Score big on flavor with a baked potato bar for your Super Bowl party. Let your guests load up baked white potatoes and sweet potatoes with robust toppings. Focus on umami-rich ingredients, ones that have a meaty-brothy flavor. Potatoes and sweet potatoes are one of the thriftiest, healthiest sources of umami flavor. Combine them with mushrooms and other
plants high in umami to satisfy rugged appetites without saturated fat, nitrites, or busting your budget. No matter how the game turns out, your crowd will win.
Read on for how to make a baked potato bar plus more umami sources. I hope you’ve caught my other four posts this week on healthy, welcoming food that can help us save the world together, even while we PAR-tay!
How to Make a Baked Potato Bar
- Pick a mix of orange sweet potatoes, white Russet potatoes, and small Yukon Gold or red potatoes. Look for firm potatoes without cuts or sprouts. Relatively long and slim potatoes will bake quicker than squat round ones and have more room for toppings.
- Scrub potatoes, cut away any sprouts or bad spots that showed up after you bought them. I like to wrap them with foil, but many experts call for baking them unwrapped. If you don’t wrap the sweet potatoes, rub them with a little vegetable oil to keep the skins soft and put them in a foil-lined pan to catch the drips. You can prep the potatoes up to six hours in advance and then keep the potatoes at room temperature until you bake them.
- Heat oven to 350°F with racks in the center of the oven. Bake potatoes in single layers for about an hour and 15 minutes, until they are fork tender and soft when you squeeze them. (Protect your hand with pot holder when you squeeze the hot spuds!)
- As soon as they come out of the oven, split potatoes in half lengthwise or at least poke them with a fork a few times to let the steam escape.
- Serve with umami-rich toppings, such as hummus, olives, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, and sauerkraut. Add contrast with guacamole, colorful chopped bell peppers, and purple or green onions.
- For an easy dessert, serve sweet potatoes with maple syrup, chopped walnuts, and cinnamon in a shaker. Remember that sweet potatoes get sweeter the longer they cook.
Other sources of umami flavor
Tackle cheese or meat cravings naturally with ripe tomatoes, fermented vegetables such as kimchi or sauerkraut, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, nuts, seeds, dried sea vegetables, nutritional yeast, and the umami-rich foods listed above.
What will you be eating on Super Bowl Sunday?
Do you feel inspired to include some healthy dishes? What’s worked best for you for past Super Bowl parties? Please share your experiences in the comments below. For more recipes, pictures, and tips that will help you welcome everyone by eating plants together, please visit CookforGood.com/drgreene.
Photo credit: Linda Watson