5 Healthy and Refreshing Cold Summer Soups

Vichyssoise Meal

These simple summer soups are as easy to make as they are delicious and healthy.

If you’ve never had a good, cold soup, the idea of slurping up chilled spoonfuls of broth might not sound too appealing, but cold soups can be a delicious addition to any light summer meal. During the steamy summer months when even the thought of eating anything hot can be just too much, a simple cold soup can even be a meal on its own with some crusty bread or a salad on the side.

It’s also still National Fruits and Vegetables Month, and cold soups are a delicious way to eat up the summer bounty of seasonal fruits and veggies.

You might wonder what potatoes have to do with cold summer soups. Potatoes actually make a creamy soup base that’s just as tasty chilled as it is hot. We’ve rounded up some crowd-pleassing summer soup recipes for you right here!

Watermelon Gazpacho Soup

1. Watermelon Gazpacho

This is a fruitier spin on the traditonal Spanish soup. It uses all fruits that are in season right now: tomatoes, watermelon, and cucumber. You can make this dish a day in advance, so if you’re planning a cookout or summer garden party it’s a great time-saver.

Image Source: Food and Wine
 
Vichyssoise Soup

2. Classic Vichyssoise

Vichyssoise might sound pretty hoity toity, but this French soup couldn’t be simpler. It’s simply a pureed soup made with lots of good stuff: potatoes, leeks, and (of course!) heavy cream. It is French, after all!

Image Source: Fine Cooking
 
Green Pea Vichyssoise Soup

3. Green Pea Vischyssoise

Seasonal green peas are a delicious addition to the French classic. The peas add a touch of sweetness and turn your soup a gorgeous green. Drizzle on some olive oil, and you are in business!

Image Source: epicurious
 
Chilled Carrot Soup

4. Chilled Carrot Soup

This bright orange soup is rich, creamy, and satisfying, and the toasted breadcrumbs give it just the right amount of crunch. Make it a meal with some Irish potato cakes with sour cream sauce on the side.

Image Source: Martha Stewart
 
Coconut Curry Soup

5. Curried Sweet Potato Soup

You can serve this hearty, spicy soup hot or cold. If you’re planning to chill it, we suggest following the tip at the bottom of the recipe to thin it out, since it will thicken as it chills.

Image Source: foodfanatic
 
Cold soup not your cup of tea? We’ve got plenty of heart-warming hot soup recipes in our archives. Check ’em out!

 
Creative Commons Vischyssoise photo via yoppy on Flickr
 

5 Spring Potato Recipes: Taste the Healthier Rainbow

Spring Potato Recipes

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.

1. Red

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.

2. Orange

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!

3. Yellow

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!

4. Green

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!

5. Purple

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!

Play With Your Food: Fun Holiday Potato Recipes for Kids

Winter break is just a few days away. Woot woot!

Funny how winter days are only shorter when the kids are at school. Seems like when you’re at home with them for two weeks straight, well, those days can get kind of long. Especially when kids don’t have enough to do!

You’re in luck, because we have the perfect solution.

In addition to planning ahead and looking into what sledding hills, scavenger hunts, crafts, games and other activities we don’t want to miss, we also look for ways to make the day-to-day stuff fun, too. Like eating potatoes!

Below are three recipes we love for the playfulness they bring to the table around the holiday season. Whether you surprise your kids when you serve their bowls or let them help out with the prep work, these recipes are sure to fill their tummies with holiday cheer.

Melted Snowman Soup

Melted Snowman Soup

This recipe offers unique flavors, as it calls for vermouth and a whole (!) head of garlic. We think it sounds delicious, but if you’ve got a house full of picky eaters don’t be afraid to go for a simpler-yet-delicious recipe, like our Quick & Healthy Potato Soup.
The main point is the garnish and the possibilities are endless. Mushroom buttons. Red pepper frowns. Bacon buttons. Yum!

