At first glance, you might think this is an unhealthy meal or a once-in-awhile treat, but you couldn’t be more far from wrong! These French fries are not only NOT bad for you, they’re actually GOOD for you! Potatoes are not a bad thing and should absolutely be a staple in a plant based diet. Potatoes are a great source of vitamin C and potassium and are full of other nutrients. They don’t contain any fat or, of course, any cholesterol. So if you bake your potatoes, instead of frying them, they are perfectly healthy for you! This recipe also includes some pinto beans to make it even heartier. Pinto beans are a great source of fiber, folate, copper and lots of other things! They’ll also add to your protein total for the day. When you think of nacho cheese and sour cream, you don’t usually think of them as healthy but in this plant-based recipe, they are! The vegan nacho cheese is literally made with vegetables, water, and seasonings and the cashew sour cream is made with, you guessed it, cashews! Note: we like spicy food so I add jalapeños and pickled jalapeño juice to the cheese. I usually leave them out at first and scoop some out for Lucy, then add them in and blend again for us! Now, onto the recipe! Below, you’ll find everything you need to make this hearty, oil free, healthy, satisfying plant-based dinner!
Ingredients: For the Vegan Nacho Cheese: 2 cups potato 1 cup carrots Juice of 1/2 lemon (approx. 2 tbs) 1/4 cup Nutritional yeast 2 tsp Garlic powder 2 tsp Onion powder 2 tbs Tomato paste 1/2 cup water 1/4 cup pickled jalapeño juice (see note above) 4 slices pickled jalapeños For the Cashew Sour Cream: 2 cups raw cashews (soaked 6+ hours in water) 1 cup water Juice of 1/2 lemon 1 tbs nutritional yeast For the Pinto Beans: 1 can pinto beans (drained and rinsed) A few tbs of vegetable broth Black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika to taste For the French Fries: As many potatoes as you want! Black pepper, garlic powder, and oregano to taste
Instructions: 1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line baking trays with silicone baking mats (or parchment paper). 2. Slice potatoes in whatever fry shape you like and place on your baking sheets. Sprinkle with black pepper, garlic powder, and oregano (or whatever seasonings you like). 3. Put trays in the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes. I have to rotate my trays halfway through because the trays my bottom rack get crispy much faster than the top! Adjust bake time as needed depending on your oven and the thickness of your fries. 4. Slice your potatoes and carrots, place in medium sauce pan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Let cook for 10-15 minutes or until you can easily pierce the vegetables with a fork. 5. Drain the vegetables and add to a high speed blender, like a vitamix. Add all other nacho cheese ingredients and blend until smooth. Note: if you don’t have a high speed blender, you can combine everything in the sauce pan using an immersion blender. It won’t come out AS smooth, but it still works! 6. Combine all cashew sour cream ingredients in high speed blender until smooth. 7. Pour a little vegetable broth in sauté pan and heat over medium heat. 8. Add pinto beans to the pan and mash up a bit with your spoon. 9. Add seasonings to taste and more vegetable broth as needed to keep from sticking. Stir until heated through. 10. Load some fries on a plate and top with beans, cheese, and sour cream! A little chives or green onion on the top really pulls the dish together! Enjoy your HEALTHY plant based dinner!