Recipe: Twice-Baked Potato Skins with Cheese Sauce

I don’t wanna brag here but I grew up in Arlington, Texas in the era of the Dallas Cowboys dominating the NFL, and my main takeaway has always been that the best thing about Super Bowl Sunday is… the food. Ha!

I have but a mild understanding of football and am suspicious of the brain damage, BUT! that doesn’t stop me from eating good food with loved ones. It just so happens to be in the same vicinity as a loud TV on this particular day of the year. These twice-baked potato skins are the bomb, secret vegetables in the shape of special treats. Break them out for Super Bowl Sunday, football fan or not.

BONUS VEGAN TRICK! Offer an unsuspecting, meat-eating game-watcher one of these in the middle of a tense play. They will eat it, love it, and ask no questions except whether they can have more. BONUS VEGAN TRICK!

As I write this, these potatoes are already gone. Eaten, consumed, enjoyed, disappeared. I miss them really badly. Remember the good times we had together, potatoes?

Ingredients

Cheese Sauce:
1 russet potato, peeled and diced
2 small carrots, sliced
1/4 white onion, diced
1 c vegetable broth
1/2 c raw cashews
4 T nutritional yeast
1 T lemon juice
1 t sea salt
1/2 t garlic powder
pinch of paprika
pinch of cayenne pepper

Loaded Potatoes:
3 russet potatoes, scrubbed
1/4 c almond milk (or other dairy-free option)
1 T Organic Earth Balance Butter
2 T Organic Vegenaise
1 t sea salt
1 t garlic powder
1 t paprika
1 t onion powder
Cheese Sauce to drizzle on top (see above)
Cilantro
Chives

Instructions

Cheese Sauce:

  1. Bring potatoes, carrots, onion, and three cups of water to a boil in a medium pot and allow to cook until veggies are tender, about 10-15 minutes. (Cooking time will vary depending on size of chopped pieces.)
  2. When tender, drain vegetables and place in blender.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

Loaded Potatoes:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and bake three potatoes until tender, about 40 minutes depending on potato size. Remove potatoes from oven and allow to cool.
  2. Slice potatoes in half “hot dog style” to make shallow boats. Scoop out potatoes, leaving about 1/4″-1/2″ around the edges. Place the potato insides into a medium bowl.
  3. Add milk, Vegenaise, butter, sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika to potato in the bowl and mash together.
  4. Fill potato skins with potato mixture.
  5. Drizzle potatoes with Vegan Cheese and place back into the oven for eight minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and top with chives and cilantro.
nothing says “football” like stuffing your face w cheese

Adapted from Loaded Vegan Potato Skins.


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Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Happy vegan birthday to me!

Ten years ago this January I stopped eating meat. My friend Brennan loaned me her copy of Skinny Bitch and, despite it’s problematic, shame-y language, I was forever changed.

In one day I began eating vegan, stopped smoking, and ditched caffeine. Three days and one gnarly withdrawal headache later, I reunited with my college sweetheart, coffee. But since that first day, cigarettes and meat have been out of my life.

I ate solidly vegan for a year and a half and was glow-y AF. Over the years I added back in cheese, removed cheese, added eggs, added seafood, removed seafood, added cheese, removed eggs, etc. etc. etc. You get the point. My diet has been tweaked according to my needs, but the primarily plant-based aspect has been steadfast.

So, today I celebrate TEN YEARS of plant-based eating with a vegan recipe I’ve been making since the beginning: chocolate chip cookies.

When I lived in my sorority house meat-loving frat stars would come over and house these things and my sisters even created a Facebook fan page called Bailey’s Vegan Cookies. I mean come on, a fan page for ONE recipe. That is a testament. Enjoy!

