Monday, May 20, 2013

Meal Rotation System: Baked Potato Day

This is Day 2 of the Meal Rotation System: a pattern of meal planning where you go down a list of meal groups each month, picking one from the group for each day, and rotate through the list when you're finished. Read more about how the Meal Rotation System works.



Potatoes (with the peel) are very nutritious and versatile. Probably the easiest meal I have on my whole rotation system is baked potatoes. They're good as a side dish, of course, but if you add a lot of goodies on top, they're also a great main course.

There are a few tricks to making a good baked potato: 

  1. Slather on a bunch of butter. It may sound unhealthy, but the peel is inedible otherwise, and it's the peel that has all the nutrients in it. 
  2. Wrap it in aluminum foil shiny side in. (My science-geek husband has a theory that wrapping them shiny-side out reflects heat and makes them take longer to cook.) Poke them with a fork.
  3. Put them in the oven at 350 degrees and cook them for two hours. They'll be done in one, but if you have time to cook them for two, they taste soooo much better.
  4. When they're tender, take them out and top them with goodies.
There's so much stuff you can put on a baked potato: butter, sour cream, ranch salad dressing, bleu cheese salad dressing, cheddar cheese, swiss cheese, mozzarella cheese, pepperjack cheese, chives, chicken, bbq pulled pork, roast beef, bacon bits, ham, turkey, broccoli, green onions, olives, chilli, jalapenos, onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes, just to name a few.

The Twice Baked Potato is a delicious twist on this meal. I've tried serving these with ham and vegetables, but my husband and I only ever eat the potatoes. There's a good recipe for it here, but basically all you do is cook the potatoes like you would if you were just baking them, cut them in half, scoop out the insides, mash the insides up, stir in whatever goodies you want, spoon the mixture back into the peel shells (I usually put it in a ziplock and cut a corner off so I can pipe it in; it's much cleaner), top with more goodies, and bake for another 15 minutes. That's it!

Do you have any baked potato tips or recipes you'd like to share? I'd love to see them in the comments!

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