Published Thursday, January 10, 2013

Low-cost, high nutrition meals using potatoes

From Staff Reports

In the post Christmas season, a lot of us have to watch both our wallets and our waistlines.

Consider Idaho potatoes as an edible canvas. In just a few easy steps, home chefs can build a low-cost, healthy meal. Whether a hearty soup, turkey shepherd’s pie or stuffed baked potato, the options for eating a nutritious meal are endless.

The Idaho Potato Commission has recipes for breakfast & brunch, meals, and snacks, featured on its website - .

This potato and chicken pesto salad is light and easy on the pocketbook. The recipe uses cubed chicken breast tossed with Idaho potato slices, pesto and green beans is a vibrant, fresh twist on the traditional mayo-based chicken salad.


Idaho Potato and Pesto Chicken Salad

Yield: 8 servings


2 pounds Idaho potatoes, well scrubbed (peeled, if desired)


1 pound fresh green beans, washed and trimmed


1 Tablespoon olive oil


1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes


3/4 cup prepared pesto sauce


3 - 6 cups mixed salad greens such as Boston, bibb or mesclun mix (optional)


Over high heat, in a large, heavy pot with tight-fitting cover, bring half a pot of water to boil. Meanwhile, cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, then cut them crosswise in 1/2-inch slices. Add potatoes to boiling water, cover and return to boiling; cook 3 minutes.

Add green beans to pot with potatoes and cook another 4 minutes; drain potatoes and beans and set aside. (Vegetables should be firm.)

In the same pot, heat olive oil over high heat and cook the chicken, stirring for 6 - 8 minutes or until meat is completely cooked through. Remove from heat; stir in pesto sauce, then gently stir in potatoes and green beans, taking care not to break up the vegetables. Serve salad warm or at room temperature on a bed of salad greens, if desired.

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