Sunday, March 27, 2011

BAKED POTATOES

Store all potatoes in a cool dark place. Fifty degrees is ideal.

Baked potatoes are a simple yet versatile meal. They can be eaten plain or with a wide variety of toppings. Potatoes may be microwaved if you are in a big rush, but the flavor and texture of the potato won’t be nearly as delicious as those baked in an oven. Our favorite potatoes for baking are the large brown-skinned russet variety.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

Scrub the potatoes well and prick them all over with the tines of a fork.

Bake potatoes directly on the oven rack, for one hour. They will be fluffy and delicious.

Never bake in aluminum foil. It makes potatoes pasty, instead of dry and fluffy. If you like potatoes this way, make sure you wrap them in parchment paper before using the foil.

Make extra potatoes for leftovers. Store unwrapped in the refrigerator. Eat them cold or reheat in the microwave.

Topping Ideas:
Salsa or barbecue sauce
Tofu sour cream and chives
Baked beans
Chili
Pea soup or bean soup
Fat free dressings
Almost any bean recipe goes great over baked potatoes.

Hints: Sweet potatoes are also delicious when baked. They should be baked at a lower temperature, about 350 degrees, for 45-50 minutes. Prick them all over with a fork and place on a baking tray in the oven. (Or place on the oven rack and put a baking tray on the shelf underneath to catch the drips.) Eat plain, either warm or cold, or try them topped with baked beans. Use the Barbecued Bean recipe from the August 2003 newsletter; or open your favorite can of healthy fat-free baked beans, heat, and spoon over the top of the sweet potato.

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**NOTE TO MY FRIENDS**
Come on in for a nice cup of coffee and a chat about my weight loss journey as well as all the healthy recipes I have found, including WW points and/or nutritional information if available. I am eating a vegetarian diet and concentrating on getting healthy and hopefully weight loss will follow. Thank to all my readers for their ongoing support.