The Super Bowl is taking place this weekend here in the States.
Is it bad that I think the best part of a football game party is the food?
I almost posted a recipe for buffalo cauliflower wings, as for some reason those seem an inescapable trend this year for a fun, plant-based appetizer. I will likely get around to writing that up eventually, but figured something a little more creative would be fun to try. Enter: cheesy loaded potato skins!
The cheese sauce here is (surprise) completely vegan, but also nut and gluten-free. I was taken aback with how well it turned out, with very minimal prep. Vegan bacon is something I’ve never really tackled as most traditional recipes call for liquid smoke, something I never have on hand.
While the ingredient and method lists looks complex, I promise each part of this recipe is simple to prepare! The only thing that will really vary is the baking time of the potatoes in relation to their size. I used medium russets, which took about 45 minutes in the oven. Larger potatoes may require a full hour.
If you’re unfamiliar with tempeh, you can read more about it here. Made of fermented soybeans, it very high in protein and less processed than many other soy products. These crunchy “bacon bits” take 15 minutes to whip up and can be tossed onto pizza, pasta dishes, or salads.
I hope you give these loaded skins a try this weekend for the big game! They will be a hit no matter what side you’re rooting for. This recipe was inspired by Emilie Eats.
For cheese sauce:
- 1 cup canned white beans
- 1/2 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
- 6 TBS nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp white or apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp turmeric, for color
For tempeh bacon bits:
- 1/2 TBS high-heat oil
- 1 package tempeh, 8 oz
- 3 TBS low sodium soy sauce or tamari if gluten-free
- 2 TBS maple syrup
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 3/4 tsp garlic powder
- 4 russet potatoes, medium sized
- Cilantro to garnish
- Begin by preheating oven and scrubbing potatoes. Poke some holes in each with a fork to let steam escape while baking. Bake potatoes on a foil-lined sheet for 45 – 60 minutes (longer if you have larger potatoes).
- While potatoes are baking, blend cheese ingredients in a food processor or hand blender. Pour into a small sauce pan and over medium heat, stir every now and then to insure it’s thickening but not sticking to the bottom. Let cook until desired consistency is reached (mine took about 10 minutes). Remove from stovetop and set aside to cool.
- For bacon bits: add oil to a cast iron skillet over medium/low heat. Crumble tempeh and let cook for about five minutes, stirring around a few times. It may begin to crackle—as long as it’s not burning, all is well! Remove from skillet and add to a medium bowl. Stir in soy sauce, maple syrup, paprika, and garlic powder until nicely incorporated. Add back to skillet over low heat and cook 7 minutes more, until browned. Let cool in pan.
- Once potatoes are done in the oven, cut each in half and scoop out some of the insides (reserve that for later use). Place back in the oven, hollowed side up, and let crisp. Remove from oven and fill with cheese, sprinkling tempeh bacon bits on top. You may have leftover fillings (lucky!)
- Bake stuffed skins in the oven for 10 minutes more, until bacon bits are browned and crumbly. Serve warm, garnished with cilantro.