Image Source: Cadry’s Kitchen

Potato Trees

This presentation manages to be both fun AND elegant. We would be as proud to serve these at a party as we are to our kids. If you’re not afraid of a little food coloring, you could add a few drops of green. You can also garnish your trees with little bits of finely diced pepper—green, yellow and/or red—sprinkled on to look like ornaments. Cute, right?

Image Source: The Kitchn

Snowman Stew

Snowman Party Stew

Soup always tastes great on a cold winter night. So we love this idea we found from Taste of Homes. Again, the recipe isn’t the most important thing, it’s the idea we love. Because this would be fantastic over your family’s favorite beef or vegetable stew. Anything thick enough to hold up to potatoes on top would do the trick. You can let the kids make the snowmen, or, just watch their surprise when you serve this. Enjoy!

Image Source: Taste of Home

Snowball Soup

Snowball Soup

Using cookie cutters on potatoes is really clever and we love that kids can play a huge role here, making the “snow balls” for the soup. When they make the dough, it’s just like rolling Play-Doh that they can eat! If you use peppercorns for the eyes, just remind your kids to take them out before they take a bite, or they’ll get more than just holiday spice!

Image Source: The Artful Veggie

 
Hope you have a very happy time at home with your family. Coming soon: more ideas that use potatoes to keep kids happy and busy over the break!

Have favorite crafty/fun/awesome-for-kids recipes of your own? Share them in the comments below!

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.

Quick and Healthy Potato Soup

Soup can be a big help to anyone on a healthy diet. One study showed that you are likely to eat fewer calories when served soup, but still feel satisfied. Could be that the high water content helps you feel fuller, faster. Could be that you eat slower, so as not to spill.

Making soup yourself can be fast and easy, and also lets you control the amount of sodium. Canned soups are often salt heavy, so that’s a big plus.

Here is a basic recipe for potato soup, plus several variations, all under $3.00/serving.
Use your microwave and PotatOHs to save time and boost the flavor. And keep the skin on! We like the rustic look and it adds nutritional value, too.

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.

 

Lunchtime? PotatOH Time!

The biggest problem with lunchtime is that it happens right in the middle of the day. When we’re usually pretty busy, and hungry. Right?! That’s why we want something fast, fuss-free, and filling enough to keep us out of the candy bowl. Well, PotatOHs are the perfect answer. They’re:

 

1) Fast and Easy

All you need is a microwave and in less than 7 minutes you’re tucking in to wholesome, healthy, hot lunch. Just pack some of this-and-that from your fridge (think broccoli, cheddar cheese, peppers, salsa, sour cream or non-fat yogurt, butter, asparagus, lemon, steak sauce, ham or turkey or anything else that sounds tempting). Top your cooked PotatOH treasure with whatever you’ve got and you’re good to go. 


 

2) Convenient and Cost-Effective

You can take a PotatOH anywhere. It doesn’t cost very much. It won’t spill. And it won’t spoil in a single day, either. So it’s not surprising we know some penny-smart people who stash PotatOHs at work, then pair them up or top them off with less expensive stuff from the to-go menu, like chili or clam chowder, a side salad or a baked chicken breast. The PotatOH helps fill you up healthfully and save some cash, too.

 

3) Healthy

Don’t forget, potatoes are always naturally cholesterol, fat, gluten and sodium-free. Whew! Also, with just 110 calories, they have 45% of your Daily Value of vitamin C, and lots of potassium and fiber. Just pay attention to what you pile on top!

 

Lunch Recipes

Try these recipes the next time you want a quick, easy and healthy lunch. All you need is a PotatOH, and a few simple ingredients. Enjoy!

Cheesy Broccoli Baked Potatoes

Cheesy Corn Potatoes

Microwave Soup and Potatoes

Quick & Healthy Microwave Baked Potatoes

Potatoes Topped With Creamed Chicken

 

3 Hearty Father’s Day Microwave Potato Recipes

Family making food

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and what better way to celebrate dear ol’ dad than with a delicious potato dish that’s sure to satisfy his appetite? If you’re looking to make this Sunday special for your dad or grandpa, and he’s tired of the usual steaks and burgers, look no more! We have three fun and hearty chicken, meat and sausage potato recipes that are bound to put a big smile on your dad’s face on Father’s Day.

