Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Meal Plan: Potato Ideas

One of the key components of meal planning, especially on a budget, is figuring out creative ways of using the same ingredients in more than one meal during a week. This week I purchased good baking potatoes at our fish market, which sells local produce. 

With one pound of potatoes I did the following:

Beefy Bakes (A full meal) 
Crock Pot Potato Soup (A full meal) 
Homemade Potato Chips (Sidedish) 
Breakfast Potatoes (Saturday breakfast side) 
Mashed Potatoes (Sidedish) 
Mashed Potato Pancakes (Lunch side) 

First, I began with Beefy Bakes. While I went ahead and had the oven on I baked all of the potatoes that I would need for both the beefy bakes and the soup. This saved some energy and made preparation for the soup much simpler.

The potato chips went along with a relaxed dinner of homemade chicken nuggets.
The mashed potatoes went with delicious chicken and dumplings meal.
The next day I made potato pancakes with the leftover mashed potatoes. We had just two left which I made into breakfast potatoes on Saturday along with scrambled eggs.

So, two fulls meals and four sides....not bad!

Beefy Bakes: 

Beefy bakes are potatoes that are "twice baked" and shoved full of delicious goodies! Bake your potatoes as normal. Go ahead and throw in extra potatoes for crock pot potato soup later in the week!
As your potatoes are baking good some meat. We like to use grass fed beef or nitrate free bacon.
When your potatoes are ready slice them open and remove the potato gently from the skin. Set the skin aside, you will use them again. In a big bowl mix the potato with some cream cheese or butter or both. You can salt and pepper it too. Place the mixed potato back into the skins, top with cheese and your meat. Place back into the oven for about ten minutes. While the potatoes are finishing chop up tomatoes, avocado, onions, or anything else you might like on top! Pile it high, serve with sour cream,  and eat skin and all.

Katie's Crock Pot Potato Soup: 
This recipe is one of those that I am not exactly sure how I do each time. I just know that we love it. Here are the basics.
1. Removed potato from previously baked potatoes. Place into the crock pot.
2. Add chicken stock.
Cook the above together for several hours. Stir occasionally. The potatoes can be mushed up and will become nice and soft and soupy.
3. Add some cream.
4. Sprinkle with cheese.

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