Whether choosing a healthy main dish such as grilled chicken breasts or something everyone can really sink their teeth into like barbecued ribs or juicy hamburgers, side dishes can also add to the celebration.
A colorful tossed salad filled with the season’s bounty, slow-cooked baked beans, corn on the cob for grilling and fresh watermelon and strawberries are all a good start for rounding out the menu.
But no American summer barbecue is complete without a creamy and rich potato salad.
Traditional potato salad can add on the calories, but for some it is worth it.
There are also recipes for a great potato salad without sacrificing healthy eating.
Here are some tips for making that happen.
n First, some recipes call for leaving the skins on the potatoes. Potato skins contain much of the potatoes’ fiber, as well as vitamins and minerals, including a crazy amount of potassium (even more than bananas).
n Second, replace the commonly added hard-boiled egg with an ingredient that offers the same benefits but less unnecessary fat. Some recipes replace the egg with chopped canned artichoke hearts, which have a similar texture and a wonderfully subtle flavor that complements the potatoes.
n Third, and possibly most important, overhaul the mayonnaise dressing. Adding just ½ cup of regular mayonnaise can add 800 calories and 90 grams of fat to the salad. Instead, reach for favorite no-fat creamy dairy products such as Greek yogurt. It is a versatile, healthy ingredient that adds significant creamy flavor and texture.
Finish with a handful of fresh herbs and some tangy vinegar to punch up the flavor.
For those who want a more traditional salad, there are also plenty of great choices.
American Picnic Potato Salad
From “A Taste of Traditions”
Service League of Cherokee County
Low-fat or nonfat mayonnaise
may be substituted
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1½ teaspoons celery seeds
3 pounds medium potatoes
(approximately 9 potatoes)
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup sliced green onion
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
2 cups mayonnaise
1 teaspoon salt
Combine vinegar, mustard seeds and celery seeds. Let stand for 2 to 3 hours. In covered saucepan, cook potatoes in boiling, salted water for 25 to 30 minutes or until tender. Drain. Peel and cube potatoes. In a large bowl, sprinkle potatoes with a little salt. Add celery, salt and vinegar mixture. Add to the potato mixture; toss in to mix the vegetables. Refrigerate. Sprinkle with paprika and bacon bits before serving.
Creamy Potato Salad with Artichokes and Herbs
2 pounds red potatoes, cubed
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
5.3-ounce container fat-free plain Greek yogurt
¼ cup low-fat sour cream
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons minced fresh dill
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Ground black pepper
4-ounce jar chopped pimentos
14-ounce can artichoke bottoms, drained
2 ribs celery, diced
Place the potatoes in a large pot, then add enough cool water to cover by 1 inch. Add 1 teaspoon of salt, then bring to a boil and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until just tender when pierced with a fork. Drain the potatoes and spread out on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with the vinegar and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the yogurt, sour cream, scallions, mustard, dill, thyme and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the pimentos, artichoke bottoms and celery. Once the potatoes have cooled, gently stir in until thoroughly coated. Chill until ready to serve.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 190 calories; 10 calories from fat (5 percent of total calories); 1 g fat (0.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 5 mg cholesterol; 38 g carbohydrate; 7 g protein; 7 g fiber; 670 mg sodium.