Thinly sliced potatoes are layered in a creamy low-fat yogurt and cheddar cheese sauce and then topped with low-fat Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese for a delicious and healthy high-protein potatoes au gratin casserole.
Today, Barbara and I (John) will be reviewing a potatoes au gratin recipe that Dr. Ted Naiman featured on his twitter account. The recipe was so unique that we wanted to share it with you.
It may seem odd that we would review a potato recipe since we’re both low-carb, but stick with us, and you’ll see why we chose to do it.
Let me first share some introductory remarks.
If you’ve followed this site for any amount of time, you’ll see that Barbara’s recipes generally follow a low-carb model. We’ve both practiced a low-carb high protein lifestyle for about 15 years. It’s worked well for us.
We’ve managed our weight well, put on muscle, and have been pretty healthy over that time. While we may indulge in a few higher carb foods occasionally (like half of a baked sweet potato), it’s not something we do often.
However, we do have four adult children who eat carbs in moderation. Since they all work out and are definitely not overweight, enjoying extra carbs is not a problem for them. Most of their carbs are from potatoes and white rice.
However, the important thing I stress to them is, “Guys, if you’re going to eat extra carbs, don’t mix them with a high fat food.” In other words, if you’re going to have a baked potato, it might not be a good idea to melt butter on it.
I know potatoes are bland without it. We’ll fix that with this recipe. But there are good reasons not to combine carbs and fat.
Why You Shouldn’t Mix Carbs And Fat
There are basically three reasons for doing this.
First, consuming carbs combined with fat supplies a ton of energy (calories) to your body. If you’re big on these kinds of foods, you’re probably getting more energy than you need.
That means, unless you do a ton of aerobic exercise, your body will end up storing that energy in the form of fat.
Second, foods that contain a high mix of carbs and fat are rarely found in nature. There is usually a tremendous refining process involved in their production.
Have you seen videos on what’s involved with producing soybean oil? After seeing the process, you may not want to consume seed oils again. See here.
Third, foods that contain a high combination of carbs and fat are usually highly palatable. They are so tasty. Think ice cream, French fries, pizza.
However, the bad news is that when you eat these foods, your body senses that these are a kind of reward, and it shuts off satiety. They don’t fill you up, and you crave more.
Do you remember the slogan from the Lay’s potato chip commercial a couple of years back? “Bet you can’t eat just one.” Lay’s was pretty sure they’d win that bet.
That’s because potato chips (high carbs) are saturated with fat. They taste so good, and they don’t fill you up. So before you know it, you’ve eaten the whole bag. And probably stored a lot of extra calories.
Who Is Dr. Ted Naiman?
So, with those points in mind, we come to today’s recipe review of Ted Naiman’s Potatoes Au Gratin.
Dr. Ted Naiman is a board-certified Family Medicine physician. He estimates he’s had about 100,000 physician/patient encounters in his 20-year career.
Naiman came to realize that “most of the time, the only difference between the fittest people on earth and the most decrepit really did just come down to two things: diet and exercise.”
These observations led Naiman to write The P:E Diet book.
The P:E Ratio
The important takeaway from the book is that to improve body composition, you need to achieve a higher satiety per calorie.
In other words, you want to eat foods that have sufficient calories but also cause you to be satiated. This happens when you eat foods higher in protein and fiber and lower in refined carbs and refined fats.
Thus, in the P:E Diet, P stands for protein and E for energy (carbs or fats). The closer the P:E ratio goes to 1, the better. P:E ratios of 1 or better generally have a high protein density.
Here is an example from Naiman showing foods with a high P:E ratio moving down the scale to those with a less desirable ratio.
If you’re interested in knowing more about the P:E Diet, grab a copy of Dr. Naiman’s book. It’s really an excellent read and may help you in your health journey.
If you’re interested in learning more about this diet, Marty Kendall at Optimising Nutrition has an in depth review.
A Quick Caveat
A quick caveat here. We’re not endorsing the P:E diet. We haven’t personally tried it. Intuitively though, it makes sense for weight loss.
Also, since I’m on about a 95% carnivore diet, my P:E ratio is already pretty high. Barbara is very low carb so her P:E ratio is high as well.
Sometimes You Just Want A Potato
Sometimes, however, you or the kids have a craving for carbs. Nainman’s Potatoes Au Gratin maximizes the P:E ratio and is a good way to satisfy that urge.
It’s a unique way to have your potatoes and eat them too. All the while feeling good about eating them.
Caution though. Personally when I had some extra weight to lose, I stayed away from higher carb foods (potatoes, white rice) until I knew that eating them wouldn’t affect my ideal weight.
The Key To The Recipe
The key to the recipe is eliminating fat, keeping the unrefined carbs, and dramatically increasing the protein density. The extra protein will fill you up, and you just won’t over eat them. I personally could eat carbs all day.
But after one scoop of these potatoes, I was done. Urge satisfied. Remarkable!
The nutrition information reveals that the recipe has 41 grams of protein per serving and over 40% protein by calories. Tons of potassium, which is also valuable for satiety, per calorie.
And it has an extremely high satiety score according to Naiman.
The recipe is quite easy to make and was a tremendous hit at our house. You’ll definitely enjoy it if you’re a cheese lover. Here it is below. And a big thank you to Ted for sharing it.
Start by peeling and slicing your potatoes. We used our mandoline set at 1/8 inch.
Then in a large mixing bowl combine skim milk, non-fat Greek yogurt, fat-free shredded cheddar cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
Add your sliced potatoes and mix well. Transfer the potato mixture to a casserole dish and top with shredded fat-free mozzarella and shredded Parmesan.
Cover and pop your potatoes au gratin in your pre-heated 400℉ oven for an hour. Then uncover and bake for fifteen more minutes until brown and bubbly.
Ah, wonderfully creamy potatoes au gratin! Take one bite and tell us what you think.
And if you have any questions, please reach out to us in the comments or shoot us an email. We’ll respond ASAP.
Love potatoes? Try these recipe
How To Make A Healthier Potato Salad (3 Simple Tips) – Follow these tips to reduce the Glycemic Index of your potatoes and then toss them with an avocado mayonnaise dressing for a potato salad that will be healthier for everyone.
Healthy Bacon and Potato Salad (With Lemon Vinaigrette) – Use the potato salad trick to reduce the Glycemic Index of your potatoes and make a delicious bacon and potato salad.
Healthier Homemade French Fries – These homemade french fries really are wonderfully easy to make, and they surpass restaurant fries, hands down. Crispy on the outside, fluffy inside, not a bit greasy: these healthy fries are in a category all their own.
Dr. Ted Naiman's P:E Potatoes Au Gratin
- 3 pounds of russet potatoes
- 16 ounces of fat free Greek yogurt
- 16 ounces of fat free shredded cheddar cheese
- 8 ounces of fat free milk
- 8 ounces of fat free shredded mozzarella
- 8 ounces of shredded parmesan cheese
- garlic powder to taste
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 400 ℉
- Peel and slice your potatoes thin and set aside.Combine milk, yogurt, cheddar cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl.Add sliced potatoes and mix well.
- Transfer potato mixture to a casserole dish. Top with mozzarella and parmesan.
- Cover and bake for 1 hour. Then uncover and bake for 15 more minutes until brown and bubbly. Serve and enjoy.
- You can find the complete nutrition information in the nutrition facts under this recipe card.
- Leftovers will keep, covered in the fridge, for up to 4-5 days.
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