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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Crock Pot Baked Potatoes!

I had never cooked baked potatoes in the crock pot until today, now I sure do wish I had. It was so easy, and the potatoes turned out really good! My kids and I had them as a frugal main course for dinner last night. Here's how I baked them:

8 medium sized baking potatoes, scrubbed and pricked lightly with a fork
1tsp garlic salt, or just plain salt
1Tbsp oil

Place the potatoes on end in the crock pot. Sprinkle the salt over the tops, and then drizzle on the oil. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Enjoy with your favorite toppings!

It really is that easy...I can't believe I ever bothered with the oven! Potatoes are great, because they are filling, versatile, and best of all...CHEAP. I bought a 10 pound bag of potatoes from sams club for $2.05 this past week. That means each pound of potatoes cost me about $.20. Here are a few of the ways I like to use baked potatoes:

One of my favorite meals is a humble baked potato with butter, sour cream, and salt, a cucumber tomato salad, and some roasted carrots. You can use whatever toppings you want, like cheese, bacon bits, green onion, avocado, bits of leftover vegetables...The possibilities are pretty much endless. I love this meal, because it is filling without being heavy, low fat, and really very delicious!

There are so very many ways to use leftover baked potatoes in a soup! You can mash them up to thicken the soup, dice them up to add bulk, shred them to add texture without being too noticeable, etc. I like to add mashed potatoes to soup instead of using a more traditional flour/butter thickener. Potatoes have WAY less calories, they are more convenient (if already cooked, anyway), and they thicken soups and stews very effectively and with a great texture. Using potatoes as a thickener is also much healthier than using butter, or eggs.

There are a ton of awesome potato breads to be made with leftover baked potatoes. Potato breads are heavier than a lot of other breads, but they make up for it by being so delicious! Potato pasta is also really good, and a lot easier to make than regular semolina pasta. I will post recipes for potato bread and pasta soon.

Leftover potatoes can also be used in potato salad, shepherds pie, potato pancakes, fried potato cakes and even in crab cakes! Nothing will add frugal nutrition to your diet like potatoes.

So break out that crock pot and your vegetable brush and get cooking!


Mary said...

These are all great ideas! I never thought about baking potatoes in the crock pot. I will definitely try that, and also using potatoes as a thickener for soup. That has to be better than other thickeners! I'm looking forward to the potato breat recipes. I know I love challa (Is that the right word?!).

Mary said...

I mean "bread", not "breat"!!

Anonymous said...

Yummy! I do love baked potatoes too... My fave with butter, lots of salt & pepper! Never tried them in the crockpot, but I think I'll have to try it out sometime! :)

Anonymous said...

Barley is also a great thickener for soups and is high in fiber and protein. I use it with one potato in a lentil soup.