Postpartum Freezer Meal Prep: Twice-Baked Potatoes

In a fit of nesting, I decided to start scheduling a weekly cooking session dedicated to stocking the freezer with healthy-ish meals to keep us nourished in the few weeks following the arrival of Baby 2. (Informally, my first freezer meal was breakfast — that is, Moose Muffins.)

This week, I prepped some healthy-ish twice-baked potatoes. I love twice-baked potatoes, because they’re quick and easy to make, versatile, universally yummy and they freeze well. They’re also easy to eat: I confess to eating them one-handed like a taco in the days following Baby 1’s birth.

This time around, I stuffed them with mixed baby greens, white beans and cheddar cheese.

Hollowed baked potatoes
Baked potatoes, then allowed them to cool enough to handle. Halved and used a tablespoon to scoop out the innards into a bowl.
Mashed potatoes with beans
After mashing the potatoes, I mixed in shredded cheddar cheese and navy beans.
Mixed greens and potatoes
Mixed in some baby mixed greens.
Twice-baked potatoes
Refilled the potato shells with the mixture
Twice-baked potatoes
Added some more beans on top.
Cheesy twice-baked potatoes
Topped with more cheese, of course!

Here’s a quick and easy recipe with recommendations for variations.

Freezer Friendly, Healthy-ish Twice-Baked Potatoes

  1. Bake potatoes (I think I did 425 degrees for an hour or so in the oven.)
  2. Allow them to cool for at least 15 minutes, or until you can handle them without injury. I do find the scooping and mashing goes a little easier when everything is still warm, though.
  3. Halve the potatoes. Use a tablespoon to carve out the insides, leaving a decently thick shell to hold up to the filling.
  4. Mash the scooped-out potatoes with salt to taste. Then mix in your choice of fillings (see below for some combos).
  5. Refill the shells with the potato mixture. Top as desired (again, see below!)
  6. If you want to eat them right away, pop them back in the oven until they are thoroughly reheated and the cheese topping is browned to your liking. For freezing, I like to freeze them first on the cookie sheet on which I assembled them (so the cheese sticks to the top) and then move them to their final storage container.
  7. To reheat from frozen, preheat the oven to 400 or so and bake them for 35 minutes, or until they’re heated through and the top is browned.

Twice Baked Potato Combinations

Beans and greens

Mix mashed potatoes with: cheddar cheese, cooked white beans and greens of your choice. (I mixed in whole, raw baby mixed greens because I think the second baking time will cook them just fine. Spinach also would be fine raw, as I think would Swiss chard, if you took out the stalks. Hardier greens, including chard stems, kale, or cabbage, should be sauteed or blanched first.) Top with: extra beans and cheddar cheese

Taco potatoes

Mix mashed potatoes with: Cooked ground turkey or beef with your preferred taco seasoning, diced pickled jalapenos, shredded Mexican cheese or queso fresco.  If you’re not worried about them looking a little pink, mix in a little of your favorite salsa, too. Top with: Crumbled queso fresco/shredded Mexican cheese, extra meat, black olives. (Plan to serve with diced avocado and/or fresh salsa.)

Bacon Broccoli

Mix mashed potatoes with: Chopped, steamed broccoli, shredded cheddar cheese (I’d do sharp white cheddar for this one), and sauteed onions. Top with: Crumbled bacon and more cheddar.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Mix mashed potatoes with: Shredded cooked chicken, jarred tikka masala sauce, cilantro, and maybe some chopped, roasted vegetables of your choice or even chick peas. Top with: Probably nothing? I can’t think of a cheese that would go well on top, but you could garnish with some fresh cilantro after you cook them. All credit goes to my friend Marissa, who recently recommended Indian food with mashed potatoes instead of rice. Not something I would have thought of on my own, but DELISH!

All right, readers… let’s crowd source. Any other combos you’d try for twice baked potatoes? Let me know in the comments!

 

Postpartum Freezer Meal Prep: Twice-Baked Potatoes

Pregnancy Week 25: Nesting mania

Pregnancy Week 25 has come and gone, and with it came a rush of crazy nesting instincts.

First, stats:

Baby is approximately the size of an acorn squash, a rutabaga, a cabbage, or any number of other fall vegetables. (Translation: 13.5 inches from head to toe, and about 1.5 lbs.)

As far as how I’m feeling, mostly the answer is big and cumbersome. I caught myself waddling a few times this week, which horrified me. Mostly it was because I ended up wearing heels to the wedding I went to last weekend (dumb) or otherwise over-exerted myself (which, sadly, means I walked 3 slow miles behind a stroller, but that’s my current fitness threshold.)

Also, in the interest of full disclosure, I kept up my once-a-pregnancy tradition of audibly farting in a prenatal yoga class. What is the purpose of a personal blog with your real name attached to it, if not oversharing and publicly humiliating yourself? Whatever, farting is funny.

Speaking of funny, a friend texted me the link to this video comparing a first pregnancy to subsequent ones. Enjoy:

Hehehe. Accurate. (Minus the “all the drugs.” I’m doubling down on an unmedicated birth this time around. Call me crazy, but I’m looking forward to it!)

Oh, yeah, I was going to talk about the nesting instinct. The first time around, I had little else beside my day job and the guidelines that I should avoid paint fumes to prevent me from going buck wild fulfilling every nesting fantasy that crossed my mind at 4 a.m. (Here’s a snapshot of the nursery in our old house–the fruits of my intense nesting instinct and my equally intense ability to boss my husband around.)

This time, nesting has been primarily limited to fantasizing about what I would like to do with the house before Baby 2 arrives, because all my actual time and energy is devoted to laundry, chasing chickens off the porch, loading the dishwasher after The Toddler finally succumbs to sleep, reading stories to The Toddler while he poops, vacuuming up broken dried pasta from the living room rug (haha j/k, that’s also just a fantasy), and frantically trying to throw together dinner at the last second before we all starve.

By the time I get through even the most rudimentary daily housekeeping tasks each day, it’s 9 p.m. and I’m falling asleep sitting up against my headboard, waiting for the Tums to kick in so I can collapse for the night.

This week, though… this week is different. The Husband took a bunch of days off and I have mapped out every waking hour of every day to maximize our to-do list.

Already in the past three days, we’ve done a bunch of furniture rearranging, cleaned out half of the garage, moved the goats to a new patch of jungle, taken a minivan load of my grandparent’s stuff to Goodwill, made an equally large pile of stuff to drive to the dump, bought materials to finish trimming the floor in our kitchen (which we’ve been trying to do for more than a year), and ordered a new bed for The Toddler.

And we still have four more days of backbreaking, unrelenting nesting. I’m in heaven.

My feet are in hell, but I’m in heaven.

Pregnancy Week 25: Nesting mania