Potatoes and Broccoli in Perfect Peanut Sauce

Potatoes and Peanut Sauce

Potatoes and nuts work together to make a filling dish that’s packed with vitamins and nutrients. Our take on nuts and potatoes is a Thai-inspired dish with peanut sauce that comes together quickly in the blender but tastes like it came straight from a professional kitchen.

Ingredients:

  • 2 heads broccoli, broken into florets (about 4 cups)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tray PotatOH Petit Chardonnay Steamer Potatoes
  • 1 batch Perfect Peanut Sauce (recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup peanuts or cashews, chopped (optional)

Directions:

  1. 1) Preheat the oven to 350F. Afterward, season the broccoli with a little salt and pepper and wrap it in a foil packet (see directions here), and bake for 45 minutes.
  2. Broccoli in Foil

  3. 2) Once the broccoli is in the oven, cook your PotatOH Petit Chardonnay Potatoes according to the package directions. When they’re cool enough to handle, chop them into bite-sized pieces.
  4. 3) While the potatoes cook and cool, make your Perfect Peanut Sauce (recipe below).
  5. Peanut Sauce

  6. 4) Divide the broccoli between your plates, top the broccoli with the potatoes, and spoon peanut sauce onto each dish. Top with 1 tablespoon of peanut pieces and serve.
  7. Potatoes and Peanut Sauce

Perfect Peanut Sauce Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 2″ piece of fresh ginger, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • juice of 1/2 a fresh lemon
  • 1-2 teaspoons Sriracha hot sauce, to taste
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions:

Put all of the ingredients into your blender or food processor, and puree until smooth. Add additional water by the tablespoon if the sauce is too thick. The finished sauce should almost have the consistency of chocolate mousse.

Nutrition (for 1 serving of potatoes, broccoli, and sauce):

Serves 4

  • 407 calories
  • 54g carbs
  • 16g fat
  • 18g protein
  • 461mg sodium

 

Harvesting Potatoes: Our Favorite Time of Year

Tractors in the field

What do you love about fall? Is it the cool weather? The leaves changing color? For us, harvesting potatoes is the best part about fall.

Right now, our farmers have fields of farm fresh potatoes, and they’re ready to pluck, clean, and send to your kitchen. We love the fall potato harvest because we love providing those healthy spuds for you and your family to enjoy. But how does growing and harvesting potatoes work? Let’s look and see…

Harvesting potatoes starts in the spring.

Have you ever left a potato on the counter for too long, and it started sprouting eyes or even little shoots? Potatoes are actually the seeds of the potato plants, and when they sprout that way, they’re actually trying to grow more potatoes.

In early spring, we plant what are called “seed potatoes.” They’re not much different from the potatoes that you eat for supper. The big difference is that they’re guaranteed to sprout and grow. We want to make sure that every seed we plant grows up to make plenty of healthy spuds for your family to eat.

Our seed potatoes go into the ground after the last frost of the spring, and we get to harvesting those potatoes just before the first freeze of the fall. It’s not easy to predict, but our farmers are old pros.

Potato Fields

Come fall, we get to harvesting potatoes for you.

This year we planted a brand new variety of potatoes – Golden Russets – at Ernie Ford’s Sunny Valley Farms in Colorado. You can see his field in the picture above.

Our farmers use a special tractor called a potato harvester to dig up all of those taters that are almost ready to eat. Here’s one of our special trucks harvesting and shaking some of the extra soil off of the organically grown Golden Russets that Ernie Ford grew for us:

Harvest Truck

From the harvester, we clean ’em off even more, then move ’em to a truck. After we fill up a truck with Ernie’s potatoes they make their way to our storage facilities, where they get another round of cleaning then rest in the cool, dark storage space so they can cure and be ready to ship to stores. Here are Ernie’s potatoes on their way to the cool storage:

Potato Storage

Those spuds rest for a while, and then we pack ’em up and ship ’em off to stores for you.

We love potato harvest time so much that we even made a special video to show off how our farm fresh potatoes go from our farmers’ fields to your plate. Take a look!

