Broccoli Stuffed Loaded Potato Skins with Avocado Cream

It’s January! For many people, that means a [re]commitment to healthy eating. Sticking with a healthy diet can be hard. Since I am all for moderation of all things, instead of strict denial, I like to find healthier versions of my favorite treats. These potato skins are a prime example.

Broccoli Stuffed Loaded Potato Skins |

The regular version is loaded up with tons of cheese, sour cream, and bacon. This version, à la Ellie Krieger, features broccoli, Canadian bacon, avocado, and cheese. The perfect substitute! And perhaps, even better than the original?

Broccoli Stuffed Loaded Potato Skins |

While I love the usual loaded potato skins [and ate my fair share in college], this version with broccoli and avocado is just fabulous. They’re more filling and more of a meal-appetizer than an appetizer-appetizer. Make sense? I had forgotten just how good Canadian bacon was… salty and a little more gourmet than regular bacon. Gourmet may be a bit of an overstep, but I love its juicy, smoky sweetness. It pairs SO well with that avocado cream, which MIGHT be my new favorite thing! It’s like guac, but creamy and with just a hint of lime. The only change I might make to this dish would be to chop the broccoli up a little more after steaming it, but that’s just a minor thing.

Broccoli Stuffed Loaded Potato Skins |

This app is perfect for a football party, or just a casual night at home in your cozy slippers. :) Enjoy!

two years ago: Perfect Black Beans 
three years ago: Triple Chocolate Oat Cookies

Broccoli Stuffed Loaded Potato Skins with Avocado Cream [from Comfort Food Fix by Ellie Krieger]
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  • 4 small russet potatoes, scrubbed and dried
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli florets [4 ounces]
  • 2 ounces Canadian bacon, diced
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated

for avocado cream

  • 1 avocado
  • 2 scallions, chopped [green and white parts separated]
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Pierce potatoes with a fork 8-10 times each, then wrap in paper towels and microwave until fully cooked, about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside until cool enough to handle, then cut in half lengthwise.

Scoop out all but an 1/8 inch of the potato flesh, reserving for another use. Brush the inside and outside of the potatoes with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place skin-side down on a baking sheet and cook until crispy and golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, making the filling. Steam the broccoli until crisp-tender. Add the Canadian bacon to a skillet set over medium-high heat and saute until crisp, about 4 minutes. Divide the broccoli and cheese equally amongst the potatoes

Lower oven temperature to 400 degrees and return potatoes to oven, baking for about 5 minutes until cheese is melted.

To make the avocado cream, place all ingredients except green scallions in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, top potato skins with Canadian bacon, avocado cream, and green scallions.

Time: 45 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings.

Chipotle-Cilantro Mashed Potatoes

Thanks for coming back for another edition of Thanksgiving week! On Monday I shared my recipe for Pumpkin Cloverleaf Rolls. On Tuesday, it was Mixed Vegetables Mornay [my fave side ever!!]. And today, it’s mashed potatoes.

Chipotle-Cilantro Mashed Potatoes |

I know, I know. Mashed potatoes are super classic… and you probably don’t even need a recipe to make them. BUT hear me out! These mashed potatoes are something extra special, because they’ve got a Southwestern flair to them! Chipotle peppers and cilantro are an awesome flavor combo, so why not add ‘em to mashed potatoes??!

Chipotle-Cilantro Mashed Potatoes |

I seriously couldn’t get enough of these potatoes. And I’m not a mashed potatoes girl. I prefer baked potatoes or fries, anything really besides mashed potatoes. These potatoes are different though. They’re interesting and spicy, but not hot or anything out of control. I thought about adding some cheddar cheese–and I’m sure that would be awesome, but before you add a bunch of cheese… just try ‘em! The cilantro adds SO much flavor. I know these mashed potatoes are far from traditional but you should definitely give them a try! Feel free to add more butter or use cream instead of milk if you like, but since I was making these for two, I decided to be a little less liberal with the indulgent stuff. And truthfully, I think these potatoes were creamy and flavorful enough without tons of cream and butter. They’re amazing, and I think I’ll go have a bowl now! Be sure to come back tomorrow for some turkey, and Friday for pear crisp! Yum yum and YUM!

