Friday, August 13, 2010

Baked Potatoes with Chili

I always have a bag of russet potatoes in my pantry.  They are cheap, yummy, nutritious, and versatile.  The 10-lb. bag I currently have cost me $1.98, though it is not uncommon to find 10-lb. bags for only $0.99.  Since they are so cheap and filling, I love using potatoes to bulk up my meals.  Some of my favorite potato dishes include baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, oven fries, and potatoes O’Brien.  My husband Robbie loves scalloped potatoes.

I recently had an “it’s 4:30 and I have no clue what’s for dinner” day.  After a brief survey of my freezer and pantry, I settled on baked potatoes with leftover spaghetti sauce chili.

To save time and money on the electricity bill, I make baked potatoes in the microwave.  Despite what some marketing genius would have you think, you do not need to buy any special potato to bake it in your microwave.  These expensive individually shrink-wrapped potatoes that are now available in your grocer’s produce section are the same as the ones you pull out of your 10-lb. bag.

After washing, I generously pierce each potato with a fork and arrange them on a microwave-safe plate, ends pointed toward the middle like spokes on a wheel.

My microwave has a handy potato button that automatically cooks them for the right amount of time.  If yours does not, simply cook them for the time appropriate for the amount of potatoes (keep in mind microwaves vary—adjust accordingly).

# potatoes                   Minutes
            1                         3:00
            2                         5:10
            3                         7:20
            4                         9:50
            5                      11:10
            6                      13:00

Once they are done in the microwave, tightly wrap them in foil (I wrap them in pairs) and let them sit for 5 minutes.  Do not skip this step as they are not actually done and will continue cooking during this time.

While the potatoes are cooking, I heat the chili on the stove; and while they are resting, I cook frozen broccoli in the microwave.  Put it all together with some cheese and sour cream and you’ve got a delicious meal.

Baked Potatoes with Leftover Spaghetti Sauce Chili
Russet potatoes, baked
Broccoli, cooked
Sour cream

Cut open baked potato.  Layer remaining ingredients on top.


For His Glory said...

um yea that's totally going on my dinner menu PERMANATLY! I can't believe the things I forget about that are yummy, nutritious, and CHEAP :) Loving your ideas gals :) keep em comin!

Crystal Malek said...

Those look delicious! I'm always looking for new potato toppings, and never thought of spaghetti sauce! I do wish my 10# bag was as cheap as you're getting them! Looks delish! And to also save on the electric bill (and because I live where it's 1000 degrees outside,) I "bake" my potatoes, wrapped in foil, in a crock pot for a few hours. Found that trick somewhere online and it's been great! When I'm ready, they're ready, and you can leave the house.

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