Of course, the best part about the fall potato harvest is eating those farm fresh spuds. Check out our recipes section for healthy potato recipes that your family will love!

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
 

A Memorial Day Potato Cookout

Memorial Day Recipes

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:

Red

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.

White

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.

Blue

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!

7 Healthy Potato Recipes to Help You Lighten Up

7 Healthy Potato Recipes

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!

Light Loaded Baked Potato Soup
1. Lightened Up Loaded Baked Potato Soup

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!
 
 

Greek Salad Baked Potatoes
2. Greek Salad Baked Potatoes

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 Curry (MyRecipes)
3. Sweet Potato Chicken Curry

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
 
 

Sweet Potato Spinach Quesadillas (Health)
4. Sweet Potato and Spinach Quesadillas

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!
 
 

Chili Lime Potato Tacos
5. Quick & Healthy Chili Lime Chicken Potato Tacos

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.
 
 

Sweet Potato Latkes (Women's Health)
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.
 
 

7. Quick & Healthy Garden Veggie Potato Salad

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.
 

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!

Potatoes in Ireland: A Tale of Intrigue, Espionage, and Dinner

Potatoes in Ireland

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, so let’s celebrate this traditional Irish holiday by paying homage to that most Irish of foods: the humble potato!

There’s a rich tradition of potatoes in Irish culture, but did you know that potatoes aren’t originally an Irish food? Spuds actually have their roots in the mountains of Peru and Bolivia, where they’ve grown for thousands of years. It wasn’t until around 500 years ago that Spanish conquistadors brought potatoes back to Europe, where they made their way up to Ireland.

Still, 500 years is plenty of time to build some rich — and delicious! — traditions. And since those tasty tubers made their way across the Atlantic and across the Continent, they’ve become an important part of Irish culture, from colcannon chowder to potato tasting contests!

Much has been written about the Great Potato Famine, so let’s get ready for St. Paddy’s day by looking at some of the less talked-about — and happier — history and traditions of Irish potatoes instead!

The Epic Journey of the Irish Potato

So, how did potatoes make it from Spain all the way over to Ireland? By many accounts, it was actually a pretty dramatic journey.

When the conquistadors returned to Spain with their bounty, some say that British spies stole potatoes from Spain and headed back to Britain with them, expecting that they’d catch on as an efficient food source. Unfortunately, the Brits weren’t as crazy about potatoes as you’d think. Their first mistake? They ate them raw. Not the greatest first impression.

Rather than try out these suspicious new veggies on their own people, the British sent potatoes to the colony of Ireland, where they were an instant hit. Not only is Ireland’s climate very similar to the potato’s home soil, but Irish farmers loved how quickly they grew and how many potatoes you could produce in a relatively small space.

It was an instant love affair, and despite experiencing the infamous potato famine in the mid-1800s, potatoes are still a staple of Irish culture today.

Irish Potatoes: Fun Facts!

  • Each year, towns across Ireland hold potato-tasting competitions, where potato growers from all over the area vie for the #1 spot. The event is called “An Spud-Off Mor.” Want to see one of these in action? Check out the video!
  • Potatoes didn’t originate in Ireland. They made their way to Europe in the 1500s after Spanish conquistadors discovered them in the Andes mountains.
  • Irish Potato Candy, a St. Patrick’s Day staple for many people, is neither Irish nor made of potatoes. It’s actually a Philadelphia-based tradition, and the candy is usually made from coconut, sugar, and other decidedly non-potato ingredients.
  • St. Patrick’s Day is when Irish farmers traditionally plant their potato crops. The legend is that St. Patrick – the patron saint of Ireland – makes planting conditions ideal on his special holiday.
  • Potatoes actually came to North America from Ireland in the 1700s, not from our neighbors in Peru, which means that they traveled across the ocean and back again to make it to your dinner plate!
  • While there are almost countless varieties of potatoes in a rainbow of colors, the Irish potato is a white potato, sometimes called an “Earth apple.”

