Week 1 of My Four Week Spudtacular Adventure

I’m super excited to have made it through the first week of my potato hack diet!  I’ve learned a few things along the way – about potatoes, and about myself!  Today I’m going to share my discoveries, my struggles, and a couple hints to help you if you’ve decided to follow along with me now, or in the future!

First of all…I did lose weight!!! I lost a total of 5.2 pounds.  I admit I’m a little disappointed in this number, as I expected to lose a little more. I was actually down 6.8 pounds at one point, so I have found the weight loss to be a little frustrating for me.  I really expected to see a gradual downward trend on the scale, but instead I saw a decrease in my weight on days 2, 3, 4, and 6, with slight upticks day 5 and 7.  Then again today I was surprised to see another increase.  What’s the cause? I’m not sure.  I’ve been 100% faithful to the plan…I have, however, had an issue with constipation (sorry if that’s TMI – just tying to keep it real).  I thoroughly expected the opposite problem to be honest, but I feel like this probably accounts for the fluctuating weight.  In the end, as far as weight loss goes, I’m still happy with a 5.2 lb. loss – I don’t believe I’ve ever had that kind of success with any other diet I’ve tried!

Oil Free Oven Fries | cookeatbehealthy

Oil Free Oven Fries ~ Place cut potatoes on parchment lined baking sheet, sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt and pepper, bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. 

The first 3 days on nothing but plain potatoes was pretty tough – not gonna lie!  The first day was a breeze, the second – not so bad, the third – ugh! On day 4 I was so excited for dinner because I was incorporating the veggies I’d planned to add in.  I made myself a sauce/gravy with tomatoes, peppers, onions, mushrooms, and organic beef stock thickened with potato starch.  I gotta tell you – it was one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten!  ūüėČ  I’ll share the recipe at the end of this post!

As for my hunger levels…let’s just say you’d have noticed a rumbly in my tumbly had you been near me!  But all in all, while I have been hungry, I haven’t been uncomfortably hungry very often!  I have slept pretty well, kept up walking on the treadmill or the elliptical 6 out of the first 7 days, and other than being very cranky on day 7, I think I’ve fared pretty well.  I feel like day 7 (yesterday) has been the worst so far!  I really felt the sugar withdrawal kick into high gear and most the day was spent with my teeth clenched trying to just survive the day by sheer willpower!  Thankfully today has been a better day! ūüėÄ  

Hopefully yesterday was the worst day as far as kicking the sugar addiction goes!  I have noticed I’m feeling better in general, and that I’m much less gassy (again – sorry if that’s TMI) and I attribute that to avoiding all dairy products.  Perhaps gluten plays a part in that as well, but typically I find that dairy tends to be pretty disagreeable for me- more so than gluten anyway.

Cold Boiled Potatoes | cookeatbehealthy.com

Cold Boiled Potatoes 

As for my meals themselves I’ve learned a few things.  My favorite potato is the Yukon Gold.  I find it less dry, creamier, and more flavorful than reds or russets.  I bought some blue or purple potatoes and I have mixed feelings about them.  The golds make good mashed, hash browns, and oven fries.  Cold boiled potatoes make a great snack or quick lunch.  In fact, cold is soooo much better than warmed in the microwave – that just dries them out waaaay too much!  My favorite breakfast is hash browns from raw grated Yukon Golds.  I dribble a teensy amount of EVOO in a nonstick pan, wipe it out with a paper towel so there’s barely a whisper of oil left in the pan, the cook the potatoes until crispy and brown, flip them and cook until brown and softened.  I find the whole process only takes 4-5 minutes.  Seasoned with a little sprinkle of salt, pepper, and rosemary…delish!

Pan frying with little to no oil is really difficult, so I recommend babysitting your potatoes while they’re cooking, and adding water or organic chicken stock if they stick to the pan too much.  I find this technique works well when cooking cubed boiled potatoes.  Today for lunch I cubed some blues that I boiled yesterday, pan fried them with a little chicken stock, seasoned them with chili powder, and finished the dish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice!  The stock combined with the starch of the potatoes and the seasoning almost made a sauce for the potatoes, and the lime juice gave the dish a fresh zing!  The point is – experiment and see what works for you and your palate!

On to Week 2…we’ll see what challenges this week brings, but hopefully it’ll come with more successes than failures!  Weather providing, we’re planning to be out of town Thursday, so I’ll just have to see how that goes.  I shouldn’t think I’ll have too much trouble finding a baked potato somewhere for my lunch…fingers crossed!

Mashed Potatoes with Vegetable Gravy | cookeatbehealthy.com

Mashed Potatoes with Vegetable Gravy

So here’s the deal…my recipe plug-in refuses to work today so here’s the recipe for the vegetable gravy:

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes 

2 bell peppers, sliced

1 onion, thinly sliced

8-10 baby bella mushrooms, thinly sliced

4 cups organic beef stock, divided

4 tsp potato starch 

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Combine vegetables, seasonings, and 3 1/2 cups beef stock in a stock pot.

Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 50-60 minutes until vegetables are tender and liquid is reduced by about 25%.

Combine potato starch with reserved beef stock and mix well.

Bring vegetables to a rolling boil, and slowly add starch slurry, stirring the entire time.  Add more dissolved starch or more stock as needed to attain desired consistency.

Serve over mashed potatoes made with boiled Yukon Golds and reserved potato water or a little chicken stock.

Place a serving of potatoes in a bowl, ladle on gravy, and enjoy‚Ķyou’ve earned it! ūüĎć

 

Cashew “Creamed” Peas & Potatoes

Cashew Creamed Peas & Potatoes | cookeatbehealthy.com

Welcome to installment #3 in the CEBH Cashew Cream Recipe Series! ¬†Today I’m sharing a recipe for cashew “creamed” peas & potatoes that take me right back in time to my childhood!

