Stuffing Potatoes Full Of Flavor

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - June 13, 2007
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Ewa Beach resident Jason Gushiken is the manager of the Lids store at Pearlridge Center. Lids sells all kinds of hats for both genders, most of which can be embroidered for the customer. In fact, Lids is the No. 1 seller of fashion hats for men, women and children in the United States.

After graduating from Aiea High School, Jason was awarded a scholarship to Boise State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He then returned to Honolulu to start his career in retail management. It is a pleasure to dedicate this column to him.

The potato has been a staple in the diet of Andean people since ancient times. Spanish explorers discovered that the potato prevented scurvy and carried them on their ships as early as the 16th century.

Choose firm, undamaged potatoes that have no sprouts or green patches. Do not wash the potato until ready for use, as washing removes their protective coating and will shorten storage life.

The potato is made up of about 80 percent water, and is an excellent source of potassium and a good source of vitamin C. It also contains vitamin B6, niacin, iron, copper, magnesium, folic acid and pantothenic acid.The potato is said to have medicinal properties in the juice, and is believed to be anti-spasmodic, diuretic and sedative. It is also said to relieve scurvy and ulcers.

These are good as an accompaniment to main dishes, or can be served as a main meal with a tomato and spinach salad, and some crusty bread.


* 4 large baking potatoes
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
* 1/2 large Maui onion, chopped
* 1/2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
* 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
* 1 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
* salt and pepper, to taste
* 1 (8-ounce) container nonfat sour cream or plain yogurt
* 2/3 cup shredded nonfat Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut a slit in top of potatoes, and bake for about 1 hour, or until soft. Heat olive oil in skillet. Combine onion and mushrooms and cook slowly until soft. Add chives, garlic, red pepper, salt and pepper.

Slice top off baked potatoes and keeping the skins intact, scoop the insides into a medium bowl and mash well; add onion mixture and combine well. Mix in sour cream. Using a large spoon, fill the potato skins with the mixture. Sprinkle cheese on top. Return the potatoes to the preheated oven and continue baking for about 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the filling is slightly brown.

Makes eight side dish or four main course servings.

Approximate Nutrition Information Per Serving (eight servings)

Calories: 185

Fat: 3.5 grams

Cholesterol: 12 milligrams

Sodium: 127 milligrams

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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