The humble potato, the food of famine. This vegetable was designed to provide: chips, waffles, crisps. Mashed, roasted, fried. The potato is so resourceful that it grows from itself. Plant potatoes for more potatoes. And so why do we insist on chucking them in the oven, covering them in baked beans, some cheddar if we’re feeling exotic, and then never wavering from these basic ingredients?
1- There are infinite ways to mix it up. Lets start with something easy.
If you are going to insist on eating a more or less plain potato, then why not try and at least make it healthier than your average butter and cheese fest. Use olive oil instead of butter or margarine, for an easy intake of monounsaturated fatty acids. Then sprinkle with dried herbs instead of cheese, for a stronger, healthier, taste. I used dried chives as I think they have a cheesy flavour.
2- Or for something more unusual, try a Japanese take on the traditional jacket potato.
Top your crispy jackets with pickled red cabbage, sesame seeds and spring onions. This combination of strong flavours will leave beans and cheese safely at the back of the kitchen cupboard, where they belong.
3- A revolutionary discovery I made recently, is that potatoes can be fried in minutes, and with barely any oil (if you have a decent pan). So I have started chopping them into thin discs, and frying with various sauces for quick, filling lunches.
Baked beans, and jars of tomato sauce are cheap, easy ways of making a quick dish out of fried potatoes. As always, season with different herbs and spices to create unique flavours. Try dried oregano and black pepper, for Italian style baked beans or paprika and chopped garlic, for a Mexican take on your jar of tomato sauce.
4- Probably the healthiest way of all to cook potatoes is to steam them, it also takes a matter of minutes. Combine this method of cooking with fresh food and you’re on your way to ‘fast food’, minus the heart attack.
This tasty combo involved steaming new potatoes with some chopped leek, and serving on top of a mashed avocado. Topped with salt, pepper and olive oil. Avocados may be pricey, but potatoes and leeks are not, so this is a luxury you might be able to afford. A creamy hassle free lunch, with all the omega 3’s that come with green goodness, but the satisfying fullness of carby potatoes too.