really tasty. We either have pumpkin puree on hand because we made if for pie or soup, or we just roast the pumpkin and mash it with the potatoes.

If you need a recipe, you can follow almost any one for mashed potatoes. Even this recipe for healthy, quick mashed potatoes using PotatOHs works well, too.

Just substitute one sweet potato and one cup of pumpkin puree (or roasted pumpkin) for two of the regular potatoes. Cook the sweet potato exactly like your potatoes. Use canned pumpkin puree, make your own, or cut a pumpkin into about 8 pieces and roast skin side up for about 40 minutes at 400 degrees with a little water in the bottom of the roasting pan. Peel the pumpkin, than dice up a cup to add to your mashers. Yum!

Roasted Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Hash

We haven’t tried this recipe yet, but it’s on deck for the weekend. We’re thinking as a brunch dish, with a poached egg on top and a fresh green salad. We love the idea of sage, sweet potato, pumpkin and pancetta. What’s not to love? If you try it first, let us know how it goes.

3 Easy Gluten-Free Potato Recipes For Fall

Gluten Free Potato

If you haven’t gone gluten free, you may be alone.

Okay — that’s an exaggeration, but experts estimate that today, nearly 10 percent of the population has some form of gluten-intolerance. Add to that other anti-gluten diet trends and you’ve got a 16 percent increase in sales of gluten-free products in 2012. And a projected $7 billion dollar in sales this year.



Gluten intolerance seems to be on a sliding scale. If you have Celiac’s disease, you know you have it. But you may have gluten intolerance and not even know it. Many digestive problems, skin problems and other ailments are now being linked to gluten.

To which we say: potatoes!

Potatoes are naturally gluten-free, rather than a food that’s been processed to be gluten-free or taste good without gluten. They’re also fat-free, low in sodium, loaded with potassium and a good source of Vitamin C. 

Our website is full of gluten-free recipes that highlight potatoes. But in celebration of fall, here are three favorites:

Potato Pancakes Thumb

Bacon and Chive Potato Pancakes

Yes. This recipe does call for 2 tablespoons of flour. Even though we’re not gluten-free, we almost always substitute almond flour when we make this. We’ve also made them with PotatOHs, when we needed to shave a little time off the prep. In that case, go ahead and add a little more buttermilk. We love the extra spicy taste of more mature, fall arugula. We also serve these with applesauce, making a huge batch from our trees right about this time every year, so this recipe says fall to use like no other.

Beef and Potato Stroganoff Thumb

Beef and Potato Stroganoff

Stroganoff is a quintessential fall meal. Substituting potatoes for noodles in beef stroganoff adds more flavor and a nutritional boost. This recipe calls for cream of mushroom soup and Dijon mustard. Health Valley and Imagine Foods both make delicious, gluten-free cream of mushroom soup. If your grocery store doesn’t carry them, you can order online. Grey Poupon has always been gluten-free.

Meatloaf Stuffed Potato Thumb

Meatloaf-Stuffed Microwave Potato

We love any recipe that does away with bread in favor of a potato. It’s an easy solution to gluten-free living. While this recipe is for a meatloaf stuffed potato, you could also think of it as a meatloaf sandwich, in which you use a potato instead of bread. As always, check your ingredients carefully to make sure everything you’re using is gluten free.

What are some of your favorite gluten-free fall recipes? Let us know in the comments, or on our Facebook page!

 

Tailgating with Potatoes: Fall Football Party Snacks

Tailgating

Whether your team is pro, college or the local high school, if you’re a serious football fan and you’re going to the big game, you’ll probably spend a few pre- and post-game hours whooping it up in the parking lot. Yup. We’re talking tailgate parties.

Each year, between 20 and 50 million Americans pull up a lawn chair and join the fun. And that number is on the rise. But perhaps even more surprising: we recently learned that 30% of these serious fans never even take a seat in the stadium. They’re there for the camaraderie. And, of course, the amazing cooking. We know we never leave hungry.

