The Humble Spud

Or in other words; potatoes, une patate (hot potato in French), kartoffel (German), la patata (Spanish), no matter how it’s said, it spells comfort, pure and simple. And get this, the word spud is derived from spade, the tool used to dig and harvest this wonderful, flowering nutritional plant. More about the evolution of the humble spud after learning about my new obsession; country style fried baked potatoes served with a simple tofu scramble.

Country Style Fried Baked Potato Ingredients

Serves: 4 Adults

Bake time: 1 hour

Prep time: 20 min

Fry: 25 min.

  • 4 potatoes baked
  • 1 smallish red onion
  • ½ red or green bell pepper
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil

Simple Tofu Scramble Ingredients

Serves: 4   Prep time: 25 min   Cook time: 20 min

  • 12 oz. firm organic tofu
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp. mustard
  • 2 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

Simple Tofu Scramble Recipe

  1. Wrap tofu with paper towel and press out water (10 min) I put a brick on the tofu
  2. In a medium bowl, break up tofu and stir in nutritional yeast, mustard, cumin, salt, black pepper.
  3. Heat the skillet to medium and add the oil.
  4. Scramble tofu mixture, only turn once in a while with a good metal spatula.
  5. 7 to 8 minutes each side.
  6. Serve with Country Style Fried Baked Potatoes and I always have on the table, Cholula Sauce, and Mrs. Renfro’s Sweet & Hot Jalapeno Peppers

Note: when it’s just Rick and I, I halve the tofu ingredients. I don’t for the potatoes, they make great leftovers. Actually, I’ve gotten in the habit of scrubbing up a bunch of potatoes, baking them, and having some ready to add to wherever they work in a dish. Last week I chopped one up and added it to the last of the black beans I re-fried for lunch. Talk about yum!! I even threw some in a green salad with olives, a can of albacore tuna drizzled with fresh lemon and olive oil, delish!

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how hard this pandemic has hit us. It’s a scary time and at moments I’m sure for lots of us, pure panic. Especially, if you’re trying to feed yourself and your family. Enter the ‘humble spud’.

Historically potatoes have fed whole civilizations. “They are one of the first edible crops to emerge at the dawn of modern human history and managed to spread across the entire world, and  distinguish themselves for their ruggedness, storage quality and it’s nutritional value. Potato, indegenous flowering plants of South America and the Andes mountains (modern-day southern Peru and northwestern Bolivia) managed to prove its usefulness to our ancestors, who cultivated it, nurtured it, and ensured its survival during the last 10,000 years  of our history” –vegetablefacts.net

In the 1500’s when the conquistadors came to South America looking for gold, instead, they found potatoes. “The Spanish government found it easily transported food for their military and navy who while using them did not succumb to the scurvy. Potatoes arrived in Britain in 1585, Belgium and Germany in 1587, Austria in 1588, Ireland in 1589 and France in 1600. Unfortunately, the local populations thought it unneeded, weird, poisonous and downright evil” – vegetablefacts.net

It wasn’t until the French people, starved because of continuous warfare, was there a change in the attitude and a turn to the potato for sustenance. Here’s the good part of the story; “French botanist and chemist Antoine-Augustin Parmentier persuaded the King of France Louis XVl to encourage mass cultivation of this plant by tricking the population. The King gave Parmentier funds and land to grow 100 acres of potatoes, which were carefully guarded by military guards. Such large military government attention on guarding these potatoes instantly sparked the attention of the people, who after that started adopting potatoes more and more until it became one of the most popular food sources in Europe. Even Queen Marie Antoinette contributed to the plan by pinning potato flowers in her curls, a move that was quickly emulated by noble ladies all across Europe.”- vegetablefacts.net

Back to today. And the growing problem of hunger in our world, our country and in some of our homes. What can we do to help ourselves feed our families, not only food, but good food. Rick just told me you can buy a 5 lb. bag of Simply Perfect Russet Potatoes at Walmart for $2.14! We think with some creativity 5lbs. of potatoes could feed a family of five dinner for three days. And over the next few weeks I’ll help with delicious ideas for preparing some wonderful dishes. Clare (daughter number one) just called and suggested empanadas made with potatoes. “The dough or the stuffing?” I asked. “The dough” She answered. There’s no end to the goodness our common friendly spud gives to us.

Nutritional facts; potatoes are low in calories – a medium baked potato contains only 110 calories. They are a good source of vitamins C, 45% DVA and B-6, manganese, phosphorus, niacin and pantothenic acid. Potatoes are stuffed with phytonutrients, which are the organic components of plants that are thought to promote health, according to the USDA. Phytonutrients in potatoes include carotenoids, flavonoids, and caffeic acid. The vitamin C in potatoes acts as an antioxidant. These substances may prevent or delay some types of cell damage, according to the National Board of Health.” livescience.com  What’s not to like 🙂 And like so many other vegetables and fruits, leaving the peel on is where it’s at.

“I bought a big bag of potatoes and it’s growing eyes like crazy. Other foods rot. Potatoes want to see.” – Bill Callahan

Cooking for You My Love has a team of fine researchers and recipe finders, another one of the many things I’m thankful for.

Ciao for now 🙂

  1. Hehe, looks like Rick is asking “is it food yet?”! Great ideas! Potatoes are the dude’s favorite food in the world 😋

    1. Totally!! Welcome back home.. Anni and family rented a house in Malibu for 2 mos. Bodie is on remote, so they thought what the hell..it’s very healing to be here. Rick’s had a rough go, got the shingles along with everything else..the last two days feeling a little better. We’ll be home middle of next week. xo

  2. Good Grief. I’ve been misled somehow to believe potatoes are high in carbs (turning quickly into sugar) and to stay away from them! I would treat myself to them only on special occasions. Thank you for the potato evolution and history and I just put them on my grocery list! Do you think there’s a difference nutritionally between the red potato and russet? I want the variety where I get more bang for my buck.

    I hope you guys had a great time in Malibu and I hope you had the opportunity to try Nobu’s artichoke salad. OMG!!!!!

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