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
- Wrap tofu with paper towel and press out water (10 min) I put a brick on the tofu
- In a medium bowl, break up tofu and stir in nutritional yeast, mustard, cumin, salt, black pepper.
- Heat the skillet to medium and add the oil.
- Scramble tofu mixture, only turn once in a while with a good metal spatula.
- 7 to 8 minutes each side.
- 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 🙂