The Outrageously Pink Potato and Beet Salad

One time we made this outrageously pink potato and beet salad just for a change. We usually make potato salad around Christmas or New Year’s eve because for us it is a festive addition to whatever we cooked for that day. The usual ham and keso de bola plus the other meat dishes are the main staples of our holiday table, so adding any type of veggie dish or salad sort of ‘cuts’ the umay effect.

This pink potato salad, which my mother shuns up to this day, is naturally colored and delicious. And yep, you can count the calories if you want, but you can replace certain ingredients to cut the calorie content and still maintain the richness and flavor of this salad.

What we used here were baby potatoes; diced and peeled steamed fresh beets [they taste better than canned, I think]; mayonnaise; pickle relish; grated cheese; diced celery stalk; diced spam or any canned luncheon meat [we prefer spam or purefoods original luncheon meat]; boiled whole chicken breast/s, meat separated and then diced; skim milk; salt, pepper, and sugar to taste.

Boil first the whole chicken breasts in water, salt, ground pepper, and halved peeled onion. Once the meat is tender, drain the broth in a clean bowl and set aside the chicken to cool. Remove the bones and dice the meat.

Steam the unpeeled fresh beets in water until fork tender. Set aside the drained beets to cool. Once cooled, peel and dice, then set aside once again.

Boil the baby potatoes in chicken broth [add water if needed and a pinch of salt] until fork tender. Once cooked, remove water and set aside.

* Note: We did not peel the potatoes, we just cleaned them thoroughly with a little soap and rinsed in running water several times to remove the dirt/soil embedded on the potato skins. The smaller ones were left whole and the bigger ones were cut in half before boiling in a pot.

Set aside the potatoes and prepare the dressing.

In a clean bowl, combine the mayonnaise, salt, ground pepper, sugar, pickle relish and skim milk. We used skim milk to thin the dressing a bit. You can substitute mayonnaise with a low-fat version or plain yogurt. Taste the dressing if already according to your taste. Add the diced celery stalk, spam/luncheon meat, grated cheese, and chicken. Mix well. Taste it and see if it needs adjusting; ensure it’s a little sweet and sour, with just enough saltiness.

Add and mix in the cooked baby potatoes without breaking or mushing them. Lastly, add the diced cooked beets. Don’t be surprised if your potato salad turns super pink. Chill in the fridge before serving. And tell your mom not to shun this outrageous potato salad because it is delish and extra nutritious because of the phytonutrients in beets.

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