Thanksgiving Meal |

two years ago: KC’s Dilled Carrots
three years ago: Layered Taco Dip

Chipotle-Cilantro Mashed Potatoes [flavor combo idea adapted from Food Network Magazine, November 2011]
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  • 2 pounds potatoes [Yukon Gold or Russet]
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4-1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons chipotle pepper in adobe sauce, minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, minced [loosely packed]
  • Kosher salt + freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Wash and dry potatoes, then cut into quarters and place in a pan.  Cover with cold water by an inch or two, then add 1 tablespoon Kosher salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium-low heat. Cook, uncovered, until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain potatoes and let sit until cool enough to handle. Peel potatoes and transfer to a bowl.

Add butter and milk, then mash with a fork or potato masher. Stir in chipotle pepper and cilantro, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Time: 60 minutes.
Yield: 8 servings.

Eggplant Potato Frittata for Two [or a crowd]

So, I used to post once a month on a blog called Today’s Housewife. Last fall, the group decided together to stop posting due the busyness of life and families and such. Though sad, I enjoyed being part of the group. As of early January, the blog was officially taken down. But I don’t want to lose my recipes, so periodically I will be reposting them on here. Enjoy!


from September 8, 2011… I need to make this again soon! 

Q: How do you get a husband (or kids) to eat eggplant?

A: With eggs, cheese, and potato of course!

This summer my husband and I joined a CSA for the first time. CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture” and is basically a chance to purchase a basket of produce each week from a local farmer. You can read more about our experience here, but for the most part, it’s been great–and it lasts until early November so we still have several months to go! I love that my CSA basket has items that I would never purchase on my own… but sometimes it does create challenges, like when you have an eggplant-hating husband and you receive a pint full of those purple vegetables.

Eggplant Potato Frittata for Two (or a Crowd) |

Enter the frittata, also known in my kitchen as a “miracle vegetable hider” or just plain “delicious.” A frittata is a crustless quiche, prepared mostly on the stove but thrown in the oven for a delicious finishing touch. Frittatas sound complex, but are really simple to prepare and make a great, filling dinner on a busy night or an impressive looking meal for company.

Over the past few months, we’ve had the opportunity to make many combinations of frittatas with different vegetables and herbs. It’s amazing what egg and cheese can do! This is my latest version–sweet, chewy eggplant combined with familiar, comforting potatoes was a winner in our book, and I hope you enjoy it too!

Eggplant Potato Frittata for Two [adapted from In Praise of Leftovers and The Pajama Chef]
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  • olive oil
  • 3/4 cup potato, cut into very thin rounds
  • 3 small eggplants, chopped [about 3/4 cup]
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 tablespoons fresh herbs, chopped [I used basil] or 1 tablespoon dried herbs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese [I used mozzarella]


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat a small, ovenproof, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add a little oil [once around the pan], then add potato and eggplant. Cook 4-5 minutes or until soft, stirring frequently.

Meanwhile, beat eggs, water, and herbs together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

After vegetables are soft, pour in egg mixture and use a spatula to evenly distribute vegetables. Allow to cook for a couple minutes, until the bottom of the frittata starts to set, then use a thin spatula to lift the edge of the frittata. This allows the uncooked egg to transfer below to cook. When eggs are almost set, top with cheese and place in the oven to cook for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Cool briefly before cutting, then serve warm.

Note: Recipe can be easily doubled, tripled, etc. as needed, but leftovers aren’t the best so just make what will be consumed in one meal if possible.

Yield: 2 servings.

Time: 30 minutes.

Linked up with: What’s Cookin’ Wednesday.