Sources:

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by jemasmith
 

5 Ways Potatoes Love You Back

Potato Love

February is for lovers….potato lovers!

Potato Lovers Month continues, and we have some good news! Those humble potatoes that you love to eat baked, mashed, stuffed, and roasted might just have a crush on you. How can we tell? Let’s just say that a little spud bird told us.

No matter how you dish them up, there are lots of reasons to start a healthy relationship with potatoes!

1. Potatoes aren’t afraid of commitment.

Did you know that potatoes with the skin on contain more potassium than a banana and that they’re naturally salt-free? Because potassium is an electrolyte that is essential for proper digestive and muscle function, it’s just one of the many ways potatoes are good to you.

But potassium isn’t just good for your muscles. Research shows that getting plenty of potassium in as part of a low-salt diet just might reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure or suffering from a stroke. Potatoes are looking out for you, because they’re with you for the long haul, baby.

2. They’re a cheap date.

At around just 25 cents per pound, potatoes are one of the cheapest items that you can load into your grocery basket in the produce aisle, so play the field and see what variety is your dream spud! With so many different varieties, you’re sure to find your perfect match.

You don’t need to shower them with expensive ingredients to make potatoes taste great, either. Potatoes love you for you. Mash them with a little milk and olive oil, roast them with oil and fresh herbs, or get fancy and cook up potato tacos for some budget-friendly potato lovin’.

3. They love your kids.

Even better? Your kids love them! Potatoes are a great way to get your kids kids to eat a little bit healthier. Kids can be picky, but potatoes help you sneak a little bit of fiber (2 grams per serving!), vitamin B6, and even vitamin C into their meals. Potatoes have as much vitamin C as a tangerine – who knew?

Try serving your kids some tasty oven fries, mashed potatoes, or yummy potato pancakes (with applesauce for dipping!). We bet that they’ll fall in love with potatoes, too.

4. Potatoes won’t break your heart.

With zero grams of saturated fat and no cholesterol, you can trust your heart to potatoes. There are a lot of factors that play into a healthy heart, and studies show that a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet may help protect your ticker.

Want to take this thing to the next level? Try some plant-based potato dishes like herbed and roasted potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes with Chinese broccoli  to share the love!

5. They know how to be sweet.

Sweet potatoes have a lot of love to give, too! They’re a delicious, healthy, and versatile companion for any meal.

An excellent source of vitamin C to boost your immune system, sweet potatoes are also good for your skin. Like other orange and yellow veggies, sweet potatoes are packed with beta carotene, a vitamin that can help make your skin less susceptible to UV-related damage from the sun and the side effects that can come with that, like wrinkles.

You can eat those sweets baked, roasted, or fried, or you can up the sweet factor even more with dessert recipes like decadent sweet potato cheesecake bars.

What’s your favorite way to spend quality time with potatoes? We’d love to hear your favorite potato recipes in the comments!

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by oliviermartins
 

Tips To Keep Potatoes in Tip-Top Shape: Buying, Storing, Preparing and Saving Leftovers

We enjoyed a great Thanksgiving and hope you did, too. Now, the holiday season is upon us!

Because so many holiday meals include potatoes—and because our fresh cranberries got all banged up in the bottom of the grocery bag then sticky in the fridge—we thought this might be a great time to go over Storing Spuds, 101.

To keep your spuds in tip-top shape for holiday feasts, just follow these easy-peasy guidelines.

Shopping for Potatoes

Match your potato to cooking method. Are you baking? Buy russet or sweet potatoes. Grilling? Go for whites or yellows. Making a salad? Reds or blues are a great bet.

No matter what kind of potato you plan to take home, select those that are clean, smooth, firm-textured and free from cuts, bruises or discoloration.

Storing for Freshness

Potatoes are happiest in a well-ventilated, sort of chilly place with temps between 45°F and 55°F.

Skip the fridge if you can: colder temperatures convert the starch in potatoes to sugar, resulting in a sweeter taste and maybe some discoloration when cooked.

If you do refrigerate your potatoes, let your spud treasure slowly warm to room temp before cooking. This can help reduce discoloration.

