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Loaded Baked Potato: My Version

When I was younger, I enjoyed going out to dinner with my parents and siblings at Ponderosa Steakhouse for steak, baked potato, and salad. I always liked to put sour cream on my baked potato.

As a working adult, I began eating a baked potato for lunch. However, I learned that using plain yogurt as a replacement for sour cream was a healthier option. I began mixing in a cup of plain yogurt with the baked potato and then commenced to eat the whole thing, skin and all.

After my last employment stint, I stopped eating baked potatoes for some reason. However, with tight funds and the desire to eat healthy food, I recently became interested in baked potatoes once again. I had heard about loaded baked potatoes and wondered what they were exactly. Turns out that my yogurt and baked potato lunch was one way to make a loaded baked potato. I also discovered other options, which resulted in my thinking about other possibilities.

According to my loaded baked potato research, typically one slices a potato lengthwise and stuffs the center with a desired topping. I prefer to slice a potato both lengthwise and widthwise and then using a fork, I split the potato wide open and mash the inside. Doing so makes a bed or base for whatever topping you desire to place on the baked potato.

I bake my potatoes in the microwave. After washing the potato, I generously pierce it with a fork, wrap in a paper towel, and then cook for about 2.5 minutes on two sides.

Growing up, one of the meals my mother made on a somewhat frequent basis was sauerkraut with sliced hot dogs and a side of mashed potatoes. I recently learned about the benefits of fermented foods on the Dr. Axe site and thought sauerkraut and sliced hot dogs over a baked potato bed would make a delicious meal.

I buy a 18-ounce jar of Eden Foods organic sauerkraut and a 6-pack or 8-pack of Applegate Farms organic hot dogs. I place the sauerkraut in a large Pyrex bowl. I then slice up all of the hot dogs and mix them into the sauerkraut. Next, I spoon out enough to almost fill a Pyrex or Anchor Hocking 1-cup container, place plastic wrap and a lid over the container, and then place the containers in the freezer for later use. I get about five to six servings using this method.

Another dish I enjoyed as a working adult was chili and rice mixed together. Chili over a baked potato sounded like a great meal. I place about 6-8 ounces of plain yogurt as the first layer on a baked potato bed, then add half a can of Amy’s organic chili, and finally top off with shredded organic Italian 3-cheese blend. It’s very delicious.

Another cheap, easy, delicious, and nutritious meal I came up with as an adult was brown rice and canned baked beans. I thought canned baked beans over a baked potato bed might be a good meal and gave it a try. I used a half can of heated organic baked beans. However, I didn’t like canned baked beans over a baked potato bed as much as I liked brown rice and canned baked beans.

Loaded baked potatoes make for a cheap, easy, delicious, and nutritious meal. I hope I have stimulated your neurons and appetite to come up with your favorite versions.

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