- Food and Cooking
Baked Potato Bar and other Buffet Recipes - Cheap and Easy Family Meal Ideas
Need some cheap and easy family meals?
Meals that are family friendly are those that are easy to prepare, that even the kids can help with, and that have choices that every individual in the family will enjoy.
Meals that lend themselves to a buffet sort of setup can be popular with families, or even larger group gatherings.Heck I even like putting them together for myself, as I can put them together quickly and then enjoy the leftovers for the next day or two. These types of meals are popular in that they are interesting, tasty, and have something for everyone. Oh, yeah--and if you're into presentation, these meals are colorful, too!
Baked potatoes are one of those foods that can easily fall into a buffet-type set up. From plain ole butter to chili and cheese, baked potatoes can be topped with a wide range of options.
Baked Potato in a Bag?
Family-friendly Potato Bar
A healthy meal idea for the family is the potato bar. A baked potato can be loaded with numerous toppings, dependent on the individual's taste. Just bake your potatoes, spread out the toppings on the counter in serving bowls, and line everybody up!
Potatoes sometimes get a bad name because they are high in carbohydrates and low in protein. Look at the nutrients packed in the potato, though. Your body does need a certain amount of carbs per day for energy. I'm not a nutritionist, but I would say to pair up your potato with some other foods, such as beans, to get your protein. At the baked potato bar, offer chili with beans and cheddar cheese, and chopped ham and bacon bits for additional sources of protein, if you like.
If you like it, give it a bunch of stars!
Cook Time Based on Microwave
Ingredients for Family Potato Bar
- potatoes, brown, red, or yellow
- salt & pepper
- sour cream
- chili, heated
- onion, white, yellow, or purple, chopped
- cheese, cheddar or other, grated
- jalapenos, sliced
- sour cream
- green onions, chopped
- banana peppers
- broccoli, chopped
- Velveeta or other cheese, melted
- tomatoes, chopped
- chives, chopped
- bacon bits, homemade or store-bought
- black olives, sliced or chopped
- ham, chopped
- hot sauce
- salsa, red and green
- Keep adding ingredients! Be creative!
Instructions for Baked Potato Bar
- Rinse and scrub number of baked potatoes you will need. Place in oven for 350 degrees until soft--about an hour to an hour and a half. I prefer the microwave method which requires 2 to 3 minutes per side per potato. Add more time for more potatoes and check periodically. I was taught to prick potatoes with fork to let out steam and prevent explosions, so I do that.
- Gather all your potential toppings. Warm up as needed or chop as needed. With broccoli, I prefer steamed as opposed to fresh broccoli.
- Load that potato with your choices. I'll give you some possible options.
Loaded Baked Potato Options
Okay, so I've given you a list of topping options. If you want to have a tremendous potato bar spread, chop up everything, heat what you need, and set it all out on the counter for a serve yourself potato bar. If you need combination ideas to get started, here are some of my favorites:
1) Basic baked potato: Top with butter, salt and pepper and sour cream. That's pretty basic--and tasty. Add chopped onions or chives on top if you wish . . . and tons of other stuff, such as:
2) Veggie baked potato: To the basic baked potato, you can also add grated cheese, sliced black olives, banana peppers, and chopped tomatoes.
3) Baked potato with meat: To either of the options above, add bacon bits or chopped ham. Yummy.
4) Broccoli and cheese baked potato: This option deserves a recipe all its own. Just add broccoli and melted cheese. Other possible additions are salt and pepper, choice of onions, bacon bits, even sour cream or chili. Be creative!
5) Chili baked potato: The key ingredients in this recipe are onions, cheese, and chili. You can also add jalapenos and sour cream. You can add the basics, too, of course, of butter, salt, and pepper. Feeling creative? Add steamed broccoli, black olives, and/or tomatoes.
Be creative! Mix any of the ingredients I've suggested, or add your own!
Nutritional Values for a Medium Potato
|Serving size: medium|
|Calories from Fat||0|
|% Daily Value *|
|Carbohydrates 36 g||12%|
|Sugar 2 g|
|Fiber 4 g||16%|
|Protein 4 g||8%|
|Cholesterol 0 mg|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Other Nutritional Values
Other potato values that aren't included in the nutrition chart:
Vitamin C: 28%
Vitamin B6: 14%
Sodium: 17 mg.
Potassium: 844 mg
As you can see, a medium baked potato is low in fat, cholesterol, and sodium, but high in good things such as protein, fiber, Vitamins C and B6, but especially potassium. I do know that potassium is good for muscle health as well as high blood pressure and a myriad of other things. I'm not going to go into a lot of the medical benefits of potatoes (I'm not a doctor!), but potassium does have numerous positive health benefits--and a potato is full of it!
More Buffet-Type Family Meals: Taco Bar, Hot Dog Bar
- The Kids Cook Monday Recipe - Loaded Hot Dogs or Healthy Turkey Dogs with all the Toppings
Need a kid friendly recipe that the kids can help put together and enjoy eating? Do you like the idea of a hot dog bar but would like to make it healthier? Try turkey dogs and wheat buns. Add all the fixings and toppings to offer choices to make the
- Kids Cook Monday Recipe: Easy Taco Tortilla Bar Menu
A taco or tortilla bar is an easy, tasty meal to make! Try this recipe with all the fillings and toppings you need for a great spread!