Potatoes are the largest and most affordable source of potassium of any vegetable or fruit. The potato is the world’s fourth largest food crop, following rice, wheat, and corn. The Inca Indians in Peru were the first to cultivate potatoes around 8,000 B.C. Not only were the potatoes an important staple in the Inca diet, but they correlated units of time by how long it took for potatoes to cook.
Potatoes arrived in the American Colonies in 1621, when the Governor of Bermuda, Nathaniel Butler, sent two large cedar chests containing potatoes and other vegetables to Governor Francis Wyatt of Virginia at Jamestown. The first permanent potato patches in North America were established in 1719, near Londonderry, New Hamshire, by Scotch-Irish immigrants. From there, the crop spread across the country.
During the Alaskan Klondike gold rush of 1897 through 1898, potatoes were practically worth their weight in gold. They were so valued for their vitamin C, that miners traded gold for potatoes.
In October 1995, the potato became the first vegetable to be grown in space. NASA and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, created the technology with the goal of feeding astronauts on long space voyages, and eventually, feeding future space colonies.
So grab your favorite potatoes, and make this nutritious easy dinner for tonight's meal.
Chili stuffed baked potatoes ( 4 servings)
- 16 ounces of a vegetarian ground meat substitute
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 cup of pasta sauce
- 4 large potatoes, baked and split
- 1 tablespoon of chili powder
- 1 can (19 ounces) of red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- non stick cooking spray
- Spray a large fry pan with the non stick cooking spray, and add the vegetarian ground meat substitute with the chopped onion.
- Stir fry about 8 minutes, or until the onion is tender.
- Stir in the chili powder and cook for 30 seconds.
- Stir in the kidney beans and the pasta sauce.
- Bring to a boil over high heat and reduce heat to low.
- Simmer, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes, or until mixture is fully heated.
- Evenly top the potatoes with the chili mixture.
- If desired, you can garnish with diced avocado, shredded cheese, or sour cream.