 

PotatOH Creamed Chicken Thumb

Potatoes Topped with Creamed Chicken

This quick and easy recipe combines all of the delicious flavors of Express Bake PotatOHs, chicken, creamy chicken soup and milk. The result is a comforting meal that’s perfect as a surprise snack, lunch or dinner. If your dad is a fan of chicken, potatoes and soup, this is a perfect way to make it so he can enjoy all three at once!
 
 

PotatOH Apple Sausage Thumb

Sweet Potatoes Topped with Chicken Apple Sausage and Apples

If your dad likes a little bit of sweet with his meat, this recipe is perfect for him! This recipe combines Express Bake Sweet PotatOHs with chicken apple sausage, a granny smith apple, butter, and just a bit of salt and pepper. The result is a delicious and indulgent sweet potato dish he’ll never forget.

 

Meatloaf Stuffed Potato Thumb

Meatloaf-Stuffed Microwave Potato

Does your dad like potatoes? What about meatloaf? If you said yes to both, then brace yourself for a recipe that combines the best of both worlds! Simply scoop out some of the inside of the potatoes and stuff them with meatloaf or bulk sausage, and microwave until cooked. Let cool a bit before serving, and watch your dad laugh with joy — this is a meal made for dads!

 
 

Like these recipes? Let us know what you think in the comments!

3 Microwave Potato Recipes To Make Mom Smile on Mother’s Day

Mother and daughter smiling

How many of your favorite childhood memories were in the kitchen or at the dinner table? Do you remember all of the wonderful and delicious meals mom or grandma cooked for you, and the excitement and joy you felt at taking that first bite?

Of course you do, and if you’re looking for a thoughtful way to show your gratitude with a delicious dish, we have three microwave potato recipes that will make this Sunday special for your mom or grandma. No matter which one you choose, these creative, colorful potato and vegetable recipes are sure to make any mom smile on Mother’s Day!

 

Tuscan Potatoes and Vegetables (Thumbnail)

Tuscan Potatoes and Vegetables

If mom loves Italian food, she’s in for a surprise! Potatoes and summer vegetables make a bright and healthy warm-weather side dish. You can use russet, yellow or red potatoes; and with zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes and yellow onions, this recipe features plenty of color. Seasoning, garlic and parmessan cheese give it a delicious Italian flavor.

 

Quick & Healthy Baked Potato Salad (thumbnail)

Microwave Baked Potato Salad

If mom loves baked potatoes and potato salad, this dish will give her the best of both worlds. With reduced-fat cheddar cheese, chives and real bacon, she’ll feel like she’s eating a traditional baked potato in a dish that’s just more summer picnic-friendly. The best part? You can skip the oven and cook Express Bake PotatOHs in your microwave to save time!

 

Potatoes Florentine

With leeks, spinach, roasted bell peppers, fresh basil, parmesan cheese and a hint of butter and milk, these potatoes florentine are a feast for mom’s eyes, as well as her tastebuds.

 
 
 
 

Like these recipes? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Many Ways To Cook Potatoes

Cooking Potatoes
Potatoes are one of the most versatile foods around. Not only are they easily part of almost any meal imaginable — breakfast, lunch or dinner — in any culture across the planet, but they can also be cooked in a variety of ways, too. We’ve put together a list of the most popular ways to cook potatoes, their advantages and disadvantages, and potato recipes for each.
 

Frying Potatoes

Frying is one of the easiest and most common ways to make potatoes. You can deep-fry, pan-fry, stir-fry, sauté or shallow-fry potatoes for a quick and easy meal. However, frying is not the healthiest method — cooking with oil adds fat and calories to the foods you prepare. One way to lighten up a fried meal is to use olive oil, which typically has less fat and calories than vegetable oil.

