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Potato Bar

  By Kris Giovanini  

October 28, 2015

When the toppings are healthy, a potato bar is a great way to serve a fun, nutritious and delicious meal.

Ingredients

Topping Recipes -- Nutvetta

1 cup raw cashews, soaked several hours or overnight then drained and rinsed (skip the soaking if you are using a Vitamix or other high speed blender)

1/2 cup roasted red pepper

1/2 cup shelled hempseeds or raw sunflower seeds

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp. salt

Cashew Gravy

1 cup raw unsalted cashews (soak for a few hours or overnight then drain and rinse unless you are using a high speed blender)

4 cups warm water

1/4 cup Bragg Liquid Amino’s

1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes

2 T cornstarch

2 tsp. onion powder (optional)

Caramelized Onions

2 T coconut oil

3 yellow onions, peeled and sliced in half, then cut into very thin slices

1/2 tsp. salt

freshly ground pepper (a few turns of the pepper mill)

1/4 cup water or vegetable stock

2 tsp. balsamic (optional)

Cashew Cream

1 cup raw cashews, divided

1/2 cup water

juice of ½ lime

1 tsp. nutritional yeast

1/4 tsp. salt

chopped fresh or dried herbs (optional)

Directions

Prepping & Cooking the Potatoes

For great baked potatoes, cook them in the crockpot, oven, or on the grill. Whatever method you choose, follow these steps:

Step1. Scrub the potatoes with a vegetable brush and thoroughly dry

Step2. Prick each potato about 5 to 6 times with a fork, rotating the potato as you prick

Step3. Optional: using your hands, rub olive oil over each potato and then sprinkle with a little sea salt

A baked potato is done when it is tender on the inside when pricked with a fork. Cooking times will vary depending on several factors including potato size. Try to buy potatoes that are uniform in size. Below is a guide for cooking times.

In the crockpot: 8 hours on low or until tender. DO NOT overfill the crockpot (no more than three-fourths to the top) and do not use water.

In the oven: 60 minutes in a 400 degree oven or until tender. You can cook your spuds directly on the oven grill or on a baking sheet.

On the Grill: 45 minutes or until tender.

Toppings -- Nutvetta

Place all ingredients in a blender and process at high speed two or three minutes or until the mixture is velvety smooth. Warm the sauce in a pan over low heat.

Cashew Gravy

Put all ingredients in a blender and process on high speed for two to three minutes or until the mixture is very creamy. Pour into a pan and cook, stirring frequently on medium high heat until the gravy is bubbling. Simmer a minute or two longer to desired consistency.

Caramelized Onions

Melt the coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onions, salt and pepper and stir to coat. Turn the heat to low and cook the onions for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally so the onions don’t burn. Add the water or stock and continue cooking the onions for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the liquid is reduced and the onions are very soft and slightly brown. Remove from heat and add balsamic vinegar if using.

Cashew Cream

Soak ½ cup of the cashews overnight in warm water. The next morning, drain and rinse the cashews then put them in a high speed blender with the remaining ½ cup of cashews. Add the water, lime juice, nutritional yeast and salt. Blend on high speed until the mixture is very smooth.

Plan on 1 to 1½ baked potatoes per adult. Use organic russet potatoes that have been well scrubbed (or try sweet potatoes). You can cook the potatoes several ways (see below), then put the toppings in separate bowls and let everyone top their spud their way. Some toppings to try:

cashew gravy
caramelized onions
cashew cream
homemade or commercial vegan sour cream or ricotta
vegetables like shelled edamame or sautéed greens
sunflower seeds or hempseeds
toasted or raw walnuts or other nuts
canned chili beans
vegan bacon, crumbled
fresh herbs
steamed tempeh
prepared salsa
NutVeeta

For example, you might offer NutVetta, shelled edamame, chopped broccoli, sunflower seeds and vegan sour cream. Or cashew gravy, caramelized onions, peas, sautéed spinach and parsley. Have fun and be creative with your plant-based toppings.

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