Monday, October 27, 2014

Hokey Smokey Potato Salad

I didn't think I liked potato salad.  I've had a few good variations before, but mostly is just seemed like a reason to eat mass quantities of potatoes and mayonnaise and foolishly call it salad.

Oh, I just had a small salad for lunch.  

I attended a pig roast in the summer, and because I'm a vegetarian I ate a lot of the salads available.  My husband is vegan a good 90% of the time, so it was nice to treat myself to a few things I wouldn't normally eat.  And treat myself I did.  Actually, I didn't go too crazy - it just felt crazy because I loved this potato salad so much I dug through the fridge at 1am hoping to find leftovers.

Well, my husband had a work potluck thingy and he wanted me to make something cold so he didn't have to lug a crockpot to work and ensure it had enough time to heat up, etc.  I thought - huzzah! - I am going to jack my friend's potato salad recipe and vegan it up.

Whether or not you're vegan, you probably shouldn't be eating mayonnaise.  Ok, if you must have mayo at least only a tablespoon at a time on the most bodacious BLT ever.  Not by the cupful in a "salad".
Enter:  Hokey Smokey Potato Salad

This recipe is big enough to bring to a potluck with 8-10 adults who want seconds.  It's easily halved or doubled and can have lots of variations made. 

3-4lb potatoes (I used red because that's what I had, but use whatever you want I guess)
2-3 ripe avocado
Juice from freshly squeezed lemon, or 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 bunch green onion, chopped small-ish
2-3 shallots, or one large red onion, also chopped small
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro or parsley
1-2tbsp liquid smoke (or more, to taste)

Variation ideas: 1 tbsp nutritional yeast, a few cloves of roasted garlic, 1/4 cup chives

Cut your potatoes into even sized cubes and bring to a boil.  Once boiled, lower to a simmer until they are soft enough to stick a fork through but NOT so soft you don't have to push your fork a little.  You will have weird mashed potatoes if you over cook.  Once your taters are done, rinse them in cold water until they are cool so they stop cooking or you still might end up with mashed potatoes on your hands.

While your p-tats (yup, I'm starting a new trend and calling them p-tats) are cooking, place your lemon juice or apple cider vinegar into a large mixing bowl.  You're just using enough to stop the avocados from turning brown - you don't want to taste it when you're done.  Peel and pit your avocados and squish them to bits with the juice.  I used a little hand blender, but it was 9pm and I had just finished making a big dinner and packing lunches and doing the dishes and.... I just wanted to use a blender.

Once your avocados are nice and smooth (there will always be a few chunks left), add your finely chopped green onions, herbs and red onion.  I always use a nice pair of clean scissors to cut green onion if you're looking for a cool way to prep them.

Add your potatoes and mix gently but thoroughly.  Once mixed, start adding liquid smoke until it tastes just how you'd like.  I put 2tbsp in my batch, and I thought it was just right - but it will depend on how much lemon/apple cider vinegar you use and how many potatoes you boiled, etc.

I took a picture of my salad a full 24 hours after making it, so the colour wasn't as vibrant green and beautiful as it was immediately after making it but it certainly isn't the gross brown colour avocados turn after being cut open.   I love this salad!  And, yes, potatoes aren't the best food to be eating lots of - but they're not the worst from time to time.  I hope you make and LOVE this salad as much as I do, and if you do - don't forget to send me a pic or an update on how they turned out.

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