Recipes

French Fried Potatoes

Quick & Easy Home Fries

Southern Style Fried Okra
 

Grilling Potatoes

There’s nothing quite like the taste of a potato that’s been cooked on a grill, and it’s no wonder they are a favorite food at summertime BBQ parties. You can scallop potatoes or cut up some wedges and throw ’em on a grill, wrap them up in foil and make a baked potato outdoors, or wrap them up with some sauce in foil to get deliciously marinated potatoes. Grilling isn’t one of the quickest ways to make potatoes, but the smokey and toasted flavors of grilled spuds can be worth the wait.

Recipes

BBQ Potatoes

Grilled Pesto Potato Salad

Grilled Spud Dogs
 

Baking and Roasting Potatoes

Baking and oven-roasting is another favorite and time-tested way to make potatoes, and chances are if you’re looking for a potato recipe, it’ll call for heating an oven. You can make potato casseroles, wrap up potatoes in foil for baking, add potatoes to marinate as part of a meat dish, and much more. However, if you’re looking for a quick and easy meal, you might want to change your plans, and read a book or watch one of your favorite shows, ’cause it’s gonna be a while before these spuds get out of their tanning salon. Also, unless you want some rock-hard potatoes, you’ll have to use at least a little bit of oil to help them cook and stay moist in an oven.

Recipes

Potatoes Florentine

Scalloped Potatoes with Chicken and Gravy

Sour Cream Potato Casserole
 

Boiling Potatoes

Boiling is an easy way to get spuds soft while cooking, whether you’re making mashed potatoes, a soup or a salad. However, it’s also one of the slowest, especially because potatoes are tough vegetables. Also, boiling is a harsh preparation method and nutrients can be lost in the water while cooking, so it’s important to reuse it. If you’re making mashed potatoes or potato soup, consider adding some of the boiled water to your recipe.

Recipes

CAUSA: Peruvian Mashed Potato Salad Recipe

Parmesan Fingerling Potatoes

Quick & Healthy Potato Soup
 

Steaming Potatoes

Steaming is one of the recommended ways to prepare potatoes by the U.S. Potato Board. Unlike other methods, steaming helps foods retain more nutrients, because fewer nutrients are leached into the water while cooking. Also, steaming allows for a light meal, because you can skip oils or fats and still get moist potatoes ready to eat or add to a recipe. You can steam potatoes for an easy side to a main dish, or as a light and healthy meal.

Recipes

Garlic Dill New Potatoes

Parsleyed Steamed Potatoes

Steamed Fingerling Potatoes in White Wine
 

Microwaving Potatoes

Microwaving is also recommended by the U.S. Potato Board as a way to cook potatoes. Like steaming, microwaving also helps foods retain nutrients while cooking, since they are not leached into water. Though all cooking methods involve loss of nutrients or vitamins, this is largely determined by the length, temperature and amount of liquid used (using more water can lead to greater nutrient loss). Because microwaving drastically reduces cooking times and does not require water for cooking, foods are allowed to retain more nutrients and are ready to eat in a shorter amount of time.

Microwaving is one of the most convenient and easy ways to make potatoes, so much that it can be a shortcut to some of your favorite recipes that usually involve baking, boiling or steaming. You can make baked potatoes, casseroles, mashed potatoes, oven-roasted potatoes, potato soups, potato salads and much more without the wait when you use a microwave. That’s why we created Express Bake PotatOHs — bringing together microwaving and steaming to give you a delicious and soft potato ready in just 7 minutes — to allow you to enjoy an a quick and healthy meal, or provide an easy shortcut to adding a cooked potato to your favorite recipes. Order PotatOHs right here on our site and try our recipes to see how microwave potatoes can save you time and make life a little easier.

Recipes

Cheesy Broccoli Baked Potatoes

Quick & Healthy Mashed Potatoes

Quick & Healthy Microwave Baked Potato Salad
 

References

Cooking Potatoes at Potato Goodness Unearthed
New York Times column on the effects of microwaving food