Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Dollar In My Wallet: Baked Potatoes

Sometimes you get to the end of the month, the week, your paycheck or budget with little to spare---you all know what I mean, right? It happens to all of us. And nothing is worse than trying to scrape by on fake Mac 'N Cheese or Ramen and canned food--been there as well, right?



One solution for these situations is using pantry foods--grains, legumes, and root vegetables, to keep your stomach from growling while providing calories, fiber, vitamins--take for example the infamous, ever-popular, American baked potato or the sweet potato. They cost pennies and can pretty much be combined with anything to make a satisfying, cheap, and nutritious meal for any starving college student strapped on breadcrumbs and cash!

Baking potatoes are especially versatile: use leftovers from meals, roast a few veggies, make them healthy with cottage cheese and salsa, or sprinkle with cheese! Want something less savory, heat up a sweet potato instead, and sprinkle with cinnamon or brown sugar! 

On top of this, baked potatoes or sweet potatoes require practically no equipment and no skills unless you do not know how to push buttons or open a carton of cottage cheese!  When money is tight, know some easy solutions to remain well-fed--try this one tonight!

Cost: $1-2 / serving

A Dollar In My Wallet: Baked Potatoes

Equipment:
Microwave

Ingredients:
Baking (or Sweet Potatoes),pierced



Add-Ons /Options (to increase flavor and nutrition):
--Roasted or steamed broccoli with sharp cheddar
--Cottage Cheese plain or with tomato salsa
--Crumbled bacon, cheddar & low-fat sour cream
--leftover mushroom(s) sauce
--leftover mongolian beef
--use the last slice of deli ham and melt some cheese to throw on top
--try it



Instructions:
1. Wash your hands.
2. Wash the potatoes and pierce all around with a fork or knife.


3. Microwave Time: (depends on size):
---larger potatoes approx 8-12 min HIGH
---small to medium 5-10 min HIGH
---will also depend on your microwave model…just make sure potato is cooked tender

(you can use a standard oven, but it will cost you valuable time):
---wrap in foil and bake for 1-1 1/4 hours at 400F degrees
---unwrap, brush with oil, and bake another 10-15 minutes at 450-500F degrees
---smaller potatoes may need less, but timely nonetheless
---yes…tedious!

4. See what's in the fridge, be creative, and prep your toppings. 
5. Start layering and dig in! Or just use butter, salt, and pepper.

Butter / Salt / Pepper

Cottage Cheese (protein, calcium) / Salsa

Shredded Sharp Cheddar (ends of various cheeses) / Roasted Broccoli (leftover)