Friday, May 16, 2014

Broccoli, Cheese, & Bacon Twice-Baked Potatoes

Potatoes make great meals. It's just a fact. Americans like to do awful, unhealthy things to potatoes like fry them, drench them in oil and cheese sauce, or mash them into a highly-caloric cream base. Of course, after doing all these things, we declare the potato and its carbs the enemy. I've mentioned this before, but I don't avoid any particular food group. This girl's well-balanced diet includes carbs in the form of potatoes and pasta. Granted, colored potatoes such as red or blue are a lot healthier, but I'll toss an Idaho potato into my diet on occasion. And Idaho potatoes were on sale this week, so here we are. 

Potatoes are cheap, versatile, and very filling. This makes them a fantastic meal option. Baked potatoes are a great way to get potatoes on the table. Now I have a confession: I've never been overly fond of baked potatoes. They are bland and blah to me. I drown the innards with butter, sour cream, salt, and pepper. And then I usually leave the skin. Well. I'm trying to get in the habit of eating the skins. They really are good for you, containing high amounts of potassium, iron, and niacin. One way I've gotten around my distaste for baked potatoes is by twice-baking them. I bake the potatoes for an hour, slice em' open and remove all the potato-y goodness, and then doctor them up. Toss in some broccoli, plain greek yogurt, a few bacon bits (I happened to have some leftover after making a batch of breakfast burritos), and some shredded cheese. Mix it all up, and stuff it back in the potatoes. Back in the oven they go, then it's Flavor Town!

To be honest, I haven't been making plain baked potatoes since I started making these. They just don't compare. I don't always have bacon to throw in these, and I certainly don't fry up bacon specifically for these. These potatoes are more of a throw-together meal, when I don't have much else planned. I usually use frozen broccoli, I don't even defrost it before I throw a handful of small florets into the mix. Serve a side salad with these, and you've got yourself dinner. Almost meatless. Almost.

Although these technically take about an hour and a half to make, it's all mostly hands-off cooking. The potato must bake for an hour initially, so that the innards are soft and pliable when you remove them. After mixing the potato combination and re-stuffing the potatoes, you're 20-25 minutes from dinner. Stick the potatoes back in the oven, and remove them when the cheese is melted and starting to brown. You can do so much during the baking time: clean up the kitchen, do the dishes, make the side salad, set the table... you get the point. This meal gives you time for multi-tasking :)

Well, it's Friday. We've made it to another weekend. The hubby is working the night shift all weekend, so I'm left pondering what I'm going to do. I do know there will be baking. Muffins for sure. Possibly cookies. Some chocolate here, and some vanilla there. Just the usual Jarrell Household activities. And where there's baking, a camera lurks not far behind :)

Have a great weekend everyone!

Ingredients (makes 2 potatoes):

2 large Idaho baking potatoes
1/4 cup Greek yogurt, plain
1/4 cup small broccoli florets (chopped if not small pieces)
1 bacon strip, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper


1. Preheat oven to 400º. Scrub your potatoes clean. Using a fork, pierce holes all over the potato. Place directly on oven rack and bake for 60 minutes.
2. Slice potatoes from end to end. Using a spoon, scoop out the potato innards into a mixing bowl. Add yogurt, broccoli, bacon, and 1/4 cup cheese to the bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Using a fork, mash up mixture. Very carefully, begin stuffing potato mixture back into potatoes. Distribute mixture evenly between 2 potatoes. Top each potato with 1 tbsp of cheese. Place potatoes on a cookie sheet, and bake in oven for 20-25 more minutes, or until cheese is melted and starting to brown. Remove from oven, and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Helpful Links:

The Benefits of Eating Potato Skins-

Linked to: Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friday


  1. I get cravings for baked potato and I've had one all this week. Yours is making my mouth water.

    1. Thanks Lulu! I have a feeling you would love these potatoes :) Have a great weekend!

  2. Hmmmm I will take this without the broccoli - does that take the healthiness away? :)

    1. LOL. Absolutely not. Put a vegetable on the side and call it good :)