|Salad as a meal, never!|
The recipe changes slightly depending upon what I have in my refrigerator at the time. I'll list the ingredients I often use as a guide. But feel free to toss in leftover meats, or vegetables you have, or love. You can oven bake the potatoes 1st, scrape out the insides, then smash and mix the filling with melted butter and cream and stuff it back on top of its skin. But, I'm not going to lie, I don't take the time, as the Loaded Potatoes are no longer a low-fat, quick meal. And isn't the point of coming up with a quick meal, not to go through the extra steps? So I've learned to like:
Microwaved Loaded Potatoes
1 baking potato (or 2-3 small potatoes from a 5 lb bag)
1/2 cup broccoli, fresh, or frozen
ham, diced (or crumbled crispy bacon)
1 carrot microwaved tender, then sliced (Often I skip this step of microwaving the carrot 1st and simply slice it as thin as possible -- it gets tender enough for me to eat.)
1 stalk celery, sliced
1/4 of an onion, diced
Mexican salsa (or Italian tomato sauce)
Salt, pepper and spice to taste
Extra sharp cheddar cheese
Optional: Whatever else you have in the refrigerator: mushrooms, red peppers, garlic cloves, etc.
1) Microwave the potato(es) until done. It takes 5 - 8 minutes, depending on the size and how many potatoes you use. Poke with a fork to test for softness. Lay in a bowl and slice and dice them. I leave the skin on to eat as it has lots of nutrients too. I don't do so, but if you wish to mash the potatoes and add butter and cream, this is the time to do it.
2) Toss the other vegetables and meats on top and distribute evenly. Microwave for 1-2 more minutes. Add minutes of time at this stage to tenderize the vegetables.
3) Salt, pepper and spice to taste with dried garlic, onion powder, red pepper flakes and other dried green leaf spices.
4) Pour on the sauce of your choice: Mexican salsa, or Italian tomato sauce.
5) Top with a generous portion of cheddar cheese. (If I use Italian tomato sauce, I might switch to Mozzarella and sprinkle on 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese instead of using cheddar. But sharp cheddar is good with tomato sauce too.)
6) Microwave for another 1-2 minutes to get the cheese hot and bubbly.
As you see, homemade meals can be fresh, quick, easy, balanced and as healthy as you wish! After dinner all you need to wash is a bowl, cutting board and a few utensils, and you're done.😊
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