It really doesn't matter what you serve for an entree -- an entree served with a rich, creamy, twice-baked potato can make any meal seem like a special occasion.
Serve these low-fat, twice-baked potatoes with a fancy entree when company comes, or they can stand as the main course with a salad for an easy supper.
Either way, they are tasty. And best of all, they freeze very well for future meals.
Twice Baked Potatoes
Serving size: 6
6 large baking potatoes
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 cup 1 percent low-fat milk
1/4 pound turkey bacon (about 9 slices), diced and cooked
1 1/2 cups reduced fat cheddar cheese, divided
2 tablespoons minced chives
1/2 teaspoon salt
Bake the potatoes at 375 degrees for 1 hour or until tender. Cool. Cut a thin slice off the top of each potato and discard. Scoop out pulp, leaving a thin shell. In a bowl, mash the pulp with butter. Stir in milk, bacon, 1 cup of cheese, chives, salt and pepper. Spoon into the potato shells. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 2 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Makes 6 servings, each 298 calories, 10 g fat, 3 g fiber or 6 Weight Watchers points.
Serving size: 12
16 ounces manicotti noodles
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 medium onion, sliced
48 ounces meat-flavored spaghetti sauce
2 8-ounce cans mushrooms, drained
2 tablespoons seasoned salt
1 tablespoon pepper
1 tablespoon garlic salt
16 ounces taco cheese, shredded
16 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
16 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Cook manicotti noodles as directed on package, except for only 5 to 7 minutes; drain. Cover with cold water; let stand 3-5 minutes. In a large skillet, brown ground beef and onion; drain. Add spaghetti sauce, mushrooms and seasonings. Simmer about 30 minutes. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine cheese. Drain manicotti noodles. Fill with cheese mixture, packing tightly but being careful not to break noodles. Spoon a layer of meat sauce about 1/2 inch thick into 11 1/2x16-inch pan. Sprinkle some of the cheese mixture over sauce; place stuffed noodles over cheese. Spoon remaining sauce over noodles. Sprinkle with any remaining cheese mixture. Bake 25 minutes; let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Serving size: 10
12 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded
4 ounces mushrooms, canned, drained
2 1/4 ounces sliced ripe olives
2 tablespoons Mayonnaise
1 small stick pepperoni, cut into small pieces
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1 small Bermuda onion, chopped
Mix all ingredients except Triscuit crackers. Top each cracker with a teaspoon of mixture. Place a paper plate containing crackers and toppings in the microwave until the cheese melts.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: The wisest people are those who've learned what they need to forget.
GARY'S TIP: For a sweet smelling closet, fill a nylon stocking with cedar chips.
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