Tasty Lunch & Bonus Spa Treatment for Your Hands!

Jun 24, 2017 | Cooking, FC3, Health & Fitness

Don’t laugh – it feels lovely. Here’s the “recipe”:


1 baking potato (about 400g)
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp iodized salt
56g roasted or canned chicken
7g lightly salted butter
1 serrano pepper (Okay, this is totally optional –  hot peppers are a stress buster and oh, so tasty, but you do you!)
1 T. capers (optional)


Preheat oven to 420 degrees F.

Wash and dry the potato. Put olive oil and salt together in one hand, then massage into the potato. Set potato aside, and gently massage remaining oil and salt into your hands. Be especially gentle on the backs of your hands, and a bit firmer on the palms – the salt will exfoliate (but may also cause itching if you’re not gentle – do not rub your hands raw!). Massage your wrists and knuckles. Rinse off under warm (not hot) water – get off all the salt, but don’t soap up your hands and get rid of the olive oil! Blot on a paper towel, gently, to remove the water and excess oil from your palms.

Now, go back and poke holes in the potato. You only need about six, but you can stab it with a pointy knife or poke it with toothpicks like it’s a voodoo doll; depending on circumstances, this, too, can be a therapeutic activity for about ten seconds.

Nuke the potato in the microwave for about 4-5 minutes (go long if it’s really big!). When the oven’s hot, stick the potato in it – right on the rack – and bake for another 20-25 minutes.

Remove it, cut it open, weigh it, and jot down the number (remember my blog about whether to weigh before or after cooking? Potatoes are full of water content, so they shrink in cooking – a LOT – and you’ll steam off another couple of grams within a minute of cutting it open)

Warm the chicken for about 15-30 seconds in the microwave.

Add butter, chicken, and the optional serrano pepper (or some grated cheese, but weigh and track this carefully – cheese is good, but high in calories, too!).

Salt and pepper to taste.

Pain relief? Really?

Turns out there may be a bit of science to this, but most of the articles on the Internet are pure hype and nonsense. This one doesn’t seem to oversell it, and explains (maybe) why this might work on sore joints: http://everydayroots.com/arthritis-remedies

I figured it out purely by accident, and Googled later to see if I’d stumbled on something that was already common knowledge. Sure enough, extra virgin olive oil contains oleocanthal, which is an anti-inflammatory and COX inhibitor. The actual science behind the health benefits of olive oil is promising, but I wouldn’t recommend you start drinking extra virgin olive oil straight from the bottle, or bathing in it once a week. My hands were aching, one day, from typing, so while waiting for my lunch to bake, I just massaged them with the excess oil and salt before washing them.  It felt good, so I made a habit of it.

The ingredients are cheap, plentiful, and you probably already have them in your kitchen. Do note that the cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil is needed, if you hope for any effect beyond simple lubrication and the exfoliating effect of the salt! Heat destroys the oleocanthal in extra virgin olive oil, so while ingesting it may be more effective than applying it topically, it won’t help just to cook with it.

I’m not sure the effect of olive oil rubbed into joints is all that dramatic – Ibuprofen or Celebrex do still seem to work better. I suspect any pain relief is due to a combination of oil, salt, and the stimulation of a good hand massage – but it can’t hurt, can it?

I’m going to call this the “Hand Massage Diet.” Maybe Oprah or Ellen will invite me on their shows. Oh, by the way, here’s the nutrition info for the lunch you just made:


SparkPeople.com: Get a 100% FREE Online Diet

Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle, illustrated by Jordan Vinyard; A Puppy, Not a Guppy, illustrated by Ryan Shaw; and the newest release: A New Leaf for Lyle, illustrated by Carrie Salazar. She draws inspiration from her family, from her own childhood adventures (some of which only happened in her overactive imagination), and from readers both young and young-at-heart. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband, J.J., whose love and encouragement make writing books twice the fun.


  1. Damyanti

    I’m going to give this recipe a try.

    Came by via the #WATWB Blogfest list you’ve signed up for. Any help needed, please feel free to reach out to me. 🙂

  2. Mary Sara

    Good Writing 🙂 Can You Pls Suggest me a Good HAND Cream? My hands are very strong and Stony 🙁

  3. Leo

    I doubt I’ll try the recipe, but I can swear to the fact that poking holes in a potato is quite cathartic. 😉 not sure if my mother felt the same way though.
    Leo recently posted…Time to remember…My Profile

    • HollyJahangiri

      LOL – your mother could have channeled your potato violence into art – handed you a knife and maybe some toothpicks and some ink and paper, and taught you how to make your own potato stamps! The holes, of course, keep the potato from exploding in the microwave (and maybe in the oven, too). They release a LOT of steam as they cook.
      HollyJahangiri recently posted…Tasty Lunch & Bonus Spa Treatment for Your Hands!My Profile

  4. Jayant Gosain

    I don’t even want to think about cooking it by myself. But, definitely going to share it with my Mom. She will do some magic.
    thank you for sharing
    Jayant Gosain recently posted…Exodus Not Working? Here is How to Fix itMy Profile

    • HollyJahangiri

      Seriously, Jayant? This is one of the first things my son’s learned to cook (easily) on his own. You should cook for your mother, sometimes! Wouldn’t that be a treat? Honestly, there are few things more appealing than a man who can cook. It’s not hard, and this is SUCH an easy recipe to start with. You can do the whole thing in the microwave (9 mins. per potato) or, if you like crispier potato skins, do the whole thing in the oven (about 1 hour – test it for doneness by slowly inserting a sharp knife and feeling the resistance – should be firm, but not hard). Slice cooked potato and top with whatever you think it tasty with potato (I like a bit of butter, salt and pepper, shredded cooked chicken, crispy bacon, diced serrano pepper – any or all of those things!)

  5. Alana

    All righty, then. This intrigues me. I’m going to see if any of my friends on Facebook have done something like this.
    Alana recently posted…It’s Still SummerMy Profile

    • HollyJahangiri

      Give it a try and let me know what you think! I’m thinking of trying it on my feet, next.
      HollyJahangiri recently posted…MapsMy Profile

  6. Charchika

    I will try this recipe at my home and i am going to share with my all friends also,all ingredients are cheap that i can find from market easily. This is the new recipe today i learnt from you .thanks for sharing here.
    I will waiting for your next recipe.


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