Ingredients

2 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 T baking soda
1 t sea salt
1 1/2 c cane sugar
1 1/4 c coconut oil
1/4 c cold water
1 T molasses
1/2 T vanilla extract
4-5 oz chocolate chips (I like Enjoy Life)

Optional:
1/2 c chopped walnuts

molasses for color + iron
walnuts for omega-3s

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and line baking sheets with parchment.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and sea salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Using a stand or hand mixer, mix sugar and coconut oil on medium until creamy.
  4. Mix in water, molasses, and vanilla until well combined.
  5. With mixer on low, add a third of flour mixture to wet ingredients until almost completely combined. Repeat two more times until flour mixture is fully incorporated, careful not to over-mix.
  6. Fold in chocolate chips and chopped walnuts (if using) until just combined.
  7. Using a spoon or cookie dough scoop, evenly space cookie dough balls on the baking sheets about two inches apart.
  8. Bake for about eight minutes, until the edges are golden brown.*

*Baking times may vary depending on the oven and rack placement. Keep an eye on ’em!

sugar and coconut oil: so fluffy I could die
step four
mountain o cookies

For best results, eat warm ;)

Droooool.

Depending on dough ball size, this recipe yields 30-36 cookies.

Adapted from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch.


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snickerdoodles

Recipe: Super-Easy Snickerdoodles

Hello, and good tidings. Ready or not, the holidays are here! Whether or not you’re the type to love or loathe the festivity of this time of year, everyone likes a good cookie, amirite?

These snickerdoodles, that I’ve lovingly shortened to snickerdoods, are what I make when I have no snacks or groceries and I have a hankering for something sweet. The ingredients are pretty standard to have on hand and both preparation and clean up are quick. 

aerial shot of snickerdoodles after baking
aerial shot of ingredients for snickerdoodles

Ingredients

1 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 c cane sugar
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 c coconut oil
1 (4 oz) container unsweetened applesauce
1 T almond milk
1 T vanilla extract
~1/2 c cinnamon sugar (1/4 c cane sugar, 1/4 c cinnamon)

cinnamon sugar
cookie dough in cinnamon sugar
cookie dough in cinnamon sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and sea salt together in a bowl.
  3. Beat oil, applesauce, almond milk, and vanilla together in a separate large bowl.
  4. Add dry mixture to liquid mixture in 2-3 portions and stir until combined.
  5. Put cinnamon sugar in a flat-bottomed bowl so you can roll balls of dough around in it. A soup bowl is great for this.
  6. Using a cookie dough scoop, add 2-3 balls of dough to the cinnamon sugar bowl at a time.
  7. Gently roll dough balls in the cinnamon sugar* and arrange onto a baking sheet. It’s okay if they lose their shape a bit.
  8. Bake in preheated oven about nine minutes.

*It is likely you’ll have leftover cinnamon sugar – pop it in a container and save it for next time.

snickerdoodles before going in the oven
snickerdoodles after baking

This recipe yields about 15 cookies. Random, I know, but I’ve done the cookie legwork. :) Keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. Enjoy!

close up of snickerdoodles after baking

Adapted from Vegan Snickerdoodles.


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Recipe: Pumpkin-Shaped Vegan Cheese Ball

I was in Texas this past weekend and had a mini Thanksgiving gathering with my family, so naturally Bummed Out Baker had to step in to cook up something vegan to force upon my super-Texan, meat-eating loved ones: a cheese ball in the shape of a pumpkin. I also reprised my vegan, gluten-free cornbread casserole for the occasion.

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Alright so today’s recipe is an inclusive, on-theme appetizer for any Thanksgiving get together you may be going to this week. Why is it inclusive?

  1. It’s vegan, which means both meat-eaters and herbivores can enjoy it.
  2. It’s vegan, which means loved ones who are pregnant can partake in soft cheese consumption without worry.

