I've been making a healthier version of "The Big Cheese" for years now - cutting down drastically on the butter and cheese and adding veggies, either spinach or broccoli. It's a great dinner option if you want something hearty, but don't want to engage in active cooking time. Tonight, I decided to see if I could successfully make my already healthier remake as a vegan version.
|Yes, this really and truly is vegan!|
Carefully remove the potato from the oven and cut it open with a knife. Fluff the baked part of the potato with a fork. I added a little bit of Soy-Free Earth Balance. You can use a bit of butter (if you're not going vegan), or a touch of olive oil, or omit this step. However, a little bit of Earth Balance or butter/oil will help keep the potato moist.
Next, top with your veggie of choice. My go to is broccoli. I usually go with a chopped fresh broccoli, but we already had a mess of steamed broccoli in the fridge, so I used that. But, feel free to use any veggie that suits your fancy! I then topped the whole thing with two kinds of Daiya - cheddar style and mozzarella style. You can use regular cheese or another vegan cheese alternative, but Daiya does melt quite nicely.
I am giving a thumbs up to the vegan version - it has the same deliciousness as the non-vegan version, but without the heaviness of the dairy.
If you are skeptical that a potato can be good for you, keep in mind that how a potato is prepared is what makes it healthy or unhealthy. Think about it - what makes french fries and potato chips unhealthy is the oil they're cooked in, rather than the starting product. Using a large potato like the one I used for this main course dish meant 278 calories. Figure the other elements added another 150-200 and it's still very reasonable for a main course dinner. Plus, I got 7 grams of fiber (and even more from the broccoli and Daiya) ,7 grams of protein and a healthy dose of Vitamin C and Iron. Yes, I eat the entire skin - you should too! No matter how you're preparing your potato - roasting, baking, etc., keep that skin on to up the fiber count and keep those nutrients in your food.