Have you ever wondered what the most versatile food is? Anyone who knows me understands my obsession with potatoes. From the fried heaven of tater-tots to the simplicity of baked potatoes, there are more than 11 ways to spice up your favorite Thanksgiving side. Also, with St. Patrick’s Day this Friday, why not write a Lorian ‘Leven that represents my (small) Irish heritage?
1. Baked potato: starting out simple, baked potatoes are a staple for any dinner and are easy to make. If you are in a rush, it only takes about ten minutes in the microwave. Also, the toppings are endless: butter, salt, cheese, sour cream, more cheese, or even vegetables if you’re feeling healthy. You can even cook an egg in the center to add more protein.
2. Mashed potato: can Thanksgiving dinner even exist without grandma’s buttery mashed potatoes? Not in my family at least.
3. Hash browns: whenever I go out for breakfast, my decision is made over whether the food I want comes with a side of hash browns. This breakfast potato even differs from place to place. Weather crispy and cubed or shredded and fried, I can never turn them down.
4. Tater Tots: when I was growing up, tater tots were always my preferred side to burgers. Who needs fries when tater tots exist? The fact that Loras’ Cafe had tater tots available for breakfast, lunch and dinner did not help my health my first year, but that didn’t mean I avoided eating them!
5. Tachos: now, this is a new one even for an avid potato fan like me. Imagine: tater tot nachos. Enough said.
6. Potato Burritos: our nation seems to be obsessed with burritos, but why not make them better by combining them with potatoes? Here’s a great way to use your leftovers so none of the burrito goodness goes to waste. Just scoop out some of the baked potato and fill it with the burrito fillings. Olé!
7. Potato Lasagna: this is a recipe I tried this semester. While there are many recipes that work, the one I made uses thin potato slices and layers them with cheese, ham, more cheese, and a milk-based filling. Five thumbs up!
8. Cheesy potatoes: at family gatherings, you could often find me with a plate of just cheesy potatoes…well, and the other sides my parents forced me to eat. While I still have not procured my relative’s famous recipe, there are plenty of amazing recipes out there. Try one, and I doubt you will be disappointed.
9. Garlic potatoes: this is one of my roommate’s favorite recipes. Just dice up some potatoes, mix them in olive oil, garlic powder and Parmesan cheese, bake them, and violá! Garlicky perfection!
10. Potato chips: while barbecue potato chips are my favorite, there are so many varieties to try.
11. Potato skins: practically the homemade version of potato chips, potato skins are perfect for game days. Just slice some potatoes real thin, bake them, and dip them in any type of dipping sauce you prefer.
While I could keep going on the amazing options potatoes can offer us, this should give you enough ideas to try out. Happy eating!