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Potato Salad

Low Fat Potato Salad – Tried and Tasted

By WLR's Food Information Executive, Laurence Beeken

How many times have you tried to eat a healthy, low calorie and low fat meal only to find out that one of the side dishes has totally blown the whole meal way out of your calorie allowance. This is often the case with one of the most popular summer time dishes – the ready made potato salad.

It’s a familiar sight at British picnics and barbeques, and as an easy addition to salads and general summertime recipes.  Unfortunately, the potato salad has managed to get a bad rap over the amount of fat and calories it contains (mostly down to the mayonnaise used to make it) and tends to be avoided by dieters and healthy eaters alike.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Once again our Tried and Tasted team have scoured the shelves of all the major supermarkets to bring you the low down on the best tasting low fat potato salad recipes so you can still get that summertime taste without affecting your waist.

Table 1: Low Fat Potato Salad Compared
Product Marks & Spencer - Reduced Fat Potato Salad Tesco - Light Choices Potato Salad Morrison's - Eat Smart Potato Salad
  Marks & Spencer, Reduced Fat Potato Salad Tesco, Light Choices Potato Salad Morrisons, Eat Smart Potato Salad
Ranking 1 2 3
Appearance Creamy mayonnaise with big bits of potato made this one look quite appetising with an appealing colour. Very thick and creamy, the potatoes could've been cooked more thoroughly but a good all round dish. Chunky, sloppy and creamy were some of the adjectives being thrown around by the team. Much like a potato salad should be but was lacking in seasoning some thought.
Smell A delightlful hint of mustard brought something new and inviting to this classic dish. A strong but not overpowering smell with shades of onion. No real smell to define it as a potato salad.
Taste The mustard gave this potato salad a nice kick which followed through on the taste. A very Palatable side dish all round. A pretty mediocre taste which was quite disappointing after the smell, however, this also meant that it didn't taste too bad either. Nothing to report in the taste department either. But then again, this also meant no nasty after tastes either.
Filling / Satisfying? The whole team agreed that this was the most flavoursome dish out of all of them and would quite happily eat a box of this on its own. Nothing offensive or adventurous to put you off here making it a great comlpliment to a summer feast. If you're not big on taste, then this is the potato salad for you. Unfortunately, the team prefer something with more flavour so didn't bother after the initial tasting.
Texture / Consistency A great creamy texture with large chunks of potato meant that this makes a substantial side dish. Very thick and creamy but the potatoes were a bit grainy from not being cooked thoroughly. It looked right - creamy mayonnaise with decent sized potato chunks, but it just didn't have any extras to make it a potato salad as opposed to just potato and mayo.
Conclusion The consistency of the dressing was perfect and the mixture of flavours really put this one right in the lead. This really was loved by the whole team without exception. Although the potatoes were undercooked and the dressing was a bit gloopy, this still fared better than some of the other offerings. A bit of a nothing dish really, helps to bulk out the plate but does nothing for the senses.
Serving Size 50g 50g 50g
Calories (kcal) per serving 47.5 55 56
Fat (g) per serving 1.7 3.0 3.4
Price £1.00 £0.64 £0.64
Table 2: More Low Fat Potato Salad Compared
Product Asda - Reduced Fat Potato Salad Sainsbury's - Be Good To Yourself Potato Salad
  Asda, Reduced Fat Potato Salad Sainsburys, Be Good to Yourself Potato Salad
Ranking 4 5
Appearance A visually appealing, well seasoned dish with some good colour but the potatoes didn't look too thoroughly cooked. Heavily yellowed and offputting, with large chunks of spring onion. Some mixed emotions about how this one looked.
Smell Nothing to report. It's not a dish you'd be able to smell over anything else on a buffet table. A tangy smell that hit the back of your throat, didn't make this a very appealing dish.
Taste Very deceptive! This looked like such a nice dish but it had no taste to speak of. Very disappointing. The vinegar and spring onion really took over once you'd tasted this and it really wasn't a thrilling combination. Detested by all on the team.
Filling / Satisfying? Such a shame. This would look fantastic laid out on a table, the only problem being once you actually get to eating it, there's nothing there! Not a dish people would want to return for. It may have been an acquired taste here, but it was one that didn't appeal to our team which meant that no-one would give it a second chance to see how filling it was.
Texture / Consistency Everything looked and felt right about it. You could even tell there were herbs in the mixture whilst eating it. Felt very disjointed, as if you'd put all the ingredients in your mouth seperately in the hope they mixed well. They didn't.
Conclusion This was such a let down after it's original appearance, like someone had stolen all of the taste from it just as it met your lips. Maybe less spring onion would've helped but altogether this was never going to come out better than the other ones we'd tried.
Serving Size 50g 50g
Calories (kcal) per serving 52 51
Fat (g) per serving 3.4 2.8
Price £0.64 £0.69

The results show that Marks & Spencer really do excel in their food range, coming out a head and shoulders above the rest in the taste wars. There really wasn’t much between the rest of the low fat potato salads, not scoring particularly high in any of the various area’s and not really bringing something fresh tasting or exciting to the table, maybe it’s a chance to try out your own recipe...

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