My sister in-law is pregnant and I basically chased her around with this vegan cheese ball all night and then sent her home with a tupperware full of leftover cheese ball. Find comedic footage of her enjoying the cheese ball in my Instagram stories. #INCLUSION #AMYSVEGANCHEESEBALL

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Ingredients

Cheese Ball
2 c cashews
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t garlic powder
1 lemon, zested and juiced
4 T nutritional yeast
1/2 t sea salt
2 T olive oil
4 oz vegan cream cheese (i.e., Kite HillDaiya)
1 4 oz jar pimento peppers, drained
1/2 t paprika
1/2 t cayenne pepper

Coating
1 T nutritional yeast
1 t paprika
1 t chili powder
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 pinch sea salt

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PRO TIP! Have you ever looked at my stuff and wondered How the heck does Bailey afford all these dang organic cashews? I buy them for a song at Costco. I also buy about ten pounds in one trip because the Costco I go to is nightmarish and I try to avoid it. :)

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This recipe can be made in one day over the course of seven hours, or you can break it up into two days like I did.

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, cover cashews with water and soak for six hours. If you’re in a rush, you can cover the cashews in boiling hot water and soak for one hour. Drain cashews and set aside.
  2. In a food processor or blender combine cashews, garlic, garlic powder, lemon zest, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, sea salt, and olive oil, blending until creamy and smooth. Scrape down sides as needed.
  3. Add vegan cream cheese, pimento peppers, paprika and cayenne. Blend again until creamy and smooth.
  4. Give the cheese mixture a taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more lemon zest, nutritional yeast, garlic, sea salt, paprika, or cayenne. This should be flavorful, so don’t be shy!
  5. In a fine mesh strainer over a bowl, layer two layers of cheesecloth or one thin, clean tea towel. Using a spatula, scoop the cheese mixture onto the cheesecloth. Gather the corners and twist the top of the cheesecloth or towel gently to form the cheese into a ball or disc shape and secure with a rubber band.
  6. Refrigerate for at least six hours (up to 24). The cheese ball should then be semi-firm to the touch. You likely won’t see liquid in the bowl as the cheesecloth absorbs moisture.IMG_3310
  7. Unwrap from cheesecloth and invert cheese ball onto a serving platter.
  8. Mix together coating spices and gently roll the cheese ball around until coated.
  9. Top with the stem of a bell pepper to make the cheese ball look like a pumpkin.
  10. Serve with crackers, chips, or veggies!

The cheese ball will hold its form for a few hours out of the refrigerator and is best when chilled. In an airtight container, leftovers keep up to five days in the refrigerator.

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I am thankful for my festive parents, Keith and Stace. Cheers!

#CHEESEBALL serves many loved ones, party people, children, meat eaters, and vegetarians.

Adapted from Spicy Vegan Pimento Cheese Ball.


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Recipe: Falafel

This falafel is baked and hits the spot. Serve it with cilantro hummus for added flavor.

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Ingredients

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 onion, chopped
2 T bread crumbs
2 T chickpea flour*
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t coriander
1/4 t black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced and divided
3/4 t sea salt, divided
2 T coconut oil
1 lemon
6 T tahini
1/4 c water
3 T olive oil
1/4 t paprika
pita bread
1 romaine heart, chopped
1 tomato, diced
1/2 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
dill pickles, chopped

*Whole wheat flour can be substituted.

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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine chickpeas, onion, bread crumbs, flour, parsley, cumin, coriander, pepper, two garlic cloves, and sea salt in food processor. Pulse until the mixture becomes paste-like.
  3. Using a spoon, cookie dough scoop, or melon baller, scoop mixture into balls and place on a cookie sheet. Flatten balls with the back of the spatula until they’re about 3/4″ thick.
  4. Brush both sides of each falafel disc with coconut oil. Bake for 45 minutes, turning them over halfway through. Set aside when done.
  5. Whisk together juice from the lemon, tahini, water, olive oil, paprika, remaining 1/4 t sea salt, and remaining two minced garlic cloves and set aside.
  6. Add rice, stirring often until some grains start to brown. In quick succession, add the cooked lentils, water, and remaining sea salt and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to a simmer, cover, and cook 30 minutes.
  7. To assemble, cut about 1″ off the top of the pita to open the pocket. Add falafel, romaine, tomato, cucumber, and pickles and then top with tahini sauce.

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Serves four.

Adapted from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch.