Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Lightened Potatoes Au Gratin

First, a big thank you to the folks at They offer a ton of useful information for parents and families in East-Central Illinois. Even if you're not from here, check them out, it's not all local. Today, they posted an interview with me as part of their "Chambana Dads to Know" feature, talking about blogging and family. They were great to work with.

Potatoes au gratin is one of Nancy's favorite foods. It's also one of those foods that those of us trying to lose weight or live a healthy lifestyle might think we have to avoid. Not so.

As with almost any food, a combination of using healthy ingredients, portion control and good planning allows you to have those foods you love. In this case, I use low-fat cheese and skim milk to lower fat. The onion bulks up the dish for fewer calories than the potato and adds some great flavor. Finally, we ate lighter early in the day to be sure we didn't overdue.

Judging by the response I got from Nancy and Quinn, this dish came out very well. The Parmesan crust was really nice and the sauce had all the flavors you'd want in an au gratin. It worked out to be 198 calories with 5 grams of fat and 2 of fiber per serving.

Let's eat!

Lightened Potatoes Au Gratin
Makes 8 servings
4 russet potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 medium onion, sliced and broken into rings
3 tablespoons light butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups skim milk
1-1/2 cups shredded low-fat cheddar
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400F and spray a 1-quart casserole dish with non-stick.

Layer 1/2 the potatoes, top with the onion and add the remaining potatoes. Salt and pepper to taste.

In a sauce pan, melt butter and slowly add the flour and then salt, whisking constantly, to create a roux. After about one minute, slowly begin to add the milk, whisking constantly, keeping the mixture smooth. Continue to cook until thick. Add cheddar and stir until melted. Pour the cheese sauce over the potatoes.

Cover and bake for about 1-1/2 hours. Uncover and sprinkle the Parmesan and the top and turn the oven to broil. Broil until topping is lightly browned.

Deal of the Day: Save money by buying your cheese as blocks and shredding it yourself.


DailyChef said...

I love how you can take some of the tastiest dishes and make them healthy. Bravo!

KKSC2NC said...

This just happens to be one of my favorite dishes. I am so glad to see a way to lighten it up. Thanks!!

5 Star Foodie said...

An excellent lightened up au gratin version!

Lauren said...

I'm so happy to have found this recipe!! Can't wait to try it tonight! Thank you!

Megan said...

It's kind of like the saying, you can have your cake and eat it too! Love it lightened up.

Biren said...

Love potato au gratin. Great that you lightened it up. The next time I have a dish I really like and it is not too healthy, I'll have to pass it on to you to lighten it up :)

Scott K said...

Thanks for all the great comments.

Biren, seriously, send it my way and I'll see what I can do.

Amy said...

This looks fantastic! Thanks so much for being part of!

Anonymous said...

Doubled this recipe - followed to a tee except I added one chopped jalapeƱo. I don't recommend this. It was bland and the oven temp was too high and it definitely didn't need as long to cook as stated. The top looked great, but the sauce burned to the inside of the pan, making it taste like a bland charred mess.

Scott K said...

Anonymous, I'm sorry the dish didn't work for you. I fear that doubling it may have been part of the issue.

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