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I love potatoes. Straight up, salted, sometimes with butter, sometimes with melted cheese. Fancy au gratin or simple with mayo. No matter what goes on them, potatoes are a healthy, budget-friendly, satisfying food. A medium size potato (3.5 ounces) offers 45 percent of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, 10 percent of your RDA of B6, plus 620 mg potassium, which is even more than you’ll find in a banana. Potassium is an electrolyte, which means it helps regulate the pH and fluid balance of your body, and it’s necessary for metabolizing carbohydrates.
Potatoes are reputed to have first been cultivated by the Incans in Peru sometime between 8,000 BC to 5,000 BC. In the 16th century, Spanish conquistadors returned home with the potato and shared it with their fellow Europeans. Sir Walter Raleigh introduced the potato to Ireland in 1589, and within four decades its popularity spread throughout Europe. Potatoes made their way to the American colonies in 1621 when Nathaniel Butler, the governor of Bermuda, sent two cedar chests containing potatoes and other veggies to Governor Frances Wyatt of Virginia. Idaho, currently our largest potato producer, started growing potatoes in 1836, when missionaries moved west to teach natives how to grow their own crops.
For a nice summer potato side dish, here’s a recipe for Lemony Potato Salad from MyRecipes.com, courtesy of Southern Living. The ingredients feature heart-healthy olive oil instead of mayo, and the lemon adds a summer kick. Keep a bottle of Seventh Generation’s Free&Clear Natural All Purpose Cleaner on hand to spray on spills – then wipe them away with Seventh Generation’s 100% Recycled Paper Towels.
Lemony Potato Salad
- 2 pounds red potatoes, cut into eighths
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1. Bring potatoes and enough salted cold water to cover them to a boil in a large Dutch oven; boil 15 to 17 minutes or just until tender. Drain and let cool 5 minutes.
2. Whisk together olive oil and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Add warm potatoes, green onions, and parsley; toss to coat. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Photo: Mega Beth