A good meal begins with quality ingredients and good cooking technique; and when it comes to choosing quality ingredients, I firmly believe that the Comprehensive Food List is the primary reason why I was so successful on SlimGenics where I had failed on other programs. If you think about it, that list saves us from anxiety, confusion, and risk. It gives us the freedom to eat real food, familiar food, and delicious food. We know that every item on that list is a good choice that is going to help us in our weight loss goals and future efforts at maintaining a healthy weight. As someone who really enjoys food (I have all my life), the List was a life raft that protected me from my irregular and compulsive eating habits. The first Counselor I met with put it this way: “We give you a figurative box, and then we give you a list of things to put in the box…the rest is up to you.” At the time, it felt restrictive, but it turned out to be incredibly freeing. After some time of playing with my approved foods, I felt as though I could make just about anything. Even though the number of items on the list is limited – the possibilities are endless.
If they weren’t, I wouldn’t have been able to write recipes for this long (and I don’t intend to stop anytime soon).
With that, let’s talk about the potato. I used to really enjoy making homemade hash browns, but have not tried to make an on-plan version for two reasons: 1) the half-potato portion would be too small and unsatisfying, and 2) I required a lot of oil to create the brown and crispy potatoes that I loved. Turns out I was wrong on both counts. When you shred a potato, you are adding volume rather than taking it away, and this was a surprising bonus to making hash browns. I also found that you could get a brown and crispy potato with zero-calorie cooking spray using the right technique. The process of rinsing and drying your potato shreds is what helps them cook to a delicious and traditional-tasting hash brown – without any oil aside from your cooking spray.
I enjoyed this breakfast with a side of fresh cantaloupe and found myself very satisfied afterward. My daughter added some of our homemade, on-plan ketchup to her potatoes. It was definitely a classic diner breakfast right in my own kitchen. Like I said: The possibilities are endless!
- 1 baking potato, peeled
- 1/2 tsp. dried minced onion
- 1/2 tsp. Morton® Lite Salt, divided
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 4 eggs
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 10 small green onions, chopped
Using a box grater, shred potato. Place shredded potato in a fine mesh colander and rinse well with water. Squeeze to remove excess water, then move potato to a double or triple layer of paper towel, top with additional towel, and press to dry potato as much as possible. You can also use a clean kitchen towel for this.
Heat a non-stick skillet over high heat. When hot, spray with cooking spray and scatter potatoes loosely into pan. Sprinkle with minced onion and half of salt and pepper. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 5-6 minutes, until potatoes are softened and cooked. Remove lid and return heat to high. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until potatoes are golden brown on the bottom. Spray top of potatoes with additional cooking spray, and using a spatula, carefully turn potatoes and continue to cook until desired degree of color and crispness. Spritz with additional cooking spray as needed to prevent sticking.
While potatoes are cooking, use a fork to beat eggs with water. Heat a second non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, coat with cooking spray and add eggs. Cook without disturbing for 2 minutes, until eggs are set on the bottom. Use a bamboo spatula to push eggs to center of pan, allowing uncooked egg to run to edge of pan. Add green onions and season with remaining salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking and pushing mixture just until eggs are set. Be careful not to brown the eggs or dry them out. Remove from heat and cover until ready to eat.
Serve eggs alongside hash browns with a side of fresh fruit.