The Blues, Blacks, Purples & Reds of Winter ~ Roasted Heirloom Potatoes


Serendipity comes in many forms.  This week it took the shape of a potato. 

I’m reading through my traditional Chinese medicine books, learning that winter, ruled by the water element, is associated with the kidneys, bladder, and adrenal glands.  According to the philosophy of traditional Chinese medicine(TCM), the kidneys are considered the source of all energy (Qi) within the body.  This reserve Qi can be drawn upon in times of stress and change, or to heal, prevent illness, and age gracefully.  During the winter months it is important to nurture and nourish our kidney Qi as this is the time of year when this energy can be most easily depleted.

To keep those kidneys and their adrenals in high gear TCM suggests, among other things, to focus on black/blue foods.  So began my quest for the "dark ones."   

It was a short-lived quest.  For down at the bottom of my eroots produce box I uncovered these dark little beauties.  Heirloom potatoes in purple, red, and yellow.  And did you know, these deeply colored tubers have two to three times more antioxidants than their pale counterparts—and their skin has the most anthocyanins?  


Fast forward to a busy weekend morning.  Not much is in the pantry and breakfast is looming on the horizon.  It’s a blessing I have garlic, olive oil and salt.  Sitting on the counter is a little pot with assorted herbs, including rosemary.  And in the produce bowl sit my pretty little potatoes. 

Thus begins a simple and lovely process turning these tubers into tasty breakfast delights..  First, I slice them into quarters. 


Chop the garlic. 


Then the rosemary. 


Toss it all into a bowl.  Pour in enough olive oil to coat the potatoes.

Spread the mix onto a pan.  Roast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 


Take out in about 40-50 minutes.  Better yet, remove when they look like this. 


In my fantasy weekend morning I would have served them with what was left of the rainbow chard alongside some scrambled eggs.  In all honesty, they sadly went into a little plastic bowl.  I munched on them while shuttling my children around town to birthday parties, swim practice, and more.  I may have missed the fantasy feast but I think my kidneys were still grateful for the infusion of Qi. 

Next week we’ll serve another helping of the dark foods of winter using purple barley.  That’s right, people.  Purple barley.