Sunday, July 4, 2010

Weight Watchers Potato and Green Bean Salad, E2 Approved

About a year ago I was given a recipe at a Weight Watchers' meeting that was an instant classic in my kitchen. I made it many times last summer as a substitute for the traditional fat laden potato salad, and I have to say, this one tastes much better. Of course, you have to like tarragon, and I learned that I really like tarragon.

So this summer I had my first opportunity to make it and I noticed that the original Weight Watchers recipe called for a decent amount of olive oil (3 Tbsp per recipe).  That's a lot of added fat and calories. So this year, having found my Engine 2 mojo, I decided to try it without any olive oil AT ALL, adding 3 extra Tbsp of veggie broth instead. And do you know what? It was just as delicious as I remembered! I will never put in the oil again.

So it got me wondering, just why do we think that all food must contain OIL? Is oil like salt, something that our taste buds have become accustomed to but that with a little effort we can cut way back on? I was watching an episode of Foodology last night on The Cooking Channel and witnessed someone saute an onion in 6 Tbsp of olive oil. What? 6 tablespoons for one onion? That's a lot of oil! And a ton of wasted calories. What do you think? How are you cooking these days?

Weight Watchers Potato and Green Bean Salad, Revamped Healthy Girl Style

24 ounces fingerling potatoes, scrubbed, sliced into 1/4" rounds
8 ounces (or more!) green beans, stem ends trimmed, cut or broken into bite sized pieces
9 Tbsp vegetable broth
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
3 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
3 Tbsp chopped fresh chives

Put potatoes into a large pot. Fill pot halfway up with water; bring to a boil over high heat. Boil until almost tender, about 8 minutes. Add green beans and cook until potatoes are tender and green beans are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes more. Drain; rinse under cold water and drain again.

Meanwhile, to make dressing, in the bottom of a large serving bowl, whisk together broth, shallots, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper.  Stir  in tarragon, dill and chives.  Add potatoes and green beans to bowl; toss gently, taking care not to break up potatoes, until mixed and coated with dressing.


Danielle said...

Hi Wendy, I agree with you regarding the excess oil that seems to be in all recipes. I have an unrelated question for you though that has been on my mind and I would love to hear your thoughts. I've read Eat to Live, Eat for Health, and the China Study. I've also been a vegetarian for 9 years (and vegan for almost a year). I recently began working with a nutritionist who strongly encourages consuming meat, and not the factory farmed hormone laden kind but high quality organic, free range and grass fed. Her suggestion is that these high quality meats are lower in fat/cholesterol, are full of vitamins and minerals and will sustain you between meals much longer. I have been willing to give her suggestion a try and found that it is much easier to stick to 3 meals without snacks and well, I feel really satisfied. If I continue to eat high volume of fruits and veggies, it seems that I can still stick to nutritarian principles. What do you think about meat consumption? Honestly, I found the conclusions from the China Study to involve some sweeping generalizations about animal products, for example casein causing cancer to spread is generalized to all animal products causing cancer (eventhough casein is only in cheese & milk products). Also, I think the author was comparing the SAD diet to diets in China and of course there are going to be huge differences. I don't eat a SAD so don't think I have the same risk. What do you think? I really enjoy reading your blog and know you have thought about these things. Thanks!

Lindsay said...

I've decided that especially in the summer, I feel cleaner and more fresh if I don't eat a lot of oil in my food. I haven't used olive oil in over a month.

Wendy said...

Hi Danielle! Thanks for your great comment. I hope it's okay with you, but I am going to address your questions in a dedicated blog posting. Look out for it sometime in the next few days.

Thanks again!

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