Microwave Monday: Pesto Potatoes

No matter what, potatoes always seem to hit the spot.  It doesn’t matter if they’re roasted, mashed, or fried – they are always delicious!  However, there are many different ways to turn a snack into a protein packed meal!
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 medium sized baking potato
3 canned artichoke hearts (drain and chop – can be found in any local supermarket)
2 tablespoons pesto (can also be found in any supermarket)*
2 tablespoons chopped almonds
Croutons or panko breadcrumbs
*If you’re worried about using pesto just for this recipe, don’t!  Pesto is great on pasta, toast, and potatoes.  Pesto pasta can also be eaten cold so you can take it with you to class or wherever.  You’ll definitely use the Pesto if you buy it!
Directions:
1.  Poke your potato with a fork about four or five times.  Microwave 3 to 5 minutes until tender.  Let it cool for a minute or two.
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2.  Mash artichoke hearts, pesto, and almonds in a bowl.  I use Victoria’s Pesto Sauce as a base and mix with a teaspoon of milk to give it a more creamy texture.
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3.  Cut potato in half lengthwise.  Using an oven mitt (or paper towel), hold potato over bowl and scoop out potato, leaving a thin layer of skin.
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4.  Mix potato insides and pesto mixture together.
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5.  There are tons of different ways to enjoy this recipe – you can eat the potatoes as is, spread it on your favorite bread and make a sandwich, or use it as dip for your next party.  Either way, it’s up to you!
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Feel free to add your own toppings such as cheese, bacon, sour cream, chives, etc.!
Cost Breakdown:
Potato: $1.40
Artichoke Hearts: $3.29
Pesto: $7.99 (Victoria’s Pesto Sauce)
Almonds: $3.99
Croutons: $2.49
Now, the jar of artichokes I purchased had another four left that I could use at a later time, so we’ll price that at $1.65.  I used a small amount of milk with about half of the pesto sauce, putting the cost at $3.99.  Almonds and croutons we’ll ballpark around $3.00.
THIS MEAL COST YOU: $ 8.64!
Even though this is more than the Platinum, Gold, and Silver meal plans allot per meal, you can use some of the macaroni from the Macaroni and Cheese we made last week to make another pasta dish for later in the week.  In addition, almonds make a terrific healthy snack whether you’re in your dorm or in class.  And artichokes are delicious with some pesto, shmeared on some bread!  So, even though it might seem expensive, these ingredients go a long way!
That’s how The Savvy Student does potatoes on a budget!
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