As a salute to tailgaters everywhere, here are three great potato recipes to work into your rotation. Whether you’re a total rookie or the local all-star in the fender fare game, there’s something here for you, and many more great ideas in the recipe section of our website. Go Team!

Baked Potato Bar

If you plan to grill, smoke or otherwise prepare your main dish right outside the stadium, serving a make-ahead side dish can help ensure you actually have time to enjoy the party, too. A baked potato bar is great idea that puts the prep work ahead of game day.

Pre-game prep: plan out your toppings. Chili with sour cream, green onions, hot sauce, tomatoes, cheese. Go more upscale with caviar and crème fraiche (try that with new potatoes!). Or cheese, broccoli and bacon.  The idea is to let your guests customize their spud.

On the day of, either make a batch of PotatOHs right in the microwave and store them, wrapped in foil, in a small cooler (obviously, not with ice!).  Or, if you’re going to be grilling anyway, you can put foil wrapped potatoes over the coals, where they take about 30-45 minutes.

Buffalo Chicken Potato Skins

Another great pre-prep idea, buffalo chicken potato skins are a perfect blend of two game food favorites. Make this dish the day before, and put you potatoes into a disposable foil pan. Then, you can cook them before the game and pack them to go. Or, better yet, cook them on the grill in the pan. Bring extra buffalo sauce, blue cheese dressing, ranch dressing and celery sticks.

Cookout Potatoes

This recipe for grill top au gratins is also a prepare the day before, cook when you get there idea. This would be great with Italian sausage, flank steak or ham. It also transports very easily and you don’t have to worry about the ingredients spoiling in the car if there’s more game-day traffic than you imagined.

Fall Potluck Dinner Potato Recipes

Fall Potluck Dinner
Last Saturday was the first day of fall, so it makes sense that summer picnics are giving way to fall potlucks. We already have few invitations up on the fridge. And on Sunday afternoon, we went to a farm up the road, dish in hand, for the first potluck of the season.

One of the best parts of a potluck is getting to try lots of different things. Our neighbors are very good cooks and in addition to the classic comfort casseroles, there are often many inspired dishes to try. But we’re not just about eating other people’s stuff. We also love it when our recipe goes over well. It’s rewarding to bring home an empty platter or be asked to share the recipe!

So what makes a good potluck recipe? We think, as a general rule of thumb, that a good potluck dish should:

  • Be fast and easy to make, maybe even ahead of time
  • Be simple to take in the car
  • Require little or no fuss for your host at the part

Whatever you bring, make sure you think about how you’re going to get it there before you start cooking. Do you know what dish you’re going to cook it in? Do you have everything you need to transport it safely (hot pads, dish towels, stuff like that)? Bring the utensils you’ll need as well as any condiments, sauces or toppings. And lastly, put your name on the dish and write out what it is, how to reheat it and how to serve it. That will help your host.

Because we still have zucchini coming out of our ears, this time we made mashed potato veggie strata, but below are our three go-to recipes that are always sure to be crowd-pleasers.

Beef and Potato Tamale Casserole

Beef & Potato Tamale Casserole (Thumb)
This is a fun Mexican-style recipe that’s easy to make and a proven crowd pleaser. We usually make two of this, but we don’t double the recipe: we just assemble it in two separate dishes. We assemble the dish right before the party and then pop one into the microwave when we get there. Sometimes, we use flavored corn chips instead of corn tortillas. And we always bring a few garnishes like hot sauce, guacamole, sour cream or plain yogurt, diced onion or green onion, salsa; basically, anything you’d add to a taco would be great! Yum.

Potatoes Florentine


This dish is really easy to make and looks beautiful when served. Like with the casserole, we prepare this dish in advance, pop the potatoes into a baking pan and cook them at the party. They only take 20 minutes in the oven, so we don’t feel like we’re hogging it. Don’t forget to bring a pretty serving platter. If there are a lot of other dishes at the party, you may want to cut these in half or in thirds so people can save room on their plate to try lots of other things.

