Friday, November 04, 2011

Vegan Twice Baked Potatoes With Butternut Squash

An elegant "make ahead" side dish for the holidays

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Holiday Potatoes
What's a holiday dinner without a spud? One of my favorites, of course, is low fat, creamy vegan mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy. And one of the most popular holiday potato dishes on the site is the vegan sweet potato casserole which I also make EVERY Thanksgiving. Actually, I make it all winter long! But the "twice baked" potato can be a good holiday dish because you can make the little guys early in the day and just bake them right before dinner. I suggest you give them a try before the holidays since it's not a good idea to experiment with new recipes when you have a house full of company! A mistake I've made a few times in my life.

The Secret!
Even though they look pretty "cheesy", and I don't mean that in a bad way, the cheddar effect comes from a healthy dose of butternut squash! (Yet another way to sneak more veggies into an unsuspecting crowd!) A heaping tablespoon of Vegetarian Formula nutritional yeast gives it a cheese like flavor in addition to all the critical B vitamins it contains.

For easy removal of the potato after baking, carefully cut along the edges with a serrated knife
Carefully scoop out the potato with a spoon
Beat potatoes with butternut squash and other ingredients
Rub a tiny bit of softened Earth Balance on top
Sprinkle with paprika and bake

Twice Baked Potatoes
Vegan, Gluten Free
[makes 4 servings]

2 large russet potatoes (.7 pounds or 300g each)
1 cup diced butternut squash, peeled and cleaned
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons gluten free Earth Balance, room temperature
1 tablespoon Red Star vegetarian formula nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons dairy free, gluten free milk (or more if potatoes are dry)
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin 
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 - 2 teaspoons sliced chives or tops of green onion

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Scrub potatoes and poke each one several times with a fork so they don't explode while cooking. Place directly on the middle rack of a preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes or until insides are soft.
While potatoes are baking, steam butternut squash until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
When potatoes are done, let cool to the touch and carefully slice in half lengthwise.
Cut carefully along the edge of each potato half with a serrated knife (see picture) being careful not to pierce the skin. Gently scoop out the potato with a spoon.
Place the scooped out potato, cooked squash, 1 tablespoon of Earth Balance buttery spread, nutritional yeast, dairy free milk, garlic powder, cayenne, salt and cumin in a large bowl and beat with an electric beater until creamy. Don't over-beat as that will make them gluey.
Place the mixture in the scooped out potato skins. Carefully rub a 1/2 teaspoon of soft Earth Balance on the top of each potato. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake or refrigerate until needed.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake potatoes for about 20 minutes until heated thoroughly. Top the hot potatoes with chives and serve.

Per serving: 213.1 calories, 4.8 g fat, 1.0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5.6 g protein, 37.1 g carbohydrates, 4.8 g dietary fiber and 362 mg sodium.

1 comment:

Debra said...

This recipe looks absolutely fabulous!