Friday, September 2, 2011

This Spud's For You!

I seldom eat potatoes. I grew up eating them at nearly every meal, but once I was doing my own cooking, I discovered I much preferred rice or grains or pasta. Even so, there come times when I yearn for a giant baked potato, burst open to expose its fluffy, white interior and then stuffed with all manner of tantalizing delicacies. Since the usual trappings of butter and sour cream were out of the picture, I wondered if I could even create something akin to all that non-vegan goodness.

Then came the day I looked into the refrigerator to find a bevy of vegetables that needed to be used. I tossed them on a large sheet pan, drizzled them with olive oil, salt and pepper, and put them in the oven. My plan was to make pasta primivera. But then I had this off the wall idea: why not make potato primivera? Figuring it might be a tasty solution to my stuffed potato quest, I tossed a well-scrubbed Idaho spud into the oven with the veggies. Hey, what could it hurt?

While I was waiting for everything to get done, I made my usual vegan bechamel sauce. Once the vegetables were roasted, I tossed them into the sauce, along with a few dashes of cayenne pepper and a couple drops of hot sauce, and then I poured all that creamy goodness into the potato and atop and then let it run down the sides. I sprinkled it all with fresh chives. Doggone, it sure looked inviting. But would it taste good?  Give it a try and let me know what you think. Far as I was concerned, it was the best stuffed potato I ever ate.

My stuffed spud turned out great but wouldn't you know, the battery in my camera is dead, so no pix because I ate all the evidence while I waited for it to recharge. I guess you'll just have to imagine how it looked. Of course you know what I have to do now. Make it again so I can take a photo. Life is hard.


What You'll Need:

Baking potatoes, large
Vegetable medley, roasted
Vegan Bechamel sauce

The following recipe makes enough sauce for 2-3 large potatoes. If you cook for one, as I do, you'll have enough left to use in another recipe.

2 cups roasted vegetables. I used zucchini, yellow squash, onion, tomatoes, carrots, bell pepper, and garlic. I cut them in pieces, tossed them with olive oil, salt and pepper, and fresh thyme and rosemary and spread them on a baking sheet. Roast at 400 for 20-30 minutes. When cool enough to handle, cut the vegetables into small pieces so they'll fit into the baked potato easily.

Make the bechamel sauce while the veggies are roasting. You'll find the recipe in my post called Seitan, Onion, and Mushroom Pasta, which I posted on 7/29/11.

Stir the roasted vegetables into the creamy white sauce, give a stir to marry the flavors and add a bit of cayenne and hot sauce if you like things spicy. Stuff the results into a fluffy hot potato.

It doesn't get better than this.

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