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Chef's Hat: A spud for everyone

After writing this column for several years, there are some weeks when it feels like there can't be any new or interesting recipes to share with my readers.

But just checking my email I find that not to be true. There are hundreds or probably thousands of recipes out there and new ones popping up on a daily basis.

Granted, I come across some recipes that don't look in the least bit appealing. I will try a lot of things, but there are certain foods I don't want in my kitchen or even in my house. Spam, lentils, kohlarbi and oysters are foods I tend to avoid.

Those bizarre things you see some of the food show hosts eat - bugs, ant larvae, scorpions, starfish - are definitely not something I have any desire to try.

One food everyone seems to enjoy in one form or another is potatoes. Potatoes get a bad rap. They are not just empty calories, and they actually provide significant amounts of potassium and vitamin C.

Granted, if you bake a potato and load it with butter, sour cream and cheddar cheese and you don't eat the skin, you are losing most of the nutritional value of this vegetable and getting a lot of calories in the process.

There are plenty of healthy potato recipes that will satisfy most any taste. Granted, once in awhile you do have to splurge and eat something like Cheesey Hashbrowns, which are definitely not a low-calorie dish.

From the recipes I receive from the Idaho Potato Commission, potatoes are in everything from breakfast dishes to dessert recipes, including being an ingredient in cake. What better use of a potato can you find than making a cake?

The Fudge Mocha Potato Cake from the Idaho Potato Council is a good recipe, and if you don't tell your family and friends there are potatoes in the recipe, they'll never know.

Forget the traditional baked potato and try something new! Happy eating.