Thursday, January 3, 2008

Loaded Baked Potatoes - Frugal, GFCF, and Yummy!

My ASD son loves potatoes. With this diet, that's a huge blessing! He particularly likes baked potatoes. And so one of my new favorite GFCF meals is loaded baked potatoes.

To bake a potato, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Scrub the skin of your potato. If you want a soft-skinned potato rub the skin with oil or GFCF margarine. Prick the potato several times with a fork to let steam out during cooking. You can wrap your potato in foil or not, either way works. Medium sized potatoes will be done in an hour. My potatoes last night took about and hour and fifteen minutes. To tell if their done, just plunge the fork in. There should be little resistance with a done potato.

I don't like microwaved potatoes. I'd rather just have something else, but there are days when the microwave is a life saver. So here are the directions for microwaving your potato. Prepare the skin as if you were baking. Do NOT wrap in foil. Some will wrap in saran wrap, but I have found that unnecessary and it leads to burns! The saran holds in steam and when you unwrap get the picture. Anyway, put your potato on a plate and microwave between 3 and 8 minutes, depending on the size of your potato. You don't want your potato to be completely done. Give it an additional 5 minutes of rest time in the microwave so it can continue to cook as the steam is released.

Have you ever baked your potato in the crockpot? I love this option! Prepare your potatoes as you would for baking. Use foil if desired. Pack the crock pot full and put on low for 8 to 10 hours, high for 4. No need for water in the crockpot. The potatoes will steam themselves.

Now for the yummy part: Loading your potato! This is where you can please all members of your family (hopefully). Everyone can top their potato as they like. Non-GFCF family members can have their goodies and hopefully you have the equivalent on hand for your GFCF child.

Toppings we enjoy:
GFCF margarine
sour cream/soy sour cream
cooked broccoli
crisp bacon
and for the non-GFCF, sharp cheddar cheese
salt & pepper

The options are limitless. You could have vegetarian chili, any chopped veggie known to man, salsa, gravy, herbs, name it!

5 out of 7 in my family will eat this meal. In our home, that translates to "a keeper"!

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