The Potato is without doubt our most versatile of vegetables, you can bake it, boil it, chip it, mash it, rice it, puree it, slice it, dice it ............and its cheap and stores well.
It's worth it, if you are able to, try and work out what sort of potato you need, and what sort of potatoes are available to you, but if this is just too much 'faff' then get yourself a large bag of 'White Potatoes' from your supermarket and plan what to do with them. If you wnt to know the difference I can advise that Potatoes divide themselves in to two main types. Waxy and Floury. Waxy potatoes tend to keep their shape unless you cook them to death, so lend themselves well to cooking and then serving cold, such as in a potato salad. Floury potatoes which when well cooked tend to disolve in to a floury mess, lend themselves to mashing roasting and chipping.
To my mind however the best potato is one you have just dug up, but this isn't going to be likely unless you are an agriculture student, all you need to remember is that the potato turns on enzymes in your body which increase your metabolism and keep you feeling full for longer. Less energy dense than pasta or rice, you get more bulk for less calories, virtually fat free, nutrient packed, high in fibre and low in calories............so theres some of your 5 a day your parents have been mentioning, and if you can keep your potatoes away from their favourite bed fellows, butter, cheese, oil, cream and salt and instead utilising some 'skinny' friends, creme fraiche, low fat mayo, fresh herbs, mustard, paprika, a drizzle of oil......you'll probably get away with the phrase 'healthy eating' when your next asked about your student diet.
Here are some simple but also filling ideas .....
Jacket Potato ideas