When you need something quick to eat, but don’t want a sandwich, leftovers, or takeout, a baked potato can be the perfect solution. You can cook one quickly in the microwave, then add whatever toppings you like to change it up.
Just wash your potato, preferably with a plastic scrubber to make sure you get the dirt off, then poke it with a fork. This keeps the potato from exploding in the microwave. (It is also a good way to take out your pent-up aggression or stress from the day). Wrap it in a paper towel and put it in the microwave. The cook time will vary based on you microwave and the size of the potato. I usually start at about three minutes and add from there if I need to. You can test it by giving it a squeeze to see if it is squishy yet. When it is, wrap it in a piece of aluminum foil. This will keep it hot and keep cooking it until you are ready to eat it.
Next comes the fun part: toppings! My go-tos are butter, sour cream, cheddar cheese, sea salt, pepper, and bacon. This time, I used lower cholesterol butter (butter mixed with canola spread) and Greek yogurt instead of the regular butter and sour cream. I also switched out barbecue for the bacon. We had some left over in the freezer from a butt roast we got from a fundraiser. As long as it’s for charity, right? Besides, it is Tennessee, and we are known for our barbecue, after all. It’s the right thing to do!
I put a little Frank’s RedHot Kickin’ BBQ Sauce on the meat. If you haven’t tried it before, Frank’s Hot Sauce is delicious, and they make varieties for buffalo wings and barbecue that I really like.
If you’d rather enjoy bacon on your stuffed potato, the easiest way to cook it is in the oven with a piece of aluminum foil between it and the sheet, dish, or pan you’re using. That way, your clean up is as simple as dropping the aluminum foil in the trash – no need to battle with bacon grease!
I’ll go ahead and throw this out there: stuffed potatoes are not healthy by nature. However, there are things you can do to make it healthier (or perhaps less unhealthy). For example, I substituted Greek yogurt for the sour cream that is so common. It gives a nice tanginess and moistens the potato, as does the sour cream it replaces. The good news is that the Greek yogurt is healthy, so you can use as much as you want, and not feel bad about the butter and cheese. You can of course leave the meat off, which takes out a lot of the unhealthy parts – it also makes it vegetarian. I actually do that a lot when I make a baked potato. Not only is it better for you, it’s often less trouble! I usually cut way back on the toppings if I’m just having a potato as a side, but when it’s a la carte, it’s delicious to go all out!