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Yummy Hasselback Potatoes

Hasselback Potatoes
Hasselback Potatoes

I was lucky enough to get to see Kara Goucher speak at the Wine Country Half Marathon expo.  Pretty much anyone who has ever talked to me knows how much I admire this athlete.  She’s driven and extremely accomplished, representing the United States for two Olympic Games, yet stays very down to earth.  Believe it or not, my favorite thing she noted during her talk was that she doesn’t have any food that is off limits.

Ready to race.
Ready to race.

She noted that she loves carbs, that they get a bad rap, but really are a sources of energy.  Obviously, you don’t want to overdo it, remember calories in/calories out, but I use baked potatoes as a source of fuel during long endurance training and my body seems to tolerate them.  They are simple carbohydrates that are easy to digest and provide quick energy.  Easy to take with you, I’ve had them waiting for me at transition areas during triathlons.  I couldn’t eat them during a run, but can definitely munch on them during my ride.

I found this recipe in a recent Cooking Light magazine and I loved how simple and convenient they are.  It’s a cross between crispy  fries and a baked potato.  Easier to eat than a baked potato, you can just peel off the slices.  I was so excited to find this new way to make potatoes, called Hasselbacks, but apparently the concept has been around forever.  Just in case I’m not the last person to discover these, I decided I’d pass along my new favorite way to prepare potatoes.

Potato1Make sure you wash your potato well and then place it between two butter knives, chopsticks or wooden spoons.  With 1/8”  intervals , make cuts all along the potato, cutting most of the way through.  The utensils on both sides should prevent the knife from going all the way through.   Brush some olive oil and your choice of seasoning over the top, making sure it seeps in between the slices.  I keep mine simple with a little olive oil and Johnnies Seasoning  Salt but you could dress  these up all sorts of ways.  Bake, uncovered, at 450 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the potato.  Give it a little time to cool before eating, since they come out of the oven HOT!  They store well in the refrigerator and are super convenient when you have three boys looking for an easy snack.  I might have been the last person to discover this way of making potatoes, but I’m making up for lost time.  Super easy, convenient and tasty, they’re probably not something you want to eat every day but I agree with Kara Goucher, nothing should be completely off limits.

Chicken Over a Wedge Salad

(Modified for the family from Cooking Light)

Wedge-Salad1 C. fat free buttermilk,divided

1 large egg white, lightly beaten

1 C. whole wheat panko

Dash of Johnny Seasoning salt

4- 6oz chicken breast halves

1T. fresh chives, chopped

2 tsp. white vinegar

1 tsp. minced garlic

1 head of iceberg, cored and cut into wedges

½ C. crumbled blue cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Combine ½ C. buttermilk and egg white in shallow dish.  Place panko in a shallow dish.  Dip chicken in egg white mixture and dredge in panko.  Sprinkle with seasoning salt.  Cook over medium heat in an ovenproof skillet and bake both sides for about 4 minutes.  Place in oven and bake for around 15 minutes, or until done.

With the chicken in the oven, combine ½ C buttermilk, a dash of seasoning salt, chives, garlic, vinegar and blue cheese.   Set aside until ready to use.

When chicken is done, remove from oven, cool, then slice crosswise.  (I was too excited to wait, so my slices weren’t exactly restaurant quality but hungry boys were waiting)  For each plate, place one lettuce wedge, a couple of slices of chicken and drizzle with the buttermilk/blue cheese mixture.  All of my guys loved it, which is RARE.

** The original recipe called for 2 cups of chopped plum tomatoes and 3 slices of crumbled bacon, which is why the original salad was named Chicken BLT Salad but my boys don’t like tomatoes YET and they don’t need bacon.