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Herbed Roasted Potatoes

Published by Cheryl Mussatto, MS, RD, LD on Mar 30, 2020

Wouldn’t you agree, it’s hard to beat the savory and satisfyingly good flavor of roasted potatoes, especially when seasoned with fresh or dried herbs?  Here’s a recipe sure to delight even the most finicky eater and besides, who really dislikes potatoes? Best of all, this recipe is extremely easy and can be made in a pinch and takes just a few basic ingredients most of us have on hand.  

Since we’re talking about potatoes, you’ll notice in the ingredients, I have written that you can use either baby red potatoes or russet. But, truth be known, even fingerling or Yukon gold potatoes would work very well too. In fact, when I wrote up this blog, it was during the midst of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.  Grocery stores across the nation were struggling to keep shelves stocked, however not because there was a food shortage. Rather it was due to shoppers being told to “stay at home” to avoid spreading the virus and this caused many of us to “panic buy” more food than necessary causing some temporary shortages of goods such as potatoes. So, when I went to my local store to originally buy baby red potatoes, they were completely gone.  However, I luckily found a package of these “Petite Medley” of gold, red, and purple mix potatoes as shown below:

Photo taken by Cheryl Mussatto

Actually, I’m glad the red potatoes were sold out.  You see, it’s the simple things in life you appreciate when under a “stay at home” order. Like going to the store looking for one type of potato, but instead finding these visually appealing tri-color potatoes, making your day a little bit brighter when deciding on what to fix for dinner! The same applies to fresh herbs – my grocery store had sold out so the next best substitute is dried herbs, which is what I used in my recipe with the same great taste. 

But aren’t potatoes “bad” for us?

Ever since the ketogenic diet and other low-carb eating plans became vogue, potatoes have taken a nutritional hit making spuds seem less nutritious. Viewed as full of carbohydrates making blood sugar levels soar, plus it doesn’t help when “white” foods (like potatoes) are considered not-very-healthy, potatoes have taken a beating. However, often the way we eat potatoes also gives them a bad rap – deep fried, adding in lots of butter or sour cream, won’t do good things for your health. So what’s the truth? Are potatoes healthy or not? 

Despite the bad press potatoes have had to endure, this humble tuber comes with a lot of surprisingly nutritious health benefits. For instance, one large, raw potato has 9 grams of fiber (good for gut health and reducing chronic disease), about 1500 milligrams of potassium (three times the amount found in a banana) and 30 milligrams of vitamin C (45 percent of your daily intake of this vitamin), all very impressive numbers making potatoes a very nutritious food. 

However, potatoes are rated high on the glycemic index (GI), a method that rates how much certain foods raise your blood glucose. To avoid this scenario, choose a lower GI potato variety – like russet or baby red-skinned – then at mealtimes, enjoy small portions and pair potatoes with foods that help slow down glucose spikes (think protein rich and fiber rich foods), to counteract this reaction. 

The good thing about potatoes is their versatility as in what can be added to them influencing their healthfulness. Here are some tips on boosting a potatoes health rating simply by how they are prepared:

  • Prepare potatoes with a healthy fat such as extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil instead of butter
  • Avoid too much salt by instead using herbs and spices creating interesting flavors
  • Replace sour cream with nonfat plain Greek yogurt for a healthier spin 

Another key to eating potatoes, like any food, is to be mindful of portion size.  Portion size matters, especially so with potatoes. By following the MyPlate portion guide, reserving about ¼ of a 9-inch plate for potatoes, you can enjoy this family favorite in a variety of ways when offered with a lean protein source and raw or cooked vegetables and fruit. 

Ready to try out these herb roasted potatoes?  I knew you would be. It’ll become a recipe you’ll come back to again and again. 

Herbed Roasted Potatoes – Serving size – 1 cup, makes approximately 4 servings

Photo taken by Cheryl Mussatto

Nutrition per serving: Calories – 130; Total Fat – 5 grams; Protein – 3 grams; Carbohydrates –21 grams; Fiber – 3 grams; Sodium – 120 milligrams

Ingredients:

1 pound baby red potatoes or russet, quartered

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 teaspoon minced fresh or dried rosemary

1 teaspoon minced fresh or dried basil

1 teaspoon minced fresh or dried parsley

¼ teaspoon black pepper

¼ salt

¼ teaspoon grated lemon rind

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F

2. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray

3. Combine all ingredients, except lemon rind, in a bowl.  Toss well to coat.

4. Spread potato mixture onto baking sheet.

5. Bake for 20 minutes or until tender, stirring once after 10 minutes.

6. Remove from oven and add grated lemon rind to potatoes, toss and serve warm or cold

 

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Cheryl Mussatto, MS, RD, LD

Cheryl Mussatto MS, RD, LD is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in Dietetics and Nutrition from the University of Kansas and a bachelor’s degree in Dietetics and Institutional Management from Kansas State University. She is a clinical dietitian for Cotton O’Neil Clinics in Topeka and Osage City; an adjunct professor for Allen Community College, Burlingame, KS where she teaches Basic Nutrition; and is a freelance writer and blog contributor for Dr. David Samadi, Urologic Oncologist Expert and World Renowned Robotic Surgeon in New York City. Cheryl is also the author of The Nourished Brain, The Latest Science on Food’s Power for Protecting the Brain from Alzheimers and Dementia and The Prediabetes Action Plan and Cookbook, both available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions.

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