My grandparents were highly influential in my life when I was growing up. ¬†My brother and I spent many weekends with them on their acreage in rural Iowa, or at their summer place along the Mississippi River. ¬†Back in the 1950’s and early 60’s they owned and operated a small local cafe. ¬†After they closed their restaurant my grandpa became the head chef at a small private college. ¬†My grandma was a fantastic home cook as well, so when we were with them we always knew we’d have fun, we’d get put to work, we’d laugh…a lot, and we’d eat really well!

Creamed Peas & Potatoes | cookeatbehealthy.com

Of course, living in the country they tended a huge garden every summer. ¬†When I think of all the wonderful meals that came from that garden it makes nostalgic for the good ol’ days! ¬†One of my favorite dishes that my grandma made with her fresh garden produce was creamed peas and new potatoes. ¬†It’s one of my all time favorite foods – a comfort food in so many ways for me! ¬†It reminds me of hours spent sitting on the porch shelling peas with my grandma. ¬†It reminds me of sitting at the table in her kitchen just visiting while she cooked dinner. And it¬†reminds me of my grandpa who typically was outside tending to the few animals they had, and who always came in late for dinner!

Creamed Peas & Potatoes | cookeatbehealthy.com

This recipe hits all the right notes for me! ¬†Some fake-out recipes are just that….fakes! ¬†But this one knocked my socks off when I made it! ¬†It tastes EXACTLY like the creamed peas and potatoes of my youth! ¬†I gave my mom a dish and even she had no idea that it wasn’t the old fashioned cream sauce made from butter, flour, and milk! ¬†I figure if I can fool my mom then I’ve really accomplished something big!

Creamed Peas & Potatoes | cookeatbehealthy.com

Ideally I would have liked to use fresh peas and new potatoes, but alas….there were none of either to be found at farmers market. ¬†I did however, get a bag of baby potatoes from the store, and a bag of petite frozen peas that worked perfectly in this recipe! ¬†The only other thing I tweaked was that I added some fresh dill. ¬†I feel like it brightened the flavor of this dish tremendously – it was just what it needed to become a modern version of a classic recipe!

Creamed Peas & Potatoes | cookeatbehealthy.com

Ingredients are so simple for this dish! ¬†Potatoes, peas, cashew cream, salt & pepper, and fresh dill! ¬†The real secret, and this is¬†very¬†important,¬† DO NOT OVERCOOK THE POTATOES!!!! ¬†I don’t mean to yell, but overcooking the potatoes is a critical error that people tend to make quite often when cooking with potatoes. ¬†In my opinion, the only time potatoes should be cooked to complete softness is when they’re bound for the masher! ¬†Otherwise, for heaven’s sake, cook the potatoes to just al dente. ¬†You’ll be so much happier with your finished dish! ¬†I promise you that this is more important than you might think. ¬†Mushy potatoes break up when combined with the rest of the ingredients, and they also tend to soak up all your creamy sauce, so the result is just dry and pasty and not at all appetizing!

First you’ll need to clean and cut the potatoes into large bite-sized pieces, then boil them in very lightly salted water until they’re¬†almost¬†al dente. ¬†Then toss the peas into the pot with the potatoes and continue cooking just a couple more minutes – really just long enough to ensure that the peas are heated through. ¬†Remove from heat, drain the water and pour into a serving bowl. ¬†Add the cashew cream, the fresh dill, and salt and pepper to taste. ¬†Stir it all together and serve hot. ¬†If your cashew cream is cold from the fridge mix the peas and potatoes in the pan they were cooked in. ¬†This should be enough to heat the sauce, but if not, warm the cashew “creamed’ peas & potatoes over low heat until it’s all evenly warmed! ¬†See…easy peasy! ¬†Get it….”peas”y! ¬†Sorry, I crack myself up!!

Cashew "Creamed" Peas & Potatoes
Serves 6
Cashew Cream makes another appearance in this updated classic comfort food recipe for Creamed Peas & Potatoes!
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
290 calories
42 g
0 g
11 g
9 g
2 g
223 g
40 g
5 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
223g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 290
Calories from Fat 91
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g
17%
Saturated Fat 2g
11%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 40mg
2%
Total Carbohydrates 42g
14%
Dietary Fiber 5g
20%
Sugars 5g
Protein 9g
Vitamin A
8%
Vitamin C
47%
Calcium
4%
Iron
19%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 lbs potatoes, cut into large bite sized pieces
  2. 2 cups fresh or frozen peas
  3. 1 cup cashew cream (recipe link found above or at cookeatbehealthy.com)
  4. 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  5. 1 clove, or about 1 tsp minced garlic
  6. Salt & Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Place potatoes in a large pot of lightly salted cold water and bring to a boil.
  2. Boil potatoes until almost al dente, then add peas and continue to cook until they are heated through, about 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and drain.
  4. Stir in cashew cream, dill, garlic, and salt & pepper.
  5. Serve immediately.
Notes
  1. Add more cashew cream as needed to reach desired consistency.
  2. Leftovers can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for several days.
  3. When reheating you may need to add a little water to thin the "cream".
beta
calories
290
fat
11g
protein
9g
carbs
42g
more
Cook Eat Be Healthy http://cookeatbehealthy.com/
I really encourage you to try this recipe! ¬†It’s simple, healthy, quick to prepare, and one the whole family will love! ¬†For little people to whom the dill might be too strong a flavor, remove a portion for them before adding the herb.