Baked Potato with Shredded Cheese and Salsa (or veggies)

SO many people gasp when I tell them it’s okay to eat a potato.  Now, before you head for the bag of chips or stop for fast-food french fries, please know that I am talking about a REAL potato – straight from the earth, and garnished with topping that serve your body well.

A medium potato, with the skin, has about 160 calories, 37 grams of carbs, and 4 grams of fiber.  Subtract those fiber grams and you’ve got about two carbohydrate servings for this meal, which is within the carb budget for many folks.  The potato is also a very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of potassium, copper, vitamin C, manganese, phosphorous, niacin, and panthothenic acid.  According to worldshealthiestfoods.com, vitamin B6 plays a vital role in our nervous system.  B6 is necessary for the creation of amines, a type of messaging molecule that the nervous system relies on to send messages from one nerve to the next.  Neurotransmitters that require B6 for their production include serotonin, a lack of which is linked to depression; melatonin, the hormone needed for good sleep; epinephrine and norepinephrine, the hormones that help us respond to stress; and GABA, which is needed for normal brain function.   Pass the spuds please!

Ingredients:

Russet or Fingerling potato, 1 medium one per person
Shredded cheese, your choice
Salsa
Other veggies (broccoli, green onions, chopped peppers – whatever!)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.   Scrub potatoes well and pierce the skin several times with a fork or knife.  Rub outside of each with olive oil.  For crispier skins, bake “as is”.  For softer skins, wrap potatoes in foil. Bake 45-60 minutes, until potato is tender yet soft.

Top with shredded cheese, salsa, or veggies.  The potato provides the carbs and the cheese provides protein and fats.

Eat slowly and savor this meal!