Mom’s Potato Salad

Everybody has their own favorite potato salad recipe. You know, the only one you’ll make. Well, this is mine. Actually my Mom’s, or more likely her Mom’s. Or something like that. Anyways. This potato salad is absolutely perfect. Creamy, crunchy, classic–with just the right ratio of potatoes to eggs to celery to onion, with a super simple mayo-mustard dressing. The only catch? You must make it in this very yellow bowl for its perfection to truly shine through.

Mom's Potato Salad |

Yes, that faded Pyrex yellow bowl is the potato salad bowl. A piece of family history, if you will. If you don’t have one, don’t despair. Just be sure to serve it up with tons of paprika and it’ll even out. :) Lots of paprika on potato salad is key, imo. Do you agree?

Maybe it’s easier for me to make it in this bowl because it’s one of those recipes where you just eyeball everything without measuring [though I did provide rough measurements in the recipe below, recorded from when I recently made this].

Mom's Potato Salad | ThePajamaChef.comRegardless of the bowl, this is seriously the best potato salad I’ve ever had, and I hope you’ll give it a try too! But even though I think this is the best, I’m curious to know… what’s in your potato salad? Links welcome! I’m super curious. :)


P.S. I know I don’t usually post on Saturdays but I just joined The Salad Bar, which is a new monthly blogging group challenge. Wendy of The Weekend Gourmet started this group last month and I am so happy to be part of it. You can request to join by clicking on the above image [linking to our Facebook page]. The theme this month is potluck salads, so please check out the other awesome recipes below. I know I cannot wait to do just that later today!! :) Have a great weekend!

Mom’s Potato Salad
click to print


  • 6-8 white potatoes [about 2 lbs]
  • 3-4 hardboiled eggs, chopped
  • 2-3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • about 1/2 to 1 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise
  • about 2 to 4 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • paprika


Bring a large pot of water to boil, add potatoes, and cook until soft. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut into chunks and place in large mixing bowl. Add eggs, celery, and onion, then enough mayonnaise to coat. Add mustard to taste, then season with a little pepper and a lot of paprika.

Serve warm or chilled.

Time: 60 minutes.

Yield: 10-12 servings.

Sweet Potato and Kale Egg Bake

Since this week has been all about breakfast so far, why not continue the trend? For Friday, this meal is a little less sweet than the waffles and oatmeal I shared before, but less sweet does not equal less tasty. No, no, no. Sweet Potato and Kale Egg Bake is a hearty, cheesy, veggie-filled breakfast that you do NOT want to miss!

Sweet Potato and Kale Egg Bake | The Pajama Chef

This easy egg casserole can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It is just so good! I filled the classic bread-egg-milk bake with healthy kale, tangy red onions, and two kinds of potatoes! I personally thought the shredded sweet potatoes added a ton of flavor, while the roasted white potatoes  [I used Russet, but use whatever you have on hand] were a great base for all the yummy veggies. Oh! And what egg bake doesn’t get better topped with a big handful of sharp cheddar cheese? This one is no exception.

Sweet Potato and Kale Egg Bake | The Pajama Chef

We enjoyed this egg bake for dinner one night, then saved the leftovers for breakfast over the next few days. It heats up beautifully and is a great start to your day! Enjoy! :)

Sweet Potato and Kale Egg Bake [a TPC original]
click to print


  • 2 large Russet potatoes, cubed
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 a large red onion, diced
  • 1/2 a bunch kale, rinsed, dried, and chopped into bite size pieces
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces day-old bread, cubed
  • 1 large sweet potato, shredded
  • heaping 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Place cubed Russet potatoes on a large baking sheet. Season with freshly ground black pepper, then drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Roast in oven for 30 minutes, tossing halfway through.

In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until soft, about 4-5 minutes. Then add kale and toss to coat with oil, then cover for 2-3 minutes and cook until wilted.

In a large bowl, gently stir together eggs, milk, seasonings, bread cubes, and sweet potato. Pour mixture into prepared pan, then add roasted potatoes. Top with onion and kale mixture, pressing into the eggs. Cover with shredded cheese and more pepper as desired.

Bake, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes or until cooked through.

Time: 75 minutes [10 minutes active].

Yield: 8-10 servings.