by Marianne Plunkert
Overall rating: 5 out of 5
Meal Description and Cooking Instructions
Loaded baked potatoes are among my favorite lunches, so I was happy to see this entrée on the luncheon menu on Day 2. The meal consisted of a 5-inch russet potato, topped with chopped broccoli, cheese, and about 1/8 cup of chili with beef and kidney beans. It was supposed to be accompanied by a serving of fruit, but I had erroneously included a serving of fruit with my breakfast entrée on this day, so I opted not to include fruit with this meal.
The directions indicated to microwave the meal on high for 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Since my microwave tends to require longer heating times, I heated it for 2 minutes and 15 seconds, which turned out to be the perfect amount of time.
Loaded Baked Potato
My General Impressions
I had to restrain myself from grabbing the pepper shaker after I had arranged this meal on my plate. I always generously pepper my baked potatoes. But I decided to wait to see how this tasted first, and I’m glad I did. The chili provided just the right amount of spiciness to the meal; there was no need for any more.
The potato itself tasted as if I had just popped it fresh out of my oven. It was baked to perfection—soft, but not mushy. The 2 minutes and 15 seconds in my microwave allowed it to be heated through thoroughly.
Besides being flavorful, the combination of the broccoli, kidney beans, ground beef, and melted cheese toppings provided a variety of tongue-tantalizing textures to the meal. All the different colors represented—green, brown, yellow, white, and red—made for an attractive plate as well.
I detected a strong taste of cumin, a spice that is reputed to have great medicinal value, as I ate, and, indeed, cumin is mentioned more than once in the list of ingredients. I love the taste of this spice myself, but it may prove overpowering for those who don’t care for it.
The Loaded Baked Potato entrée has 250 calories, 70 of which are from fat. This equates to a fat content of 28%. The meal offers 11 grams of protein and 36 grams of carbohydrates, with 5 grams of sugar and a healthy 5 grams of dietary fiber.
The dish is rich in Vitamin C, supplying 60% of the daily recommended dose of that vitamin. It also supplies 10% of the recommended dose of Vitamin A, 8% of calcium, and 15% of iron.
The cheese provides a dairy component to the meal, and the broccoli a vegetable. The entrée contains no fruit, but the dieter is expected to supply a fruit accompaniment. As I mentioned previously, I had included fruit with my breakfast entrée by mistake, so I opted to forgo it with this meal.
On a scale of 1 to 5, this meal gets a perfect “5” rating. The potato couldn’t have tasted better or been better cooked if I had popped the russet in the oven myself. The toppings provided a blend of tastes and textures that stimulated both the tongue and the taste buds. And the variety of colors on the plate provided visual appeal.