Baby Twice Baked Potatoes

I got the idea for this when I was doing research for great lunchbox ideas, and thought it would make a great lunch for Number Two. Of course, these little stuffed potatoes would make a good side for any meal, but for those who are packing lunches for older kids and/or adults, this is a yummy addition to any recipe list.

I totally winged this, so I don’t really have any measurements. But you can easily see that it’s not necesssary anyway. There’s really no way to mess this up. I used what I had on hand, but there are so many options as far as what you can put into your little stuffed potatoes, such as sour cream, chives, broccoli or other veggies.

baby bakers

Baby Twice Baked Potatoes

Small, yellow potatoes

Grated or shredded cheddar cheese*

Bacon Bits or crumbled (turkey) bacon

Salt & Pepper

1. Bake potaotes until tender and allow to cool slightly.

2. Cut of tops and scopp out potato, placing into a bowl.

3. Mash up the potato with a fork and combine with cheese (*any cheeses you like) and bacon crumbles. Salt & Pepper to taste.

4. Spoon filling gently back into potato skins and mound high.

5. Bake again until lightly browned on top and potatoes are set.

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Cheesy Stuffed Zucchini with Ragu

I’ve noticed a few Facebook and Pinterest re-posts going around for something very similar to this. It seems to happen occasionally that I’ll put something on my menu plan and several weeks later when I’m finally getting to it it’s already hit the blog circuit. Does this mean I have awesome food instincts??

Yeah…unlikely, I know.

Well, whatever it is, I can’t be too far off the foodie path, I just wish sometimes that I had something with a little “wow” factor. Hopefully this will make someone happy, as it did me. I found this recipe through TLC’s Take Home Chef, but I had to adapt it quite a bit as I’ve noticed that chef Curtis Stone likes to really stretch his culinary skills and I’m just a bit of an underachiever most days 🙂

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Cheesy Stuffed Zucchini with Ragu

1 T EVOO

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes

1/2 cup red wine

1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce

2 tsp thyme

1 bay leaf

1 tsp basil

salt & pepper

extra zucchini, chopped*

3 zucchini

3/4 cup ricotta cheese

3/4 cup grated or shredded mozzarella

1/2 grated Parmesan cheese

pepper

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1. To get the ragu started it’s best if you have about an hour. First saute the onions in the EVOO, then add it to the diced tomatoes, extra zucchini, and the wine, with 1 tsp thyme and the bay leaf, over medium-high heat and reduce it by a third. Sauce will be thickened. (20-30 minutes)

2. Meanwhile, cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and spoon out the seeds. If the zucchini are still a bit hard inside just run a sharp knife down each side and score it a little. This will help when scooping out the seeds. *Also, if your zucchini are different lengths, you can cut them all the same and chop up the excess for the ragu, other wise I highly recommend you chopping up a fourth, smaller, zucchini to add to the sauce. It’s just a tomato sauce without it, and while it’s still good, the zucchini really adds something to it.

3. Combine the tomato sauce to your ragu along with the remaining tsp of thyme and the basil. Salt and pepper to taste and allow to simmer, stirring often, for another 30 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 350*. Combine the three cheeses together in a small bowl using a fork. Season  with pepper, and mound the cut-side of the zucchini with the cheese mixture.

5. Lightly spray a 7 x 11 baking dish. Spoon the ragu into the bottom of the dish and place the stuffed zucchini on top. Bake for 20 minutes. Then broil for an additional 10 minutes. Zucchini will be tender but if you prefer them more cooked through try pre-cooking them a bit before assembly or leaving it in the oven at 250* for an extra 15-20 minutes.

I served this over Parmesan Couscous and it was amazing. A very satisfying vegetarian and, if you serve it with rice, a gluten-free meal.

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