Feeling great doesn’t have to be complicated.  A baked potato can be a tasty meal and a great energy boost.  My son is on the autism spectrum and is picky about his food choices.  When he showed an interest in baked potatoes, I jumped at the opportunity and set out to make them tasty and healthy.

Start with preheating your oven at 400 degrees.  Stab your potato (or potatoes) several times.  Supposedly this is to prevent the potato from exploding in the oven.  That would be bad.  Lightly brush the outside of the potato with oil or melted butter and add salt and pepper.  Place directly on the oven rack (or on a piece of aluminum foil) and back for 45-75 minutes.  It is ready when you can easily squeeze the potato.  Remove and let cool for ten minutes.

The fun part is deciding what to top the potato with.  When I am trying to lose weight, I will eat the baked potato as my lunch.  In that case I top it with home-smoked bacon, butter, extra-sharp cheddar, green onions and a dollop of Greek yogurt.  Often a shake or two of garlic salt finds it’s way into the mix.  This was the potato my son fell in love with at the age of one, but there are tons of other choices.  As a side dish I eat the potato with steamed broccoli, salsa and Greek yogurt.  This makes an excellent side with grilled steak or chicken.

If you want to make the baked potato even healthier, swap the white potatoes for their denser, healthier cousins sweet potatoes.  These may need to be baked 15 minutes longer.  With sweet potatoes I prefer to keep it simple and add a pad of butter and sprinkle of cinnamon.

Being healthy is important, but enjoying what you eat is essential for many of us.  Sometimes you need to feed your body but sometimes you need to feed your mind and your soul.  With this blog I intend to do both and offer ways to get the most out of your ingredients and time in the kitchen.  Feel free to send in recipe requests, questions and also your own recipes and articles.

What are some simple ingredients and recipes you use to feed your family and loved ones?  How do you make meals both healthy and tasty?  Share your tricks below!

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