I don’t know about you, but after the holidays, I just want quick, nutritious dinners to put on the table. I love cooking, but the holiday season can get a little exhausting & sometimes I just want to keep it simple. This is where my baked potato bar comes into play. This meal is so simple & takes the pressure off the cook!
CARBS ARE OUR FRIENDS!
Yeah, you read that right! Carbs are not bad. In fact, I think they’re pretty dang good & your body agrees with me. You brain runs on glucose, which is the simple sugar carbs are broken down to when processed by the body. For this very reason, I totally support a delicious baked potato bar, or a bowl of pasta or rice, or a slice of bread. The main thing you want to focus on is making sure half of your grains come from whole grain sources. This could be whole wheat bread, oatmeal, whole grain pasta, brown rice, whatever floats your boat.
The media often times demonizes carbs (along with a lot of other nutritious things), but you don’t have to shy away. My dietitian friend, Lindsey Pine of Tasty Balance Nutrition, wrote a great article summing up why carbs are totally ok & how to eat smart carbs!
This is why I used both sweet potatoes & regular white potatoes in my potato bar. Both kinds (all kinds, actually) of potatoes fit! So load up your potato of choice with all kinds of yummy toppings & eat up!
Some topping ideas are:
- Cheese (cheddar, mozz, gouda, swiss, bleu…anything!)
- Turkey bacon
- Pulled pork
- Buffalo chicken
- Nut butter
- Seeds & nuts
- Dried fruit
- BBQ sauce
- Turkey Chili
Here are my 4 recipe ideas!
Mexican Sweet Potato
- 4 sweet potatoes, baked
- 1 can baked beans, rinsed
- 1-2 T taco seasoning
- Cheddar cheese
- Mix beans with taco seasoning & heat in microwave until warm.
- Top each potato with beans, cheddar cheese, & salsa.
Pizza Baked Potato
- 1 white potato, baked
- Marinara sauce
- Mozzarella cheese
- Top potato with sauce, then cheese, then pepperoni.
Nutty Crunch Sweet Potato
- 1 sweet potato, baked
- Your favorite almond butter, melted
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Drizzle melted almond butter on top of potato.
- Top with nuts & seeds & a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Buffalo Chicken Baked Potato
- 1 white potato, baked
- Chicken, cooked & diced
- Your favorite hot sauce (I used Cholula)
- Bleu cheese crumbles
- Combine chicken with hot sauce.
- Top potato with chicken & bleu cheese crumbles.