Potatoes get such a bad rap. Usually, people stay away from consuming potatoes because they believe them to be fattening when in actuality they can be very healthy if prepared a certain way. Take this loaded baked potato, for example. Usually loaded baked potatoes have an obscene amount of butter, sour cream, and bacon. However, sub in vegan butter, a cashew-based sour cream, and carrot bacon, and boom! Healthy potato recipe!

Loaded Baked Potato With Carrot Bacon [Vegan]

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Ingredients

  • 4 large russet potatoes
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or liquid aminos
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke or 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon white miso paste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • Scallions or chives, for garnish
  • Vegan butter (optional)
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Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Scrub your potatoes, dry them, and pierce them with a fork. If desired, brush them with a little olive oil. Carefully place the potatoes directly on the oven rack and bake them for 1 hour, until tender throughout. You can also bake your potatoes on the grill, just wrap them in foil and grill for 45-60 minutes, turning them after 30 minutes.
  2. While the potatoes are baking, use a vegetable peeler to peel the carrots into long strips.
  3. Mix the soy sauce, maple syrup, oil, and liquid smoke and toss the carrot strips in the liquid. Place the strips in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 400°F (you can put them in while the potatoes are cooking) for 5-7 minutes. Carefully remove the baking sheet, and using tongs, flip the carrots, return the pan to the oven, and bake for 5 more minutes. Watch the carrots carefully, and when the edges begin to get brown and crispy, remove the carrots.
  5. Use the tongs to transfer the carrots to a wire cooling rack, so they can stay crispy as they cool down. Once cool, cut the carrot bacon into 1-inch pieces.
  6. To make the sour cream, mix together the cashews, lemon juice, vinegar, miso paste, and water in a food processor or blender until completely smooth. Refrigerate the sour cream until ready to serve.
  7. To serve, cut open the potatoes, top with sour cream, vegan butter if you'd like, carrot bacon pieces, cilantro, and scallions or chives. Serve hot.
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