• Natalie Aley

Baked Potato Extravaganza


I don’t know how and when the potato got such a bad rep for allegedly being so starchy and calories rich.... in fact, potato is full of:


  • Potassium: One medium potato with skin provides 620 milligrams or 18% of the recommended daily value (DV) of potassium per serving and is considered one of the best foods with potassium. Potatoes rank highest for foods with potassium among the top 20 most frequently consumed raw vegetables and fruits*.

  • Vitamin C: Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C (45% of the DV), which is more vitamin C than one medium tomato (40% DV) or sweet potato (30% DV).

  • Fiber:  One medium potato with the skin contributes 2 grams of fiber or 8% of the daily value per serving.

  • B6: Potatoes are a good source of vitamin B6 with one medium potato providing 10% of the recommended daily value.

  • Iron: One medium potato provides 6% of the recommended daily value of iron.

  • Magnesium: A medium potato provides 48 mg of magnesium and research indicates potatoes contribute 5% of the total magnesium intake in the diets of Americans.

  • Antioxidants: In addition to vitamins and minerals, potatoes also contain an assortment of phytochemicals with antioxidant potential, most notably carotenoids and anthocyanins (Brown et al. 2001, 2004).Anthocyanins are found in the greatest quantities in purple and red potatoes while carotenoids are found largely in yellow and red potatoes; although, small amounts are also found in white potatoes.

We should give more credit to this wonderful vegetable as it’s the mighty potato that rushes to the rescue when we, vegans, end up in the non vegan restaurant. One thing we can be sure of - there is always a side of French fries, potato wedges, baked potato listed as side dishes.

I come from the culture heavily based on potatoes. And this root has always been a meal I turn to when my soul needs some nourishing.

Needles to mention, it’s affordable, accessible and there is no mastery necessary to make a badass meal using it.


Today, I want to talk about the art of making a baked potato! You can stuff it with almost anything! The trick is the combination of the ingredients. You don’t want to overstuff it, you want flavors and textures compliment each other. 

The baked potato is perfect for:

✅ easy, improvised meal when you don’t have much time. Sometimes I get home and the first thing I do is to throw couple baked potatoes in the microwave for 10 min. And while it’s being cooked, I do my evening routine.

BBQ. If you are invited to a potluck or a bbq situation where there might not be a lot of options for you, I bring pre-cooked baked potatoes (normally it takes to long for a raw potato to be make on the grill), I throw my potato, some veggies on the grill and in 10 min - your feast is ready.

✅ when you have a lot of left overs, or some random items in your fridge in the end of the week. Everything but the sink potatoes are the most delicious, so you may know.

✅ when you want to have a fun, social night with friends at your house. The easiest way is to prepare bunch of different fillings and let your friends make their own stuffed baked potato while watching movies or playing some board games!


🥔  Pesto veggie baked potato 🥔 


❗️This is the recipe for three baked potatoes ❗️



Ingredients


3 Russet Potatoes

2 cups of sliced mushrooms (I normally use white mushrooms)

2 large bell peppers (preferably different colors)

1 cup of hummus


✔️Note that you can use your favorite hummus from the store or you can use my recipe from the previous blog 👉🏻 Hummus Recipe ✔️


2 tbls olive oil

salt and pepper (to taste)


For pesto sauce :


2 large or 3 small pots with fresh basil

4 tbls nutritional yeast

6 tbls pine nuts

2 tbls minced garlic

1/4 cup of water

1/2 lemon (juice)

The equipment you`ll need

Food processor

One large pan

Blender (for the hummus)



1. Make a medium cut in each potato so that the knife doesn`t touch the bottom. Place potatoes on a plate and put in the microwave for 15 min. Note that different microwaves might require different time. The more powerful the microwave is, the less time you need. I would say try 10 min first and if the potatoes are still hard, add 5-10 min. You might also try a more conventional method and use the oven to bake the potatoes but it will definitely take longer - 30 min -1 hr.


2. While your potatoes are being baked, chop the bell peppers and sautè them for 5 min with olive oil in the pan , add sliced mushrooms and sautè for 10 more min over medium heat.


3. If you are good at multitasking, you can start your pesto sauce.


Note that this is my original recipe that is OIL FREE!!!!


Vegan oil free pesto


After this magnificent discovery, this pesto sauce became a staple in my cooking. I use it mostly on the sandwiches, baked potatoes and wraps. "What about the pesto pasta?" - you might ask. The reason I'm avoiding this yummy dish is the cost and calories. Usually I make small batches that are budget friendly and enough for sandwiches and wraps. But every now and then, I treat my family, and make a pesto pasta for a special occasion.


1. Roast the pine nuts over the medium heat in the pan. Roasting the nuts will add a smoky flavor to your pesto. Usually it should take 5 min as pine nuts are very small and soft. Place the pine nuts in the food processor.


2. Pick the leaves from the basil plant, wash them and add to the food processor.


3. Add nutritional yeast, garlic, salt, water and lemon juice.


I recommend to add just 3 tbls of water first and after you process the pesto, give it a try and see if you are satisfied with the consistency. If it`s too thick, you can add the rest of the water.


4. Process the pesto in the food processor, add more salt or water to your taste if needed.




Now that the baked potatoes, hummus, veggies and pesto sauce are ready, it`s time to assemble the dish.


With a wooden spatula carefully open up the potato, layer hummus, then sauteed veggies and top it off with the pesto sauce. Best served with some light salad!


Enjoy!!!


If you liked this recipe, please share with your friends and family. Lets connect on Instagram @natalie_aley where by the way every Wednesday I host music jam at 6 pm pacific time. You are more than welcome to join me.




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