Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Easy Baked Potato--low-fat option

My mom has never met a potato she didn't like, and I'm her daughter. Even simple potatoes are worthy of a meal.

Growing up in a family of nine, my mom would make baked potatoes in the oven. I remember scrubbing and wrapping them for my mom, as she prepped the rest of dinner.
But now that I'm living with just my husband it doesn't always make sense to heat up the entire oven for 2 baked potatoes.
My father-in-law showed me this trick: Use plastic wrap to steam your potato in the microwave.

Trivia question for you:
What has more potassium, a banana or a baked potato?
A large baked potato with the skin on has 900-1,000 mg of potassium, compared to 422 mg for a banana. Without the skin, a potato has about 600 mg of potassium.

So onto baking that potato.
I started by cooking up lots of bacon. Don't worry, I only used 1/2 slice on my potato. The rest of the bacon is for making BLT pasta later.

1. Scrub the potato under water, removing any dirt. Yes, there may be dirt, and it's not a bad thing. After all, the potatoes grow in dirt. They are a root. Dry with a towel.
2. Cover securely in plastic wrap, pinching the edges to seal. This will trap any moisture and help the potato to steam, rather than getting dried out.
3. Microwave, turn over, and microwave again. Microwave times are approximate (sorry, but potatoes are different sizes and microwaves are wacky).

--I don't use a plate under the potato because the potato is in plastic. Also, not using a plate means you don't have a horribly hot plate to deal with!

Microwave Times

Small--5 minutes, flip, and then 3 more minutes
Medium--6 minutes, then 3 minutes
Large--8 minutes, then 4 minutes

Start with these times and prick with a fork to determine it it's done. If needed, microwave longer at 3-4 minute intervals. If you cook it too long it will start to shrivel.

Topping Ideas

Cut off the top skin of the baked potato and then hollow out the peel. This golden baking potato has a thin skin, so I had to be extra careful not to completely shred the peel.

2) Mash up insides with desired toppings. *Instead of using 1-2 tablespoons butter, try 1-2 teaspoons and then add 1 tablespoon milk. This will make your potato creamy without all the fat.* Then scoop the toppings back inside your shell, add a few more toppings to make it look pretty, and enjoy.

Topping Suggestions: 
Salt and Pepper
Butter and Milk
Crumpled Bacon
Garlic Powder
Chopped Tomato
Shredded Cheese
Apple Cider Vinegar or brine off pickles (gives flavor with less salt or fat)

Update*: On 6-28-2014 I updated this with new photos. Not only have I learned a lot about photography since the original post, but I wanted to show off my new dishes.

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