Please don’t stash your potatoes some place that gets HOT: for example, under the sink or next to some huge appliance. And remember: light is enemy number one for potatoes. Store them somewhere dark to keep them fresher longer.

Extend shelf life with perforated plastic bags or paper bags. And, like any fresh produce, wait to wash potatoes until you’re ready to eat ‘em. Prewashing just gets them all damp, which can speed spoilage.

Sprouting or Green Potatoes

A little green is no big whoop—just cut it away before cooking your potato.

Potatoes turn green due to a build-up of a chemical called Solanine. It’s a natural reaction to too much light. Solanine tastes bitter, and if eaten in large quantity can make you sick.

Sprouts just mean your potato is ready to grow. It’s not the end of the world, either. Just cut the area away before cooking. And next time try storing your spuds in a cool, dry, dark location that is well ventilated.

Preparing Potatoes

Gently scrub your spuds with a vegetable brush under cool running water. (Unless they’re PotatOHs, in which case we did that for you, already!).

Cook and eat ‘em with their skin on: it’s more nutritious. But if you must peel, don’t go too deep. Lots of the nutrients are close to the skin.

Sometimes potatoes that are cut and uncooked can oxidize and then look pinkish or brownish. This should not stop your big potato plans because the discoloration should disappear with cooking. You can preserve the color of cut potatoes by keeping them in cold water with a little lemon juice or vinegar. But, to retain vitamins, don’t soak ‘em more than 2 hours.

Saving Leftovers

Wait, what leftovers?

If you ever do have leftover potatoes, that’s probably a record or something. And, so, like with any other leftover foods, pop them in the fridge within two hours of serving to prevent food-borne illnesses.

Then, don’t let them sit there for weeks. Eat them within a few days or toss them out.

Last, but not least, when you freeze potatoes at home, you mess with their structure. They’re 80 percent water and will become watery when reheated.

That about covers it. But if you have more pressing potato questions, post them below. We’ll get back to you ASAP.

  

Why Potatoes Are Good For Kids

Kid Cooking Potatoes

Potatoes are full of stuff that’s good for kids. In fact, compared to rice and pasta, potatoes give you a bigger bang for your buck in terms of healthy nutrition:

  • Carbohydrates: A good thing that’s getting a bad rap lately, carbs fuel both brains and bodies and are the main source of energy for growth and sports.
  • B Vitamins: Helps your body put carbs to work, providing energy and staying healthy.
  • Vitamin C: Essential for healthy skin, bones and hair.
  • Fiber: Every body needs it. You know why.
  • Folate: Helps your body make red blood cells.

Potatoes are not fattening

  • Potatoes are naturally fat free; it’s what you put on top of them that may need to be enjoyed in moderation.
  • If you’re looking for lower-cal, lower-fat potatoes recipes, check our recipe section.

Potatoes are satiating

  • Kids get hungry fast, so they need quality foods that help them feel full longer and provide the energy they need to keep going. Potatoes can help!

Kids will eat them

  • Of course there are lots of healthy foods to choose from. But all the Brussels sprouts in the world won’t help, if they just get pushed around the plate. After all, it’s not really nutrition until your child chews and swallows it.

The Great Back-To-School Spud-Off

These next two weeks—from September 3 through the 16th— we’re celebrating back-to-school time with a Facebook contest that’s all about kids who love of potatoes. A great way to kick off the new school year, our contest highlights how potatoes give kids the healthy nutrition they need to do well in the classroom. Best of all, we’re giving you a chance to win fun Back-To-School prizes — all you have to do is share why your kids love potatoes so much!

Entering is Easy

Submit a fun photo of your kid eating spuds and tell us what he or she loves so much about munching on potatoes. Then, share your post with your friends and family, encourage them to vote for your submission and share it with others. The six entries with the most votes will win prizes — including a grand prize of a $1,000 Visa gift card for school supplies.

So what are you waiting for? Click below to go to the contest page and submit your photo now. Good luck — this will be fun!



Back-To-School Photo Contest