Monday, March 14, 2011

Twice Baked Potato Mash

I was feeling pretty adventurous for this meal.  Today is my day off and I generally like to cook and bake more complicated things when I do not have to think about being on my feet all day, then coming home and being in the kitchen all night.  Hubby had an appointment at a trade school in Manhattan, so headed out early without eating breakfast.  So, as he kissed me goodbye, he let me know that he was already hungry and would be very hungry when he came home.  After rolling my eyes good naturedly, I began preparing the lunch, because I was already hungry too and wanted some really nice home cooked food.  We had eaten out the night before, and had not eaten together the night before that, so I was really feeling like eating some nice, clean food. 

I knew I was going to be making some kind of tofu dish, so I went through the refrigerator, looking for things to accompany the Smoked Miso Baked Tofu recipe I was going to use from the Vegan Yum Yum cookbook.  The recipe is actually intended to be used in sandwiches, so I guess I shouldn't complain that I was disappointed at its lack of flavor, because I just served it on its own.  So, I'm not going to post that recipe, although I did make some definite modifications, and was still disappointed.  For the rest of the meal, I decided on doing a nice fresh red leaf lettuce salad, with just some sliced carrots and onion, with my homemade lime vinaigrette.  I also found about 1 cup of cooked beets in the fridge, so I decided to make my trademark marinated beet salad, topped with fresh garlic for bad breath and good heart health.  I had a few potatoes left that were just beginning to sprout and needed to be used and I was craving the flavors of twice baked potatoes, but not all of the work of baking the potatoes, scooping out the flesh, mashing and seasoning, scooping back in the flesh and baking again.  So, I just boiled the potatoes and flavored them as I do when I make the twice baked potatoes, and it was so! delicious.  Then I just decided to saute up some kale with a little garlic and was ready to feed one hungry hubby and wife.

Twice Baked Potato Mash:

Baked Miso Marinated Tofu, Twice Baked Potato Mash,
Sauteed Kale, Red Leaf Salad & Marinated Beet Salad

Serves 2-3

3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced, about 3 cups
1/4 cup small diced green peppers
1/4 cup diced orange/red bell peppers
1/4 cup small diced red onions
1 jalapeno, minced, about 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons Earth Balance
1/4 cup vegan sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable boullion powder
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder
Daiya, mozzarella-style, as desired

1.  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
2.  Once the potatoes are peeled, submerse them in lukewarm water and place on the stove over medium heat.  Cook until just tender. 
3.  In the meantime, prepare the veggies: in a saute pan over medium heat, add the oil and allow it to heat.  Once the pan is hot, add the green, orange/red peppers, onions and jalapeno peppers.  Saute, stirring often, until partially cooked, yet still maintaining some texture, and not browned.  Turn off the heat and set aside. 
4.  By now the potatoes should be cooked all the way through.  Once they are, drain them in a colander over the sink.  Shake off all excess water.  Return the potatoes back to the pan and add the earth balance.  Mash the potatoes very well - there should be no lumps remaining.  At this point, add the rest of the ingredients, except the daiya cheese.  Add the sauteed veggies, the sour cream, boullion powder, black pepper and chipotle powder.  Stir everything together until well combined.  Taste the mixture.  It should be nice and rich and creamy with a slight crunch from the vegetables and a slight heat form the chipotle pepper powder.
5.  Place a piece of aluminum foil on a baking tray and mound the seasoned mashed potatoes on top, creating a nice, even layer.  Sprinkle generously with the daiya and place the tray in the oven.  Bake for about 5 minutes, just until the cheese is nice and melted and bubbly.
6.  Remove from the oven and try to let it cool for a few minutes before eating it - I know it 's difficult!  But so worth the wait!



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