Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Twice Baked Potato: Easy and Nutritious

Potatoes are super easy to make and a tasty snack or meal. Potatoes are high in vitamin c, minerals like potassium, are high in iron, protein and fiber. In short, potatoes are very good for you. Unfortunately, we have a tendency to put a lot of unhealthy things in our potatoes. Still, even if eaten with addition of a small amount of unhealthy foods, if replacing something even less healthy (empty, sugary caolories for example) potatoes can be good for you. I've been facing a tough semester and have had far less time to prepare food than I would like, but rather than turning to pre-packaged processed foods, I've tried to find comforting low-maintenance foods and twice baked potatoes fit the bill. You can use lot of ingredients to fill your twice-baked potatoes, but here is what I made tonight.

4 potatoes (russet)
2 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp chives
1 clove of garlic (smashed and finely chopped)
salt + pepper (to taste)

Simply scrub your potatoes and pop them in the oven (pre-heated to 350 degrees). I prefer my toaster oven for this task because it uses less energy and takes less time to heat up. Bake your potatoes for about 60 minutes (70 if you like really crisp skins). About half-way through, flip and poke a few holes in your potatoes with a fork. Remove the cooked potatoes with a pot holder and slice off the tops. Scoop out the tender flesh with a teaspoon, leaving enough to help the skins hold their shape. Put into the bowl and mash with your butter, milk, cream, olive oil, etc. and then add additional ingredients and mix. Scoop the fluffy mixture back into the potatoes and up the temperature to 375 degrees and bake for another 20-25 minutes, or until the tops begin to brown. I enjoy mine topped with a bit of sour cream. Enjoy!

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