You might have noticed from this blog that I don’t post a lot of desserts here. Peeps go crazy for desserts. But, I just don’t have a sweet tooth. Baking bread, yuppers. A-okay on foccacia and flatbread and scones. Brownies and cakes and stuff. I don’t know. I take a few bites and I’m like, that was really good, but then I’m done and the whole thing just sits there. Those peanut butter chocolate oat cookie bars from the other day? They ended up going to work with me. I had wanted something peanut butter-ooey-gooey-chocolatey, and one of those squares really hit the spot. Over and out.
But that doesn’t make me a nutritional saint. Believe me. Salty snacks are my weakness. Salty potato snacks, to be specific. Potato chips. Kapow! French fries. Boom! They get me every time.
So, when the potato carby carb carb craving happens to hit at a time when I can do something productive about it, I try to be good and healthy it up.
A skillet filled with sauteed potatoes, some veggies and a good helping of slivered spinach, a little bacon for extra flavor (fakin’ bacon tempeh for me), and a lovely balsamic dressing sweetened with maple syrup and kicked up with some really serious stone ground mustard.
And guys, believe it or not, this recipe is vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and if you skip the tempeh, soy-free. I wasn’t going for any of that benefit when I was behind the stove, but as I was typing out the recipe, I realized it was so. What kicked it over into the vegan camp was that I used maple syrup instead of honey, my usual go-to sweetener. I love honey — especially local honey — but lately I’ve been using maple syrup and am really digging the little extra oomph of flavor.
It just goes to show that, no matter what your dietary requirements might be, beautiful, soul-filling food is always possible.
Very soon, I’m going to make this recipe again with sweet potatoes instead of fingerlings. Then it will be practically superfood-healthy!
Even though I’ve classified this as a side dish, I actually had it for dinner with a big green salad (and a frosty margarita, shhh), and it was just the guilt-free, salty-potato-snack meal this girl needed to curb that compulsive reach for the potato chip bag.
Yay, for willpower wins!
- 2 to 3 strips bacon (pork or vegetarian)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound fingerling potatoes, sliced into about 1/8" disks
- 2 green onions, sliced thin
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 handful spinach, sliced chiffonade
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried sweet basil
- Prepare the bacon/vegetarian bacon according to package directions. Set aside on paper towels to drain.
- While the bacon cooks*, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the potatoes, sprinkle lightly with salt, and saute until the potatoes turn golden (about 20 minutes). Add the green onions, peppers, and spinach. Crumble the bacon over the potatoes. Turn heat to low, and hold until serving.
- For the dressing: Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl until emulsified.
- Just before serving, drizzle most of the dressing over potatoes and gently turn the salad to distribute. Taste, and add salt, pepper, and more dressing to suit.
- * If you're using pork bacon, you can opt instead to cook the bacon first in a large skill, then use the bacon fat in place of olive oil for cooking the potatoes. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the skillet. For vegetarian bacon, you'll need to use the olive oil.