Warm Honey Mustard Potato Salad with Green Beans

Warm Potato Salad (Thumb)
This is a fast and easy dish, but people usually appreciate the mouthwatering colors and unique flavors. Another thing we like about it is that you don’t have to serve it warm. We almost like it better at room temperature, which makes it a great choice for a potluck! Sometimes we add bacon crumbles or diced ham. Sometimes we add a bit of fresh tarragon. So don’t feel afraid to experiment a bit.

 

Enjoy Fall Colors In Your Food With Harvest Time Potato Recipes

After a hot, dry summer and a wonderful growing season, this week finds us about half way through the potato harvest. Fall is here!

While the first “official” day of fall is Saturday, September 22, the nighttime temps around here have been down in the low 40s.

We’re wearing sweaters and jackets at night.

The aspen trees are just starting to turn vibrant gold.

Our high school football team is three games in to the season and still undefeated. Go Pirates!

And our taste buds have turned to the flavors of fall. We’re eating crisp apples. We’re thinking about stews. We can smell the Hatch chiles roasting at the farmers market.

So how could you not be craving scalloped potatoes? Or potato soup?

Here are a handful of great fall potato recipes that celebrate the taste of the season. Stay tuned for more to come, as fall has just kicked off!

Lemon Oregano Roasted Potatoes

An easy way to get potatoes on the table with great fall flavors is to roast them. They don’t take a lot of prep time, and should cook in less than 40 minutes. You can season them with about anything—including plain salt and pepper. But this recipe calls for lemon and oregano. It’s so nice next to a roast chicken—very Greek inspired. But again, would go well with just about any protein.

Sometimes, we make these with tarragon. Sometimes we make them with herbs de Provence. Sometimes, we just use salt and pepper.

Scalloped Potatoes with Chicken and Gravy

When you talk about all-time favorite potato dishes around here, especially with the folks who grow our spuds, scalloped or au gratin potatoes are always mentioned with a happy smile. The cooler temperatures make it ok to turn the oven on again and the hard work of harvest has us ready for heartier meals. So we’re planning on making this dish this week, for sure.

Our recipe calls for fingerlings, but you could use the classic Yukon gold or any other waxy potato. A delicious surprise here is the inclusion of chicken. We often make this dish when we have a leftover roast. We serve it as a side, next to ham or more chicken, but the flavors could go with pork chops or beef, too.  We think it would make great leftovers, but we’ve never been lucky enough to find out!

Cheese and Trees Potato Soup

Another great sign of fall is the return of soup to the dinner table. This recipe is a cheesy, creamy dream come true for kids. And it’s great for a fast weeknight meal, because it can be ready in less than 30 minutes. If you have chicken stock, skip the bullion and water. If you have fresh broccoli, you can use that instead of frozen. If you have leftover broccoli (is it just us?) you could use that instead, too. Sprinkle with a pinch of smoked paprika for a stunning presentation. Also, if you happened to pick up any of those roasted Hatch chiles, like we did, you could cut some up and slip them in.

Do you have any favorite fall potato recipes? Let us know in the comments!

Healthy Microwave Potato Meals Under $10

PotatOH on Dollar Bills
We all know that fresh foods are almost always healthier than packaged, processed or “fast” ones. In addition to having more nutrients, they generally have less sodium, fat, sugar and preservatives.

But what keeps us from serving fresh foods more often (or all the time!) is the idea that it takes too much time to prepare them, or that fresh foods are too expensive.

Well, pound-for-pound, potatoes are one of the best nutritional values you can find in the produce aisle. And with the help of your microwave they can be ready in less than 7 minutes, too!

So here are three recipes designed to help you save money at the supermarket, save time in the kitchen, and still eat happy, healthy meals. Here goes:

Turkey Potato Dinner Wraps

Wraps are awesome. We’re seeing more and more of them, at breakfast, lunch and dinner, too. But read the label on your tortilla. The “authentic” ones are sometimes made with lard and although they are endlessly delicious, you might be surprised at the number of calories they can add.

