Dairy-Free (Lactose) EasyPeasy Gluten Free HEALTH/WELLNESS Sides/Sauces Vegan

Potatoes, Herbs & Roasted Garlic

Felt a cold coming on, ate potatoes, herbs and garlic. The potatoes are high in potassium and vitamin C. The herbs provided anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and antiviral properties. Garlic, aside from warding off vampires, is known for its antibacterial and immune boosting elements. Combine the three and was hopeful that either the cold would diminish or disappear. I am happy to report that within 24 hours, the sniffles seemed to dissipate. Now, you can debate until the cows come home, but I do believe in the healing nature of food.

Potatoes never end…

Potatoes, next to Wurst, are probably the most often found food throughout Germany. Roasted, sliced, diced, fried, baked, they come in a variety of ways, and can be prepared in a multitude of fashions. Every region has its specialty, and every cook their own recipes beyond that. They are made into side dishes with cabbage, sauerkraut and onions. Apples cooked with potatoes are called Himmel Und Erde (Heaven and Earth).

A little Berlin aside that does relate to potatoes:

Currywurst and Pommes stands are on corners throughout the city. Sort of like the Umbrella Restaurant/Hot Dog Carts of NYC, these permanent fixtures are on platforms on large boulevards with cars, trams, and bikers whizzing by in all directions. In little nooks and crannies or on what were once open street corners, little glass fronted buildings have been erected, and now house Currywurst stands. And a Currywurst is never complete without a side of Pommes (pronounced puhm-iss).

And potatoes exist in every corner of the globe.

Show me a cuisine that does not have a potato recipe. It is a staple of almost every cuisine around the globe. Italian cooking has Gnocchi. French cooking the creamy, delectable Potatoes Dauphinoise. According to google, the Classic American Potato Salad recipes all contain eggs. (Go figure. I never saw a potato salad in my life until I started to be of cooking age and took note about what was showing up at cookouts in Maine —- eggs in potato salad — you can omit them if you like and still call it classic.) And even a sweet potato cookie recipe from Malawi! Maybe potatoes are the universal language.

Famine.

It is well-known that the potato famine of the 1800’s in Ireland lead to devastating consequences of starvation and malnutrition that ended in numbers thought to be one million. Emigration from Ireland to North America and England estimates are about one million people leaving Ireland in hopes of escaping the blight.

One of the greatest lessons that was supposed to have been learned from planting a single varietal is that when a crop fails, you have another one just in case. While there are lots of small producers out there that grow a wide variety of diverse and heirloom fruits and vegetables, one has to wonder about the corn and soybean surpluses that have erupted from agribusiness. What happens if that goes belly up?
There are articles from both sides listed below should you wish to learn more.

Further reading:
Corn + Soybean Digest
Successful Farming
National Geographic
Challenge.org
Mother Earth News

Herbs.

Where to begin. The health benefits of eating herbs is long established, well-known and scientifically confirmed. This means that Eastern, Western, and even Medieval medical practices provide source and reference material that supports that herbs are an integral part of aiding and boosting health. Herbs, be they fresh or dried, can offer health benefits. Herbal teas are one of the most prolific and beneficial ways that you can add herbs to your diet for health benefits. Fresh herbs are great in teas or cooking as well, but there are plenty of benefits to be derived from dried herbal teas.

Garlic.

Garlic, onions, chives…anything from the allium family offers many of the same healthy properties of anti-bacterial and anti-viral benefits. All of these foods can be used raw, cooked to be used alone, or added to many foods as seasonings. One of the most basic “sick” foods is chicken noodle soup. The base – onions and garlic. Garlic (like onions) contains allicin, an immune system boosting nutrient that helps to fight bacterial and fungal infections. Don’t get me wrong, a cold may run its course, but adding garlic to your diet can go a long way in helping to prevent illness but boosting the immune system in the first place, and in being a catalyst to expedite the healing process. Either way, it just tastes good.

Additional recipes to try:

BUTTERNUT SQUASH GNOCCHI IN SAGE BUTTER SAUCE by Lidia Bastanich (Lidia.com)
ROASTED GARLIC by Tori Avey (toriavey.com)
POTATO & LEEK GRATIN by Jiselle Basile (Cooking Light)
CHIVE CORN FRITTERS WITH ROASTED ZUCCHINI SALSA by Dishing Out Health
GARLIC SCAPES GALORE from Bleuberet

Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 10 min Cooking Time: 45 min

Ingredients

  • 10-12 large fingerling, new or Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 2 bulbs fresh garlic - not cloves, the whole garlic bulb.
  • 4 branches rosemary
  • 10-12 sprigs thyme
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

1

Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C.

2

Arrange the potatoes around the edge of a baking dish.

3

Cut the tops off of the garlic bulbs. Do not remove the outer leaves.

4

Place the garlic bulbs in the center of the potatoes.

5

Place the herbs on top of the potatoes and garlic.

6

Drizzle liberally with olive oil.

7

Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper.

8

Place in oven and bake until the potatoes pierce easily with a fork.

9

Remove herbs.

10

Remove garlic bulbs from the center of the pan, and as they are quite hot be careful as you gently squeeze the cloves from the bulbs.

11

Serve the potatoes with the roasted cloves of garlic and drizzle generously with the olive oil from the bottom of the pan.

Notes

Mashing the olive oil into the potatoes will flavor the potatoes with the herbal infusion that results from the cooking. Plus it will ensure that you get all the flavor and healthy components!

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