Perfect Baked Potatoes (with homemade vegan cheese sauce)

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Introducing my new favorite “cheese” sauce, with no nuts or nutritional yeast! Don’t get me wrong, I love my cashew-based sauces, and I adore nutritional yeast. But it’s always nice to have other options, especially for people with allergies or aversions.

This isn’t the first cheese sauce I’ve made using potatoes and carrots as a base. There’s an earlier version in my Cheesy Twice-Baked Potatoes post which is also yummy. However, that one has cashews (potential allergen) and vegan margarine (processed food), so I think it’s worth sharing this one, too. This one is clean and simple. My new best friend.

I found this recipe for Life-Changing Vegan Cheese Sauce on Gin’s Eat Healthy, Eat Happy, Eat What You Like blog. And for once, I didn’t change a thing! I made it exactly as she suggested. Here’s the recipe (and there are additional baked-potato-related recipes below it, so don’t forget to scroll all the way down):

WHOLE-FOODS-BASED VEGAN CHEESE SAUCE

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups potato (peeled and diced) (I used 1 large Yukon Gold potato)
  • 1 large carrot (peeled and diced)
  • 4 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika (smoked or regular)
  • 4 tsp mustard (I used Dijon)
  • 1 tsp tamari

Directions:

Combine the potato and carrot in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until fork-tender.

Drain and transfer to a food processor or power blender.

Add all of the other ingredients to the food processor and process for about 2 minutes, or until totally smooth.

Serve over veggies, potatoes, pasta, whatever you like… my husband even suggested using this as a nacho sauce with tortilla chips!

BAKED POTATO

My favorite way to make baked potatoes is simple. It results in a crispy, salty outer skin that even my 6-year-old loves to eat:

  1. Preheat oven to about 400 degrees F (425 degrees if you’re in a hurry).
  2. Wash/scrub potatoes clean (I like to use large russet potatoes).
  3. Poke about 9-12 sets of fork holes into each potato (evenly spaced).
  4. Drizzle olive oil onto each potato, and coat the skin evenly (I rub it in with my hands).
  5. Sprinkle sea salt evenly onto each potato (again, I use my hands to rub it in).
  6. Place onto a metal baking sheet (do NOT wrap in tin foil or cover in any way!).
  7. Bake for 1 hour, then test by inserting a knife into the center of each potato. If the knife goes in easily, your potatoes are done. If there is resistance, bake for another 10 minutes, then check again. Repeat this as needed until your potatoes are done.
  8. Remove from oven, and make a vertical slice down the top center of your potato.
  9. Place your thumb at one end of the potato, and your other fingers at the other end, then squeeze together to open up your potato and make a yummy place to insert all of your toppings.

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS

Here are some toppings my family loves to add to our baked potatoes:

  • steamed broccoli
  • “cheese” sauce
  • vegan bacon bits
  • fresh chives
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • vegan margarine or olive oil
  • homemade vegan sour cream

VEGAN SOUR CREAM

My favorite go-to recipe for sour cream is to dump the following ingredients into a high-powered blender and mix until creamy:

1 cup cashews (no need to pre-soak)
3/4 cup filtered water
1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
juice from 1 small lemon (I have a Vitamix, so I am lazy and just peel my lemon and drop it in whole rather than juicing it)

Enjoy!!

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About Kim McCoy

Kim McCoy is a passionate animal and environmental advocate with a B.S. in Business Administration from UT Knoxville and a J.D. specializing in Animal and Environmental Law. She graduated with honors from Lewis & Clark Law School, where she served as Editor in Chief of the internationally acclaimed Animal Law Review and interned with the National Center for Animal Law and the International Environmental Law Project. Kim is a member of MENSA (the “high IQ society”) and previously worked for Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in a variety of roles, including Executive Director, Director of Campaigns, and Director of Legal Affairs. Kim is also the former Executive Director of the One World One Ocean Foundation and the proud mother of a healthy, thriving son who has been vegan since conception. Currently serving as Executive Director of Big Life Foundation, which protects wildlife and wild lands in Eastern Africa, Kim remains deeply committed to the defense of animals worldwide.
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One Response to Perfect Baked Potatoes (with homemade vegan cheese sauce)

  1. Mike & Gloria McCoy says:

    Sweetie, this looks perfectly relish…just like any good cheese sauce. And I know how good the potatoes are.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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