This recipe pairs ground turkey, a lean, fast cooking protein, with potatoes and some simple seasonings for a fast, healthy feast. We like to serve it with crunchy vegetables like carrots or celery in lieu of a more elaborate salad.

Using PotatOHs in here will help preserve nutrients and add flavor, too. Cook your PotatOHs according to the directions on the package, then pick up the recipe from there.

Turkey Taco Baked PotatOH

Here’s a dish that’s so simple, you don’t even need a recipe. Pick up a package of taco seasoning (choose a low sodium version if you can) and prepare it according to the directions, using ground turkey, a great lean protein.

While you’re browning the turkey, pop a PotatOH into the microwave. Top your tater with the taco-seasoned turkey and you’ll be eating a Mexican style baked potato in no time. Salsa, non-fat Greek yogurt, chopped green onions, hot sauce and low-fat cheddar cheese aren’t strictly necessary, but they can add a feast-like feeling to the fiesta on your plate.

Easy Microwave Potato Recipes for Kids: Back to School Snacks

Back to School Snacks

If your kids haven’t already, they’re probably headed back to school any minute now. So get ready to be even busier than you remembered!

But it’s not just you who’s in a big rush.

After school activities, sports and homework all take more time as kids progress into higher grade levels at school. Each new grade means more responsibility, more commitments and more riding on performance. Somewhere between school, sports, after school activities and oodles of homework, kids will need to stop and eat. Fast.

PotatOHs are the perfect snack for hungry kids

Kids (of all ages) need fast, healthy snacks that can fill them up, taste great and offer nutritional benefits, too.

Let’s talk PotatOHs:

  • They’re healthy and nutritious
  • Everyone — especially kids — love them
  • They’re fast, hot and satisfying
  • They’re easy to prepare
  • They’re safer for kids than using the stove
  • They’re versatile, so kids can enjoy them lots of ways

4 Kid-Friendly Microwave Potato Recipes

Here are four kid-friendly potato recipes that are easy to make, fun to eat, and make great after-school snacks. Depending on how old your children are, you may want to try these out with your kids first, or, you might just print the recipe and leave it on the kitchen counter under the package of PotatOHs with a little note: enjoy!

Quick & Healthy Microwave Baked PotatOHs

Baked PotatOHs can be topped with anything your child likes. Traditional toppings like bacon and sour cream or low-fat yogurt and chopped chives are obvious. But equally delicious are more creative solutions, like last night’s leftovers, a can of creamy soup or some of pizza sauce and a bit of grated cheese. This recipe offers 4 variations (classic baked potato with yogurt topping, broccoli and cheddar baked potatoes, baked pizza potatoes, and spinach Alfredo) Try them all and then make up some of your own.

Fingerling PotatOHs

Sometimes, the best snacks are the simple ones you can just eat with your hands. No spoon. No fork. No fuss! Fingerlings can be like that. We like to make a batch in the microwave, let them cool slightly and then eat them as is with a little salt and pepper on them. Sometimes, we dip them into ranch dressing; BBQ, Teriyaki and/or hoisin sauce. Ketchup and mustard are good, too. They’re great to snack on during homework and clean up is a snap.

Microwave Soup and Potatoes

Another good go-to, kid-friendly, afternoon snack or school night feast, Microwave Soup and PotatOHs are super easy to make. The potato helps make soup more filling while also adding an important nutritional boost. You can make this recipe with sweet potatoes, too. Add a salad or a side of steam in the bag green beans and you’ve got a complete dinner in under 20 minutes.

Microwave Au Gratin Potatoes

An all-time favorite in many families, this hearty casserole looks and tastes like a Sunday night special, but it’s ready in less than 20 minutes. So you’re good to go any night of the week. As perfect as these potatoes are beside a slice or two of pre-baked ham, they also go great with rotisserie chicken or polish sausage. Experiment with the cheese if you like — substitute pepper jack, cheddar or smoked Gouda for the Swiss. Yum!