Tuesday, September 10, 2013

VeganMoFo 5: Cheesy Black-Eyed Pea and Swiss Chard Stuffed Baked Potatoes

There's something so comforting about baked potatoes.  But I really don't make them enough.  In fact, I think I've only made them once in my entire life. Wow.  Well, I'm here to add a second baked potato dish to my cooking repertoire. :)

What's another food that I associate with comfort?  Beans! Black-eyed peas, to be exact.  Oh, and cheese. Lots of cheese...

Makes 2 servings

Cheese Sauce
1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight or for at least an hour
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 clove of garlic
Juice of 1/2 lemon (1 to 1.5 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  1. Drain and rinse the cashews.
  2. Blend the cashews and water in a food processor or blender until smooth.
  3. Add the nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and turmeric. Continue to blend everything together until smooth.
  4. Taste the mixture and adjust it to your liking by adding more nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon juice, or salt.
  5. Transfer to a saucepan and heat for 10 minutes.  Turn off heat and cover.
2 large baking potatoes, scrubbed

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 
  2. Bake potatoes for 45 to 60 minutes on baking sheet, or until tender. 
  3. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes or so.  Do not turn off your oven.  (You'll be using it again after you fill the potatoes)
  4. After the potatoes have cooled, slice off the top 1/3 of each potato lengthwise and save for another dish. (or discard, but why waste food?)
  5. Scoop potato flesh out of each potato and transfer to a large bowl.  Try to remove as much flesh from the potatoes as possible without ruining their shape. 
  6. Set the potatoes and potato flesh aside.

Filling (you can start on this while the potatoes are baking)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, for sautéing
3 cloves or garlic, minced
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 cup cooked black-eyed peas, canned (or cooked via pressure cooker; 10-11 minutes unsoaked)
2 cups Swiss chard, packed (stems removed and coarsely chopped)
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Sauté the garlic for 5 minutes or until fragrant.
  3. Add the chopped onion and sauté for 5 minutes
  4. Add the cooked and drained black-eyed peas and chopped Swiss chard and sauté for another 5 minutes.
  5. Add in the liquid smoke and cayenne pepper and stir.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Add the black-eyed pea mixture to the bowl with the potato flesh (from above) and mix well.
  7. Stuff the mixture back into the potato skins.  Place potatoes back on the baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden.
  8. Remove from oven.  Using a spoon, drizzle each potato with the cheese sauce. (reheat the cheese beforehand, if necessary)
I'm now realizing why I rarely make baked potatoes.  I never have the patience to wait for them to bake!  But the wait wasn't so bad here, since I was busy prepping the filling.  I'm looking at the ingredients and think this would also make a great cheesy potato hash.  No need to bake, just chop the potatoes into cubes and sauté with the filling ingredients.  Smother with cheese and voilà!  But for the sake of having a nice little compact baked potato to look at, stick with the original recipe.  :)  

Oh, and remember the top 1/3 of the potatoes that were lopped off in the beginning?  I added them (skin and all) to the leftover filling and made this:

I shoved the leftovers in a whole wheat wrap with some sriracha sauce, toasted it in my George Foreman Grill, and served it with guacamole.  No more leftovers!

I really enjoyed the comfort and warmth of this baked potato.  Summer is gone and autumn is here, so there's no reason to avoid turning on the oven.  I foresee more baked potatoes in my future and I hope there are some in yours too. :)