Guilt-Free Potato Salad

For me, potato salad is quintessential summer BBQ food. Cold, creamy carb-y goodness. I don’t usually care for mayo (and a mayonnaise based dish sitting outside in the sun is not ok from a food safety perspective) but I make an exception for potato salad. Well, let’s just say I USED to make an exception for potato salad…but now I’ve seen the light and come up with a healthier alternative. (A cup of mayo has more than 750 calories, with about 700 of them coming from fat!)

I call this a Rustic “German-Style” Potato Salad because it uses mustard instead mayo and it has sauerkraut in it (and rustic because I leave the skins on the potatoes). I didn’t write down the exact amounts of what I used, so we’ll have to wing it…

Ingredients:

red-skinned potatoes

veggie stock

mustard (smooth texture, NOT stone ground)

sauerkraut

garlic scape pesto (optional — see my earlier blog entry)

I cut up the raw potatoes into home fry sized cubes and baked them in the veggie stock in a 350 degree oven until soft. I didn’t bother to let them cool down, I just went ahead and added the other ingredients. Mix in enough mustard to lightly coat all the pieces. Then add in about a cup of sauerkraut. This adds so much texture and flavor. PLUS, since it’s a fermented vegetable it naturally has probiotics, which help us digest meat. {Traditional food cultures always pair a hard-to-digest animal protein with a fermented food. German brats & sauerkraut, Middle Eastern lamb & yogurt, Korean beef & kim chi, Japanese sushi & pickled ginger, etc}

Ok, after the potatoes, mustard & sauerkraut are mixed in, it’s time to add the scape pesto. This pesto has a very strong garlic flavor and a little goes a long way. You can omit it entirely, and just season with salt & pepper. Because the pesto has avocado in it, it does add creaminess; to get that same  creamy feeling, separate a small portion of the potato salad and put it in the food processor. Blend until very smooth and then fold back into the rest of the salad. {That “separating, then blending a small amount, then putting it back in” is a great trick for making dairy-free “cream” soups. Know what has a very mild flavor and “creams up” like a champ? Slightly over-cooked cauliflower. Blend it with a little tahini and put it on a baked sweet potato – HEAVEN!} But I digress…

So – that’s my very simple, very delicious potato salad recipe. Without the mayo, it’s vegan and less than 1/2 the calories of regular potato salad. It’s tangy (mustard & sauerkraut) and goes great with burgers & dogs. And for dessert – black bean brownies! hahahaha

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