Years ago, my grandmother, a long time home-economics teacher, shared a secret recipe for sneaking vegetables into my children’s – and my – diet. She had been mixing mashed cauliflower into cooked potatoes for years, and serving them up in twice-baked potatoes with enticing ‘special’ skins. Shhh..none of the kids ever knew they were eating cauliflower!
The idea of getting my kids to eat cauliflower and the vitamin-rich potato skins, not just the butter and sour-creamed center of a baked potato, was very appealing, to say the least. So I tried her Twice-Baked Potato recipe, with half cauliflower filling and ‘special’ skins. Just as my grandmother promised, the kids ate them up!
This simple twice baked potato recipe is a snap to make. And once your kids love these potatoes, it is easy to involve them in the prep – washing, poking, scooping, and topping. Don’t have time to bake? Just microwave the cauliflower, and blend with Betty Crocker® instant potatoes, and bake for 20 minutes in a casserole.
Twice-baked potatoes are a great way to use up leftover cauliflower, or leftover potatoes. I have served this recipe at family dinners more than once and even the adults can't tell there's cauliflower mixed in!
Start with 4-6 large baking potatoes. The potato skin holds much of the nutritional value of a potato, so don’t forget to give them a bit of love too. Lightly rub the skins in extra virgin olive oil and add a sprinkle of sea salt to the potatoes prior to baking. This makes them extra crispy and more fun to eat.
Bake potatoes at 400 degrees for about an hour, or until you can push a sharp knife through one without any resistance. While the potatoes are baking, wash, chop and steam your head of cauliflower in the microwave for 10-12 minutes.
Remove potatoes from the oven and let sit until cool enough to handle. Using a large knife, slice the potatoes in half lengthwise. Be careful not to tear the skins.
Use a spoon to scoop out the insides of the potatoes, leaving about 1/4 inch of potato attached to the skins. Set aside half of the potatoes for tomorrow night’s dinner. Place the remaining half into a food processor with steamed cauliflower and blend until creamy smooth.
Mix in the shredded cheddar cheese. I prefer to use sharp cheddar to liven up the flavor.
Refill the potato shells, top with remaining cheese and bacon. Pop back in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and centers are hot. Top with scallions. Now, enjoy your twice-baked vegetables!