Thursday, February 3, 2011

Na-cho Ordinary Baked Potato

As delicious and tempting as it is to pile it high with cheddar cheese, bacon bits, and sour cream, all the fat and calories you add outweigh the nutritional benefits of the potato itself. So, the key is to select toppings that will give you all of the flavor and satisfaction, without doing major damage to your diet.

A big white baker potato is the classic choice, but I've been really enjoying Yukon Gold. Especially the baby variety. They have a rich and buttery flavor, thin tender skin, and nice light texture- so you can get by with less condiments. You can of course use any variety of potato that you have on hand or prefer.

For a quick and satisfying lunch, I pop them in them in the microwave. The baby ones take no time! Just pierce the skin with a few little holes to allow steam to escape. They should be fork tender when done, but don't overcook. They'll continue to steam a little after you nuke them and can quickly dry out and the skin gets chewy. Slice it down the center when it's piping hot and pinch the ends towards the middle, so it explodes open waiting to be bathed in yumminess.
Try one of my favorites:
  • sea salt & fresh cracked pepper 
  • taco seasoning (or chili power and smoked paprika) 
  • diced jalapenos 
  • black olives 
  • diced tomato or a spoonful of salsa
  • a dollop of plain Greek style yogurt or light sour cream

Here are a few other suggestions for delicious baked potato toppings that are healthier and a little more creative than the potato skins at happy hour.
  • extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme
  • extra virgin olive oil and blue cheese crumbles
  • turkey chili with beans
  • horseradish, light sour cream, salt and pepper
  • pesto sauce
  • Parmesan cheese, butter, salt and pepper

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