Spuds are back. Kale is too 2012. Turnip is yet to find a patron. And purple sprouting broccoli is in rehab. The potato is our national superfood, buzzing with goodness.
All the girlie sounding spuds are delicious in salads – Desiree, Charlotte, Annabelle, Orla, Emma and Violetta. Think creamy interior, perfectly suited to steaming (what potato snobs dub ‘waxy’). Steamed potatoes are lower in calories than their baked cousins, and require less flavour enhancers like salt or butter.
Potatoes are not the dieter’s enemy. Some silly celebrity pointed to spuds as their downfall, and sadly, the world took note. I can think of thousands of junk products that should be knocked off our shopping list, but not a veggie!
Potatoes are a terrific source of potassium, otherwise known as the hangover-healer. Eaten with the skin, you’ll also wolf down a fair dose of vitamin C to help the body repair any oxidative damage done the night before.
Most notably, vitamin B6 and iron can help strengthen the lifecycle of our body’s red blood cells. Not something white rice or pasta can brag about, is it?
So you see, potatoes are not unhealthy. What we do to them can make them unhealthy (creamed, fried, buttered and battered).
Our love affair with Irish potatoes needs rekindling. If you’re worried about the kegs of butter and salt your family will bathe them in, try a different approach. Potatoes carry flavour really well, and don’t always have to be the stodgy sidekick to the main act. Here’s one such recipe to get you going.
Chia Fishcakes with CoYo
Chia is an optional lah-di-dah. These tinchy seeds deliver a whackload of omega-3 brainpower. But if you can still remember how to solve a polynomial root with the factor theorem, you can probably leave them out.
½ – 1 cup cooked crabmeat, flaked salmon and or smoked mackerel
1.5 cups lightly mashed potatoes
1 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoons chia soaked in 6 tablespoons water (an egg will also work)
1 fat clove garlic, crushed (or freshly sliced chilli)
1 spring onion or strong herb, roughly chopped
Squeeze of lime
2 tablespoons brown rice flour to dust
Extra virgin coconut oil to fry
Coyo to serve
Crush the ingredients together using a fork and tenacity. You’ll be left with an exotic looking side of mashed potatoes. Using the palms of your hands, lightly oiled, form 10 small fishcakes. I find it easier to roll into balls, and then gently flatten each one on parchment paper using a spatula. Dust with brown rice flour.
Heat a large frying pan with a little coconut oil, and briefly brown each fishcake. This will hlep them stick together. Allow to cool completely before serving, otherwise they’ll fall apart in your hands and you’ll curse me.
Serve with dairy-free coconut milk yoghurt. And good friends.
Is coconut milk yogurt widely available?
No it’s not – too popular I’m afraid! It’s only stocked in certain stores as a result. Ask your local health food store in stock it (CoYo). Some savvy delis and supermarkets like Fallon & Byrne do it. The vanilla one is the bomb