We dig potatoes

Alabama Living Magazine

Whether you like them baked, mashed, grilled, roasted, in potato salad, or au gratin, potatoes are one of the most versatile vegetables you can put on your plate. They’re also nutritious, being a good source for fiber, “which is important for digestive health and can help you feel full and is beneficial for heart and gastrointestinal health,” says Katie Funderburk, an extension specialist in nutrition with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. “One small potato with the skin on provides about 10 percent of daily fiber needs.”

Potatoes are also naturally fat free, cholesterol free, and low in sodium, an excellent source of vitamin C, and those eaten with the skin are a good source of potassium, according to Potatoes USA,  which represents 2,500 potato growers and handlers across the country. 

White potatoes aren’t much different from sweet potatoes in the nutrition they provide. “The big difference is that the sweet potato is an excellent source of Vitamin A,” says Katie. “The orange coloring of the sweet potato comes from the plant pigment beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant that our bodies turn into Vitamin A. Beta carotene and other antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables can decrease your risk of heart disease and certain cancers.”

The recipes sent in by our readers showcase the variety of ways you can enjoy your potatoes, from breakfast to dessert! For more recipes, visit or

Cook of the Month: Teresa Hubbard, Franklin EC

Teresa Hubbard, an aide for special needs students at Russellville Middle School, got the idea for her “Potato Surprise” recipe after seeing a similar recipe in an AllRecipes magazine a few years ago. “They had a recipe in there for loaded potatoes with bacon, onions, celery and leftover potatoes and cheese,” she says. The mixture was fried as patties, but she modified the recipe using flour tortillas and adding in sausage, red bell pepper, cumin and chilies. The “surprise” dish was a hit with her sister and nephews and her sister encouraged her to send it in for this month’s contest because it was so good it might win.  She was right! 

Potato Surprise

1¼ cups leftover mashed potatoes (that were prepared with salt, margarine and milk)

1 cup hot pork sausage, cooked and crumbled

½ cup red bell pepper strips, chopped

1½ teaspoons ground cumin

¼ cup onion, chopped

3 tablespoons diced green chilies, drained

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 large egg

11 8-inch flour tortillas

Cook sausage and drain off grease. In a bowl, stir together mashed potatoes, sausage, pepper strips, cumin, onion, chilies and cheese, stir well; beat in egg. Place ¼ cup of potato mixture, just below center of tortillas; fold up bottom edge, fold over left and right sides and fold top down. Rub water on tortillas to seal seams together. Fry tortillas in deep hot oil 375 degrees 1-2 minutes or until golden brown, turning once. Drain on paper towels. Yields 11 servings.

Potato Chip Cookies

2 cups butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

3½ cups all-purpose flour

2 cups potato chips, crushed

½ cup pecans, chopped

Cream soft butter, sugar and vanilla. Add flour in small amounts. Fold crushed potato chips and chopped pecans into the batter. Scoop dough 2 inches apart on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Lexie Turnipseed, Dixie EC

Herbed Potatoes

¾ cup butter

¼ cup celery, minced

1 teaspoon oregano

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon garlic powder 

¼ teaspoon black pepper

2 medium onions, sliced

6 baking potatoes

Melt butter in a skillet, add celery and sauté about 10 minutes. Stir in seasonings. Set aside. Cutting not quite through, slit each potato into ½-inch slits. Place each potato on sliced onion on top of a sheet of foil, large enough to wrap a potato. Pour about 1/6 of butter mixture on each potato. Bring edges of foil together and seal securely. Bake it your preferred way. Potatoes are done if soft when lightly squeezed. Cooking tips: charcoal grill over medium coals approximately 60 minutes; conventional oven on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for 60 minutes; crock pot potatoes can be stacked, baked 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low.

Karyl J. Stockinger Pea River EC

Potato Breakfast Bowls

Per person:

1 potato, cubed

2-3 small okra pods

1/2 small onion

1 mushroom, sliced

1 handful of spinach leaves

2 eggs

Salt, ground cayenne pepper, garlic powder and rosemary, to taste

Olive oil

Pour enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a skillet and turn on medium heat. Cut potato into ½-inch cubes and add to skillet. Slice okra into ¼-inch pieces and add to skillet. Cut slice of onion, then cut into 8 pieces like a pizza, and add to skillet. Slice mushroom into thin slices and add to skillet. Add spinach leaves and cover. While veggies cook, whisk eggs with salt, powdered cayenne, garlic powder, and rosemary.  When spinach leaves are wilted, and a fork easily pierces the potatoes, add the egg mixture, stirring occasionally until dry.  Serve with whole grain toast.

Jennifer Fleming, Baldwin EMC

Potato Stuffing

1 medium onion, chopped

3 celery stalks, chopped

5 tablespoons butter

4 slices whole wheat bread, torn into pieces

3 cups cooked mashed potatoes

1/2 teaspoon dried sage

1 tablespoon dried parsley

Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large pan, sauté onion and celery in butter over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in bread, potatoes, sage, parsley, salt and pepper.  Grease a medium sized casserole dish and add stuffing mixture.  Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour or until top is slightly browned and crispy. Great for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Also, a perfect side dish with meatloaf.

Janice Bracewell, Covington EC

From the Buttered Home

Potatoes are one of the most versatile vegetables. Truthfully, nothing beats just some good old mashed potatoes. Here, we show you how to jazz them up and make them a dish that everyone will love.  WARNING!  These fancy mashed potatoes may also make folks fall in love with you too! This is the first side dish I ever fixed for my husband of now 26 years. So simple, yet so delicious!

Photo by The Buttered Home

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

2-3 pounds white potatoes, peeled, cubed and boiled 

3 tablespoons butter

8 ounces cream cheese

8 ounces sour cream

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Dried parsley or green onions, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil and drain potatoes. In a large bowl, mash potatoes until desired consistency is achieved. Add butter, cream cheese and sour cream. Mix well.

Add salt, pepper and garlic powder, mixing well. Pour into a greased 9×13-inch casserole dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Garnish with dried parsley or chopped green onions.


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