Don’t knock the hum­ble potato. It’s packed with so much vi­tal stuff, says Su­san Jane White, it’s al­most a su­per­food

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - RECIPES -

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; th­ese types of potato are per­fectly suited to steam­ing (they’re what the potato snobs dub ‘waxy').

Steamed pota­toes are lower in calo­ries than their baked cousins, and re­quire less flavour en­hancers such as 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, which is oth­er­wise known as the hang­over healer. If you eat them with their skins on, 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 and but­tered). 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. Here's one such recipe to get you go­ing. The chia seeds are an op­tional lah-di-dah in this crab cakes recipe.

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.

If you can't be both­ered mak­ing the dip­ping sauce, just add some miso paste to the mashed pota­toes and wres­tle some dill in there too. Salmon and smoked mack­erel will also work well in this recipe.


This will make about 10 small crab cakes. For the Viet­namese dip­ping sauce, you will need: 4-6 ta­ble­spoons very finely chopped mint Juice of 1 lime 1 ta­ble­spoon fish sauce ( nam pla) 1 ta­ble­spoon se­same oil 1 ta­ble­spoon ta­mari soy sauce 1 ta­ble­spoon honey 1 finely sliced red chilli, seeds re­moved For the crab cakes, you will need: 2 ta­ble­spoons chopped dried mango, soaked overnight

½ -1 cup crab­meat 1.5 cups lightly mashed pota­toes 1 ta­ble­spoon chia seeds, soaked in 2 ta­ble­spoons wa­ter (op­tional) 1 tea­spoon black pep­per­corns, crushed 1 fat clove gar­lic, crushed Squeeze of lime Salt and freshly ground black pep­per 2 ta­ble­spoons flour, to dust Ex­tra-vir­gin co­conut oil, to fry Beansprouts and lit­tle gem let­tuce, to serve Whisk all the dip­ping sauce in­gre­di­ents to­gether to make the dip.

To make the crab cakes, drain the soaked mango pieces (fresh mango won't work as well). Put them in a bowl, add the crab­meat, the mashed pota­toes, the chia seeds, if you’re us­ing them, the pep­per­corns, the crushed gar­lic, the lime juice, the salt and freshly ground black pep­per and mash ev­ery­thing to­gether us­ing a fork. Use your hands to make into in­di­vid­ual crab­cakes — you should get about 10 al­to­gether. Dust each one with flour. Heat a large fry­ing pan with a lit­tle co­conut (or other) oil, and briefly brown each crab cake. Al­low to cool com­pletely be­fore serv­ing, oth­er­wise they'll fall apart in your hands and you'll curse me. Serve with beansprouts and lit­tle gem let­tuce.­san­

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