Potatoes are arguably the most misunderstood vegetable around. Often dismissed as fattening and nutrition-less, the humble spud, that fed our ancestors for centuries, frequently finds itself relegated to the kitchen corner for an emergency meal, or worse, to start sprouting and be tossed in the trash.
If you've been following my musings on all things food and nutrition, you'll know that I am potatoes' biggest cheerleader, and for good scientific reason. As I discussed in a previous post, potatoes are packed with minerals, vitamins, fibre, some protein and good starch. And honestly, there are very few foods as satisfying and satiating as spuds.
In an effort to add more potatoes to toddler's diet and to our family table, I created this nutmeg-spiced, cheesy baked potato recipe that is essentially a one pot, or shall we say, one potato meal. Carbohydrate, protein and fat contained in a cute little potato boat with veggies to boot, while also being delicious, satisfying and toddler-approved?! Needless to say, this is now a regular on our family table.
Twice Baked Potato With Chicken and Broccoli
6 months+, Baby-led weaning, Toddler, Kid, Adult
Note: Vegetarians can skip the chicken and still enjoy the recipe. A good protein-rich substitute could be shelled and cooked edamame.
2 adults and 1 toddler
3 medium Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes
Salt to taste
12 broccoli florets
2 cooked chicken breasts shredded, about 1 cup
(leftover roast chicken works well or use this brilliant method http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-cook-moist-tender-chicken-breasts-every-time-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-36891)
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons grated Gruyere cheese
Preheat the oven to 425F / 220C.
Jab the potato all over with a fork. Season generously with sea salt and wrap in foil. Place in the preheated oven for 40-60 minutes until fork tender.
(If you're in a tearing hurry, you can also cook the jabbed and seasoned potato in a microwave for 5 minutes on each side.)
While the potato is cooking, steam the broccoli florets until cooked yet firm. If you don't have leftover shredded chicken, this is a good time to cook the chicken breasts using this fast and wonderful method: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-cook-moist-tender-chicken-breasts-every-time-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-36891
Remove the cooked potatoes from the oven and carefully open up the foil. Cut each potato in half and gently scoop out the steaming flesh into a mixing bowl, retaining a thin layer near the skin to keep it intact.
To the hot potato, add 3 tablespoons of butter, 2 tablespoons of grated cheese, nutmeg, broccoli, chicken and salt to taste and mix well, taking care not to mush up the broccoli florets. Scoop the mixture back into the potato skins.
Divide the remaining butter and cheese on top of the potato boats and place in the oven for 8-10 minutes until the cheese has melted and the tops are golden brown. Remove, allow to cool and dive right in.
For babies, you can add some breast milk or formula to the potato, broccoli, chicken mixture and puree until smooth or encourage them to pick up chunks of the mixture and feed themselves for a perfect and delicious baby-led weaning experience.
For more potato recipes, check out: