Twice-Baked Potato

My grandma makes delicious twice baked potatoes. Back when I was a meat eater, my favorite was the cheese and bacon one. After I became a vegetarian, I think she used imitation bacon bits at least once or twice, but I also liked the sour cream and chives ones. She would sometimes make and freeze these, and then they could be popped in the microwave.

I went many months (if not a few years) before eating twice baked potato again. This time I think I used some leftover cashew or sunflower cheese sauce or vegan cheesy broccoli soup. I’m not sure I remember exactly, though I suspect it was sunflower cheese sauce. For these, I’m going to recommend either cashew cheese sauce, or other types of vegan cheeses, such as daiya cheddar cheese shreds.

First, you make a baked potato. If you’re not sure how, there’s actually at least a few different ways that you can make them. If you’re still not sure and don’t want to do a google search for ways to bake a potato, try scrubbing one, making a few slices with a knife, and wrapping it in foil or wax paper and baking at 375 for about an hour or two or until it’s soft (may take an hour and a half to two hours, but it doesn’t have to be completely soft, so long as you can mash it, because you’re going to bake the potatoes again anyway. Truth be told, no, you don’t have to wrap the potato, but the skin might be too crispy for this.

Let your potato cool enough to handle it, or use tools, such as tongs to hold the potato so that you don’t burn your hands. Hold the potato on its side and slice off a thin layer of the side (slice the potato the long way, but not in half, unless you want potato-halves).

Scoop out the insides of the potato, but leave enough on the skin to make a bowl (you want it to hold the filling).

Next, mash the potato innards.

Now add some filling. Here are some suggestions:

  • vegan cheese and imitation bacon bits or other vegan bacon, crumbled
  • vegan cheese and steamed or pre-boiled (al-dente, recommended) broccoli
  • vegan cheese and steamed or pre-boiled (al-dente, recommended) broccoli and vegan bacon, crumbled
  • cashew gravy, vegan cheese, or vegan sour cream with sautéed mushroom and/or onion
  • vegan cheese or brown gravy with veggie burger or some other vegetarian beef substitute
  • vegan sour cream and chives
  • vegan sour cream and vegan bacon
  • vegan sour cream or cream cheese and herbs (rosemary, thyme,
  • 100% extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil or vegan butter (such as Earth Balance), garlic powder, onion powder, a pinch or two of salt (per potato) and herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano, marjoram, or dill weed. You can combine some, but I don’t recommend combining them all into one potato. I do recommend dill and salt as their own blend with nothing else, unless you want to blend it into a ranch seasoning. By blend, I’m not talking about blending them in a blender, but a combination.).
  • vegan sour cream or cream cheese or oil/vegan butter and ranch seasoning
  • Actually, in any of these, I recommend some salt.

You need to be able to fill the potato, and the fillings will make more than just what you took out of the potato, so you may need to use less potato filling, or less of the additives. Mix it all together, taste it, and when you are satisfied, stuff the filling into your potato shells. Then put the skin that you cut off back onto the potato, put them back in the oven, and bake them again (375-425) for about 30 minutes and let cool a few minutes before eating. (Or, you can stuff your potato, freeze it, and then re-heat/cook it later.) Whatever you do, be considerate of what type of vegan milk you used, as soy and/or almond milk may separate in the freezer and it may not be as good as if you were to eat the twice baked potato while it’s still fresh from the oven (after it’s cooled for a few minutes).

I recommend making at least two if you’re single and don’t want to freeze them, more if you have a partner or a child or a family or friends or even if you’re single and would like a convenient meal in the future that you have time to prepare for now, as these take a long time to make.

While I do offer recipe suggestions, I have not tested all of these in baked potatoes and recommend caution and perhaps a little research before baking vegan sour cream made from coconut milk. However, I do think that a store bought vegan sour cream or cream cheese, such as tofutti, should bake just fine, even though it may turn liquid, as I have eaten at least one casserole where vegan sour cream (I think the tofutti brand) was used.

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