Over bubbling bottles of Topo Chico, my friend, Karin, told me that she had started a mobile Baked Potato Bar and it was a HIT! Over 80 toppings and 12+ sauces, with both regular and sweet potatoes -whipped and baked- in addition to spaghetti squash and portobello mushrooms, all of her customers were happy making their dream creations (check out her site here.)
My tummy was rumbling, my salivary glands were in full effect -I NEEDED a baked potato PRONTO. So when I got home, I made this for dinner. And now… I’m in love.
What’s a girl to do when she’s plant-based and wants to avoid all the processed vegan junk food like fake cheese and faux dairy products, yet wants a delectable, creamy baked potato experience? My answer is: Savory Cashew Sauce. I’m gonna give the recipe here and, believe me, you’re going to love it -with many more items than potatoes.
Recipe: Savory Cashew Sauce
There are two ways you can prepare your cashews. Soak them overnight in water or veggie stock/broth or this quick way. I like the latter since I tend not to plan my meals in advance.
And remember, I’m an eyeballer. Cooking is an art form, so here are the guidelines, you be the expert in your kitchen.
Whole, raw cashews Note: if you use a small amount of nuts, it’s hard to get a proper paste, so I recommend making a medium size batch and using it throughout the week.
Water or Veggie Stock/Broth
In a pot, cover cashews with water or veggie stock/broth and simmer on low until the nuts are soft. Remove from heat.
Place soaked (either the overnight or just simmered) cashews in a blender/Vitamix and add a bit more liquid. Blend until smoothly pureed -this may take several minutes. The more liquid you add, the thinner the sauce, so you add according to your taste.
Pour into a pot and place on low heat on the stove.
Lemon juice Add to taste. I love the touch of tang it provides, like a hollandaise sauce.
Garlic (powder or fresh) to taste
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
You can fancy this up by adding in a dash of nutmeg or basil -whatever you feel like. Personally, I like to leave mine as is and make a medium sized batch to use throughout the week as a cream sauce for other fabulous recipes. Excellent in green beans, rice, quinoa, veggie sautés and more.
Recipe: The Ultimate Plant Based Baked Potato
This right here is easy as can be. An excellent go-to recipe, particularly if you’ve made a batch of Cashew Sauce ahead of time and can pour it on in a jiffy.
Our oven crapped out, so we’re (sadly) nuking our potatoes in the microwave -but it works! I use golden potatoes, but you pick your favorite variety. Excellent with reds, russets and golds.
Step One: Bake a potato
If you’re microwaving, I recommend 2 minutes per gold potato (cooking half the time, then turning over for the remaining half.) If you’re making multiple (like I do) just add up the time together, ie: 3 gold potatoes = 3 minutes, flip, 3 minutes. Don’t forget to stab them before cooking to allow the heat/pressure out.
If you’re baking, do a batch in a tinfoil covered pyrex dish for an hour or two -depending on the number of spuds you’ve got in there.
Step Two: Make the Yummy Bits
Since potatoes are dry, I like sautéing in moisture-rich veggies to add a juicy splash. You get as creative as you want. Here are just some ideas:
- roasted red pepper strips
- sautéed mushrooms
- zucchini or yellow squash
- red or sweet vidalia onions
- butter beans
- tomatoes -fresh, sautéed or sun dried
- artichoke hearts
- black or kalamata olives
- saurkraut or steamed cabbage
- steamed carrot slices
Step Three: Pour on the sauce, baby!
(Leaving my office right now to go make this again. BRB.)
It’s un-frickin-believable. I love this recipe so.
Alright now, it’s your turn. And guess what? This makes an awesome “come over for dinner, I won’t feed you weird stuff” recipe for you non-plant-based friends. And for your plant-based friends. Heck, everybody loves cashew sauce. Except for that one weirdo –and they’re not invited (or just hand them a bunch of bananas.)
But seriously, I am outta here because I need to make this again. Right now.