Loaded Twice-Baked PotatoesPotatoes, and most carbs, got a bad rap during the meaty, fatty Atkins Diet craze. Spuds also get dissed because they are a high-glycemic food. Luckily I haven't been swayed by all the hype-I know that potatoes are rich in vitamin C, potassium and offer some fiber, especially when eaten with the skin on.
That's good news to me because potatoes are one of my favorite foods. I love them prepared in every way-roasted, steamed and mashed. But give me one stuffed, twice-baked potato loaded with broccoli and ground beef, and topped with melted Cheddar, and I swoon.
These Loaded Twice-Baked Potatoes make it to your plate in just 40 minutes and, when served with a salad, are a filling quick dinner. Think of baked potatoes as nature's mini casseroles: an edible dish that can hold up to a hearty stuffing. Russets have just the right balance to make a perfect twice-baked potato: enough starch to keep their structure, enough moisture to endure the double cooking.
Loaded Twice-Baked Potatoes
4 medium russet potatoes
8 ounces 90%-lean ground beef
1 cup broccoli florets, finely chopped
1 cup water
1 cup reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 scallions, sliced
1. Pierce potatoes all over with a fork. Place in the microwave and cook at 50% power, turning once or twice, until the potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. (Or, use the "potato setting" on your microwave and cook according to the manufacturer's instructions.)
2. Meanwhile, brown meat in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Increase heat to high, add broccoli and water to the skillet, cover, and cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the broccoli; add to the meat.
3. Carefully cut off the top third of the cooked potatoes; reserve the tops for another use. Scoop the insides out into a medium bowl. Place the potato shells in a small baking dish. Add 1/2 cup Cheddar, sour cream, salt and pepper to the potato insides and mash with a fork or potato masher. Add scallions and the potato mixture to the broccoli and meat; stir to combine.
4. Evenly divide the potato mixture among the potato shells and top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Microwave on high until the filling is hot and the cheese is melted, 2 to 4 minutes.
Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: 366 calories; 12 g fat (6 g sat, 4 g mono); 54 mg cholesterol; 41 g carbohydrate; 24 g protein; 5 g fiber; 535 mg sodium; 1,280 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (70% daily value), Potassium (37% dv), Calcium (20% dv).
To make ahead: Prepare and stuff potatoes. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Microwave and serve.
Vegetarian variation: Replace the ground beef with a soy-based substitute or omit the beef altogether and increase the broccoli to 1 1/2 cups and the cheese to 1 1/4 cups.
By Carolyn Malcoun
When associate editor Carolyn Malcoun came to Vermont to attend New England Culinary Institute, she knew she didn't want to work in a restaurant but knew that she wanted to do something in the food industry. Luckily she discovered EatingWell, where she's able to combine her love of food and writing.
Related Links from EatingWell:
Find healthy recipes in over 100 recipe collections-from chicken to Chinese to cake-at eatingwell.com.
- Find recipes for your favorite comfort foods in EatingWell's new book, Comfort Foods Made Healthy.
- Sign up for EatingWell's free weekly newsletters and get healthy recipes, diet tips and nutrition news delivered right to your inbox.
- Get a free trial issue when you subscribe to EatingWell Magazine.