Saturday, December 17, 2011

"Fried" Potatoes

As an omnivore, I was passionate about potatoes.

Julia Child's method for Thanksgiving mashed potatoes had me spellbound and I became famous for them. I would load them with salt, butter, and cream and we would all be in a turkey and potato stupor after our meal.

A road trip always was an excuse to eat McDonald's fries. (And of course grab a cup of coffee and visit clean facilities.)

Baked potatoes? Pass the butter, broccoli, and sour cream.

Hash browns. … And bacon?

My favorite lunch has always been soup and a sandwich with… potato chips. I love chips of any kind. I especially like low-fat, low salt versions because they bring out the best in the potato, but I cannot even  enjoy those with this new diet. Although I have bought them a time or two and eaten some on the way home from the grocery. :-}

A real dilemma in adopting a heart-healthy, vegan, no-oil diet was, "how would I ever again enjoy my potatoes?"

I often cook bread, shaped as round hearth loaves, on pizza stones. The stones cooks the bread with no added oil.

So, I thought, could they also cook potatoes without oil?

Indeed they can. And the potatoes are more awesome than any of the aforementioned delicacies.

First, I turn the oven to 400–450 degrees and heat the pizza stones for at least 20 minutes.

I chop the tators -- russets, reds, blues, or fingerlings -- into small (1/4" pieces) and place them in a bowl. I add salt and Mrs. Dash garlic blend or a garlic pepper mix and toss thoroughly.

Then, I spread the potatoes on the hot stones and cook for 20 minutes. Then, turn them with a spatula and cook for about 15 more, until they have lots of nice crispy brown sides.

If I've made some bean burgers, I can also cook these on the stones with the potatoes and have a very satisfying lunch.

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