Let’s start with the question “are potatoes paleo?” If you google that, you will find many different answers ( a good article is found here http://paleoleap.com/are-white-potatoes-paleo/). When I started paleo, the answer was pretty much “no” BUT sweet potatoes are okay. This didn’t suit my sense of logic because if we are discussing the diet of Mr. and Mrs. Ugh, if they ate potatoes at all, they probably did not distinguish between the two…and they certainly didn’t eliminate the white potato merely because it was too high on the glycemic index. As time passed, many in the paleo community seemed to soften on the white potato issue. I use potatoes as a starchy vegetable and try to avoid the clearly non-paleo versions like potato chips and French fries (I confess I’m not totally successful at this) and I don’t indulge in potatoes daily. But when I do, I love this fairly healthy (it does have lots of oil in it) version of mashed potatoes
When I first gave up dairy, I would never have dreamed I would prefer mashed potatoes made with olive oil over those made with lots of butter and cream. But that is indeed the case. These mashed potatoes are smooth and rich with added layers of flavor from the broth in which the potatoes are cooked as well as the freshness from the chopped herbs.
The amount of olive oil you want to use in the potatoes will depend on how “tasty” your extra virgin olive oil is (and for this you must use extra virgin). You will need less of a very fruity/flavorful olive oil than of a bland one. Start with 2 tablespoons of oil, then add more until you have the flavor profile that you like best.
There are many ways to julienne vegetables. If you have divine knife skills, you need nothing more than a sharp knife and a cutting board. The chef or gourmet cook probably uses a mandoline – a very sharp and scary instrument that sits in my closet, never used. There are many types of mandolines varying in price from a few hundred for the classic stainless steel ones to $20 for a plastic one. Of the less expensive mandolines, I prefer the box type mandoline because it collects the shredded item in an attached container (box). If you are interested in the box model, Amazon is including 2 ebooks and a video in the $19.99 price…and BTW I couldn’t resist and bought one just now when I went to find a link for you! Okay, so let’s say I LOVE this mandoline, what about the julienner I writing about in this post. Will I still LOVE it?
I think the answer is yes. Yes, because it’s small and doesn’t take up much storage space. Yes, because you don’t have to clean a bunch of parts just to julienne one zucchini. Yes, because it does an awesome job and for zucchini it makes really long shreds and I won’t know about the box mandoline until I get mine and try it.
So let’s talk about Zucchetti aka Zucchini Spaghetti. As you can see, it’s long thin strands of zucchini, cooked and used instead of spaghetti. It surprises me to tell you that I prefer zucchetti to spaghetti. The lightness and freshness of the flavor makes real spaghetti seem clunky and heavy in comparison.
Be sure to saute the zucchetti just long enough for it to be softened. Over cooking it tends to make the strands collapse into each other…still edible but less appealing. You can saute it in olive oil and garlic for a simple dish. Or you can add any sauce that you usually like on pasta. I find meat sauce (recipe coming next week) my favorite but pesto or mushrooms are also delish.