It has become a new family tradition for me to make the recipe from the Veganize It section of Veg News Magazine within days (if not hours) of receiving each new issue. I will admit that I raised an eyebrow this week at the thought of making “cheese” sauce out of potatoes, onions, and carrots and wondered whether this would actually taste like “cheese,” but if there’s anything I’ve learned from past experience, it’s that if Allison Rivers Samson tells you to try something, you try it!
As always, this recipe did not disappoint. It was rich, delicious, creamy, and everything a twice-baked potato should be. The recipe also has tremendous kid appeal: Zander ate his entire (very large) baked potato in one sitting! He especially liked the chives, which for some reason made me laugh (probably because he kept calling them “peas”). He also liked his garlic asparagus, which he calls “spurgs,” and his buttery carrots, which are “currs.”
Anyway, I am going to share with you below how to make this mouthwatering delight, but I also recommend subscribing to Veg News if you don’t already, so you won’t miss out on these treasures in the future!
CHEESY TWICE-BAKED POTATOES
8 large russet potatoes, scrubbed
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1/4 tsp sea salt
for cheddar cheese sauce:
1/3 cup vegan margarine
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup potatoes, peeled and chopped (I used a Yukon gold potato for this, because we had an extra one on hand, and I love their creaminess)
1/4 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup water
1/4 cup raw cashews
1/8 tsp Dijon mustard (I used closer to 1/2 tsp)
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (I wound up adding more lemon juice, probably 2 Tbsp total)
for cashew sour cream:
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup water
2 Tbsp miso (I used brown miso, because that’s what I had on hand)
4 tsp white wine vinegar
for mashed potato filling:
1/4 cup vegan margarine
3/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used almond milk)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
6 scallions, thinly sliced, divided
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rub russet potatoes with 1 Tbsp olive oil and salt. Pierce each potato several times with a fork. Bake for 70 minutes, or until soft.
2. For the cheddar cheese sauce, in a saute pan over medium heat, add margarine and onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add potatoes, carrots, garlic, paprika, and salt and saute for 5 minutes. Add water and bring to a boil. Cover pan and simmer for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are very soft. In a dry blender, process cashews into a fine powder. Add mustard, lemon juice, and potato/carrot mixture. Process until cheese sauce is smooth and set aside. (NOTE: I made my cheese sauce and sour cream the night before to reduce preparation time the following day, and this worked out very well–they stored nicely in the fridge).
3. For the cashew sour cream, in a blender or food processor, blend cashews, water, miso, and vinegar until completely smooth.
4. Remove baked potatoes from oven and cut in half, lengthwise. Using a spoon, carefully scoop out potato from skins, leaving 1/4-inch layer of potato. Brush potato shells with remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil and return to preheated over for 15 minutes.
5. For the mashed potato filling, in a medium bowl, mash scooped-out potatoes with margarine, non-dairy milk, salt, and pepper. Fold in half of the cheese sauce, half the sour cream, and half the scallions. Fill each baked potato skin with this mixture. Top with a dollop of cheese sauce and a drizzle of sour cream. Garnish with remaining scallions and pepper as desired.
6. Bake loaded potato skins for 15 minutes, until thoroughly heated and tops are browned. Serve warm.