You CAN Top Baked Potatoes for a Meal!
Easy, Inexpensive & Healthy!
As a single gal, I am always looking for ways to make a quick, easy, inexpensive meal that is healthy, nutritious, and satisfying. I have found the lowly baked potato to be extremely helpful for this. A baked potato topped by almost anything is a healthy source of carbohydrates and fiber. It is natural, easy to cook, and can be cooked in a single serving without messing up a bunch of pots and pans.
The Basis of Some Great Meals!
Ditch The Noodles & Rice! Use a Potato!
The main idea is to use the potato in the place of other starches. You can top it with anything you would put on pasta, rice, or a piece of bread. A potato is a much healthier alternative, and just as inexpensive as these options.
The Versatile Vegetable
Quick Cooking! Quick Clean-up!
I always bake my potatoes in the microwave. Just scrub your potato with soap and water and rinse it completely to get all the dirt off. Punch some holes in it with a fork to keep it from exploding, set it in a shallow ceramic or Pyrex bowl or baking dish with an inch or two of Brita water, and put it in the microwave. The water keeps the potato from drying out and becoming tough. Cook the potato on HIGH for 5 minutes, check it with a fork, turn it over, and cook it for another 5 minutes. If it is a small potato, it should be done by now. If not, just repeat the process until you can easily slip a fork into the potato on both sides. Pour off the water, and put your topping in the microwave to heat while you prepare your potato.
Split the potato open and mash it up a little bit, just as if you were going to top it with butter, sour cream and so on, but just leave it bare. When your topping is done, dump it on the potato, add some cheese or other embellishments, and you have a meal.
For toppings, you can use anything you would use on any other starch, but here are a few of my favorites.
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Brita is Best!
The Perfect Microvave Dishes
In a small, ceramic casserole dish, measure a couple of tablespoons of butter, add a teaspoon of dried onion and a half teaspoon of minced garlic along with a few shakes of your favorite seasoning salt. Drain a 15 oz can of mustard greens (or your favorite greens) and put the greens on top of the butter and spices. Cover the dish and microwave for 3 minutes on HIGH. Toss the greens, and dump them over your cooked potato. Cut a couple of good sized slices of cheese and place on top of the mustard greens. Sprinkle with seasoning salt and microwave the whole thing for 35 seconds or so to melt the cheese.
Chili or Chili Beans
Super simple! Using either your own, homemade beans or a can of your favorite brand of Chili beans or chili, follow the directions for mustard greens (omitting the butter).
Top your potato with your favorite pizza or spaghetti sauce. This is especially good if you have a nice meaty, homemade sauce that you need to use up. Top with mozzarella cheese if you have it and shake on some red pepper if you like it.
Potato Prima Vera
Sauté a tablespoon each of garlic, onion, and celery in a couple of tablespoons of butter or olive oil and add a cup or so of your favorite fresh or frozen veggies and Italian mix spices to taste. (You can add a small can of drained chicken breast if you like.) Sauté for 5 minutes, then lower the heat and simmer. Make a nice white sauce, either from scratch or by just using a can of cream of mushroom or celery soup.* Add the sauce to the veggies, bring the mix to a boil, stirring constantly for 3 minutes, then pour it over your potato. Top with parmesan cheese.
Put 2 tablespoons of peanut or walnut oil in a pan over medium heat. Add a couple of tablespoons of whole wheat flour. Stir constantly with a fork until the oil is completely absorbed, the mixture has begun to thicken, and the flour has started to brown a bit. Slowly pour in milk, stirring constantly, until the sauce (gravy) is the thickness you want. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To make white sauce using cream of mushroom or celery soup, dump a can of soup over your cooking veggies. Add a half can of Brita water and stir. Season to taste.
Copyright: SuzanneBennett: May 3, 2009
Potatoes! Edible & Fun!
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