Jacket Potatoes – 15 minute meals

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Happy Thanksgiving everybody! I hope you all had wonderful holidays, I know I did. Exhausting, but lovely. I did a lot of baking (a pie and a cake) before the holiday and the day after Thanksgiving, I spent the day with my mom and sisters making 1300 ravioli from scratch. Oh yes. We are that family. I think this may be where my love of cooking stems from? There will be a post about the pie, the cake, and the ravioli all in good time, but for now let’s just have a quick post about a quick dinner that’s cheap and easy.

First, I would like to thank Mateja at Indulging Life for awarding me a “One lovely blog” award. Eeek! First award! Thanks Mateja!

The first time Senor and I traveled to Europe was in March of 2007. We decided to take a trip about a month into dating that fall and since one of my very best friends lives in Scotland, it seemed like an easy decision to make to visit her and swing through London as well. We bought our tickets and Senor went to get his passport. There was a bit of a debacle with the passport thing….he ended up getting it 9 days before we were supposed to leave. He had gone in to get it the first week of December. I was pretty much having kittens until it arrived.

Our first trip was a little hectic. We had the address of our B&B and we knew it was close to the train station. Unfortunately navigating British streets is pretty much impossible unless you have a compass. You have no idea which way you’re walking. The sun is usually hidden so you can’t tell which way you’re going by the sky. There’s no grid system there, so streets are just tossed together willy-nily and they curve and bend and circle around, almost of their own free will. Long story short, we walked for an hour to get to a B&B that was three blocks from the underground station. (Yes, three blocks from Platform 9 3/4, which is marked with a sign btw, so you can find it.)

By the time we got checked in and settled we were starving, having last eaten a ‘breakfast’ on the plane that consisted of soggy plane food that all tastes like yellow-flavored salt. We were staying near King’s Cross which is on Euston, a giant busy street full of cars, shops, and cafes. We stumbled down the road, passing by the two McDonald’s and one Burger King (all at the same intersection mind you)…and found a lunch/snack bar called Orlando’s. This is where we encountered our first jacket potatoes. They’re just baked potatoes but they often get fancied up by adding toppings and fillings. I had something called the ‘chicken surprise’ and at this point, I don’t even remember what it consisted of but that it was delicious. Orlando’s was vacant by the time we returned in 2008 but I had started making jacket potatoes pretty regularly by that point. Our favorite jacket potatoes are either tuna or shredded chicken, mixed with mayo/sour cream/yogurt (they all work), cheese, seasonings, onions, and topped with cheese.

I made these specific jackets the other day after a day of lifting and running at the gym. I.e. v hungry and in need of much protein. Jackets are great because you really can just toss in whatever you want or feel like. On this day I mixed up the following:

2 cans of low sodium tuna
1/4 c low fat mayo
1/3 c barbecue sauce
garlic powder
black pepper
cayenne pepper
cilantro
chopped green onions

Simply take a medium-to-large potato and microwave it for about 10 minutes until it’s soft, making sure to poke it with holes so it doesn’t explode. Meanwhile, mix up your filling. When the potato is mostly soft, take it out of the microwave, split it open, and spoon in the filling. Top with the shredded cheese of your choice and pop it back in the microwave for another 2 minutes until the cheese is melted. On this particular day I added a fried egg to the top which was a delicious, protein-y addition if I do say so myself. And of course, finished it off with a few more green onions.

The whole thing takes about 15 minutes if you include the time needed to cool, and you’ll only need to dirty one bowl for mixing and then the plates you eat on. It’s super easy and fast and filling and delicious. Perfect right? Also, if you only have smallish potatoes you can make two and cut them and fill them like they’re one, just line them up together. However, I will say that one even smallish potato is usually sufficient because you can still stuff it with the tuna/chicken mixture and you’ll be happy.

Jacket Potatoes

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