As the weather gets colder, I find myself craving more warm dishes throughout the day. While I love a good bowl of soup, I find myself searching for more. I also want something that I can throw together in a short amount of time since I will now be able to come home for lunch. I recently visited a cafe and their menu had an entire section of loaded potatoes. I picked the veggie one but it got me thinking about what else I could toss on a potato and make a meal. The possibilities are endless and can be made extremely healthy. I think potatoes get a bad rap and while I prefer sweet potatoes, there is something really comforting about a loaded baked potato. This meal is thanks to my slight obsession with Buffalo sauce.
- 2 medium russet potatoes
- 1 cup chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion, sliced
- 1/4 cup franks red hot
- 1–2 tablespoons butter (no necessary but reduces heat.)
- Topping options: Bleu Cheese, Cheddar Cheese, and/or Ranch
- Preheat oven to 400˚F. Wash potatoes, poke a few times with a fork, and cook until tender, 30 to 45 minutes (depending on how large your potato is).
- Once the potato is about done, heat a skillet over medium. Add olive oil, followed by onion.. Cook until onion is translucent. Add in chickpeas and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the hot sauce (and butter if you don’t like it spicy.) Continue to heat and stir for 1 to2 more minutes.
- Slice potato in half and mash the insides slightly. Top with chickpea mixture and cheese. Serve with ranch or blue cheese.
Variations for the Vegetarian Loaded Potato
While this meal is pretty much as is for most of the time I eat it, there are a few swaps/additions I’ve made for one reason or another in this vegetarian loaded potato.
Vegetables: Sometimes a bit more produce forward meal is nice. Add some roasted cauliflower or broccoli to the mix.
Ranch: Not a ranch fan, this potato is just as good toped with blue cheese dressing or even just a few blue cheese crumbles.
Potato: The color is slightly off-putting (it’s a lot of orange) but using a sweet potato in place of the regular potato can up the nutrients this meal contains.
Featured Ingredient: Chickpeas
Chickpeas are my go-to legume when I’m in the need for a quick meal. If you’re making this meal for one, you will most likely have a few chickpeas left over. You can: