The baked potato is a beautiful thing, especially when it’s filled with a big ol’ glob o’ stuff! This Meatless Monday baked potato is loaded with the flavours of the Southwest; and it is a delicious filling meal, definitely worthy of inclusion in the menu rotation.
Most people think of potatoes as being bad for you, when in actuality we can survive quite healthily on a diet of potatoes supplemented with milk or butter which contain the two vitamins (A and D) not contained in potatoes. With the use of black beans as a protein source, this seemingly decadent baked potato is a well-rounded meal.
When baking a potato, it’s important to consider how you prefer the outer skin. If you like a moist skin, it’s best to wrap the potato in foil for baking (if using a conventional oven – microwave cooking gives a moist skin every time); this retains the moisture that escapes the potato as steam while it cooks. If you like a crispy outer skin, it’s best to leave the skin exposed, allowing the steam of the potato to escape into the oven, while leaving the skin to crisp. Either way, you need to “vent” the potato to allow that steam to escape, and lessen the risk of the potato exploding while it cooks.
I’m a pretty conventional potato baker. I prefer to bake my potatoes in the oven, rather than the microwave. This being because I adore a crispy skin, which is not possible to get from the microwave. When I “vent” my potatoes to cook, rather than pricking them with a fork, I use a knife and slice into the potato about an inch deep and nearly the length of the potato. What this does is to create the perfect line to split the potato for dressing it. Once the potato is cooked, I remove it to a plate; using a kitchen towel and grasping the potato from each end I push the potato inward to split it along the vent line. This method makes for a pouch-like opening and crushes the cooked potato inside ever so nicely.
Since I use the oven to bake my potatoes, this recipe isn’t all that speedy. I bake my potatoes at 400 degrees F for about 50 minutes to an hour, depending on their size. Of course, if you microwave your potatoes, this is ready for the table in a jiffy.
I’ve given some garnishing options and I used all of them, but you pick and choose what you like. The end result was very reminiscent of loaded nachos, just with the potato instead of corn chips. It was a definite winner in the Saucy household for a fabulous Meatless Monday meal. Hop on Meatless Monday and make these! You’ll be happy you did.
- 4 baking potatoes
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ medium red onion (about ½ cup), diced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon chili powder (I used ancho)
- 1 – 15 ounce can black beans (I used Bush’s), drained and rinsed
- 1 cup whole kernel corn, either frozen or canned (if canned, drain liquid)
- 1½ cups salsa (I used some of my Super Simple Salsa – recipe in the site links)
- Garnishes: grated cheddar cheese, fresh chopped cilantro, chopped green onions, sour cream, guacamole
- Bake the potatoes according to your preference, in a microwave or a conventional oven.
- In a medium-sized skillet, over medium heat, melt the butter.
- Add the onion to the skillet and saute for about 4 minutes.
- Add the cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, black beans, corn and salsa to the skillet and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, until thoroughly heated.
- Split the baked potatoes and spoon in about a cup of the bean mixture to each potato.
- Garnish as desired and serve.
Here is an overhead view: