Recipe: Smoky Two-Potato Salad

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Old-fashioned potato salad this is not. What it is is cool, creamy and way more colorful than the old standby — and it still goes great alongside burgers, brats and corn on the cob.

And it’s got a kick of spice, which, surprisingly, is exactly what you want in the hot summer. It’s no coincidence that the hot peppers that grow in hot and sunny climates are craved by people who live there. Hot, piquant flavors actually help cool the body and are healthy for lots of reasons:

Eating spicy foods helps produce endorphins in the brain; these “good mood” hormones help you feel more relaxed and, well, happy!

The heat of peppers is caused by a group of antioxidant phytochemicals — mainly capsaicin, which has powerful inflammation reducers.

Capsaicin also seems to help curb appetite and may help you feel fuller sooner.

Canned chipotle peppers are simply jalapeno peppers that have been smoked and stewed in a savory tomato sauce. So both the peppers and the sauce lend deep umami flavor from the cooked tomatoes along with smoke and bold heat. That’s why a recipe like this — which calls for only for 1 tablespoon of chopped chipotle pepper and 2 teaspoons of adobo sauce — can still pack a big flavor punch. (For ideas on what to do with leftover chipotles, see this tip.)

To cool the spicy heat on the tongue, this recipe includes creamy yogurt and nutrient-rich white potatoes and sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes and spice are an especially addictive combo — and a touch of honey is added to bring out the potatoes’ sweetness so it’s more of a match for the bold chipotle spice.

No, it’s not your grandmother’s potato salad, but it will still have friends coming back for seconds.

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Smoky Two-Potato Salad

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients:

1 pound sweet potatoes

1 pound red potatoes

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons honey

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon chopped chipotle chile from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

2 teaspoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup chopped green onions, green and white parts of onion (about 2 green onions)

2 ounces smoked Gouda cheese, cut in 1/4-inch cubes

Optional garnishes: Smoked paprika, chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

Cut potatoes into 1-inch cubes. (Do not peel.) Place in a medium pot. Add cold water to cover; bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and cook 12 minutes or until barely fork-tender. Drain potatoes in a colander and immediately drizzle vinegar over warm potatoes; cool potatoes.

Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a small bowl, combine honey, mayonnaise, yogurt, chipotle chile, adobo sauce, salt and pepper.

To a large serving bowl, add potatoes, green onions and cheese. Pour dressing over potatoes and toss gently. Sprinkle with optional garnishes and serve.

Notes:

Smoked mozzarella cheese could be substituted for smoked Gouda.

Yes, you can eat sweet potato skins; they are a delicious source of dietary fiber.

Per serving (1/6 of recipe): Calories 245; Fat 10 g (Saturated 3 g); Sodium 381 mg; Carbohydrate 33 g; Fiber 4 g; Sugars 7 g; Protein 6 g

For more delicious and healthy recipes:

Foods with 100 Calories

Healthy Weeknight Dinners

Healthy Grilled Foil Packs

Serena Ball, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian nutritionist. She blogs at TeaspoonOfSpice.com sharing tips and tricks to help readers find cooking shortcuts for making healthy, homemade meals. Her recipes are created with families in mind.