By Rose McAvoy
Growing up there were a few dishes that my grandma would make only for holiday meals or special family dinners. My sister and I looked forward to them and made sure to double check that they would be on the menu a week or so in advance of the meal. One of these recipes is known in our family as Yummy Potatoes.
More than likely Grandma clipped the recipe for Yummy Potatoes from a magazine or newspaper column decades ago. One bite of this bubbly, creamy, cheesy casserole and it is no surprise that we adopted it as a family favorite. The ingredients are not at all fancy or difficult to assemble, but along the way we all decided to reserve it for special meals.
Last Christmas my very wise aunt sent me a copy of Grandma’s recipe card and asked me to lighten it up for our holiday meal. I was happy to take on the challenge. I added a super secret vegetable in the form of diced cauliflower and made some simple swaps with the ingredients. I did not alter the volume of cheese. I did scan of all the packages of shredded cheese in the supermarket and found the 2% Mexican blend was the lightest variety that would get all melty in the oven.
The lightened version of Yummy Potatoes still gets bubbly oven and every bite is creamy and cheesy. When choosing the menu for a special occasion I like to think not about “loving with food” but feeding my family with love and a respect for their bodies. I want my family to stay healthy and happy for many years to come and lightening up our favorite dishes is a great way to do that.
The best part about this dish is how good it is any time of day. Make this for a special occasion breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The creamy and cheesy potatoes are so satisfying and the crispy onions crust makes it over-the-top good. Add diced chicken or ham to turn this tasty side dish into a homerun entrée.
Prep time: 15 minutes, Cooking time: 1 hour; yield 16 servings
- 1 lb (28 0z) bag of frozen O’Brien Potatoes, thawed
- 1 lb cauliflower, diced and steamed (6-9 minutes in the microwave until just softened)
- 1 can reduced fat – low sodium cream of chicken soup
- 1 cup non-fat greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cup shredded 2% Mexican blend cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 (2.8 oz) container French Fried Onions
Dice and steam the cauliflower.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the potatoes and steamed cauliflower in a 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish. Mix together the cream of chicken soup, yogurt, buttermilk, cheese, melted butter, and garlic salt. Add the mixture to the potatoes and stir well. (This can also be done in a large bowl and then turned out into the baking dish once combined.)
Cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes remove the foil and top the potatoes with the friend onion pieces. Continue baking for fifteen more minutes.
Approximate nutrition per serving: calories 136, fat 6.2 g., carbohydrate 13 g., fiber 2 g., protein 6.2 g, PP = 3