Thursday, March 1, 2012

Vegan Baked Potato Florentine

  Let me preface this by saying I forgot to take a picture. I was having such a hard time not eating all the filling while I was making these, and as soon as they came out of the oven Chris and I ate them up! The boys did not like it as much, but Jack has been in the midst of an EoE flare since about a week ago so he's not really eating anything these days.

  These were very yummy, but took forever to make. I'm not really one to make things that take more than an hour, but we felt like these were worth it! The mushrooms lend a 'meatiness' to the dish that makes you feel like you are not missing something even though these are vegan.

Vegan Baked Potato Florentine

4 medium Russet potatoes, scrubbed*
1 medium bunch fresh spinach, stems removed
1/2 white onion, chopped
5-6 white mushrooms (caps and stems), coarsely chopped
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp (divided) sea salt
3 Tbl (divided) Soy Free Earth Balance
1 cup Soy Free Vegenaise
1/4 cup Daiya Mozzarella
1 slice Food For Life White Rye bread (or other wheat free bread)
Olive oil for rubbing on potatoes

Preheat oven to 400.
Rub potatoes with olive oil, lightly salt if desired, and prick several times each with a fork. Place directly on oven rack or on a cookie sheet. Bake for 40-70 mins, depending on size, until they give a little when you squeeze them. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Reduce oven temp to 350.
In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbl SF Earth Balance and saute onion until just beginning to brown. Add mushrooms and stir continuously until mushrooms become soft and brown. Add spinach and stir until wilted. Remove from heat, set aside.
In food processor or by hand, process bread slice into crumbs. Add 1 tsp salt and stir well. Combine bread crumbs and Daiya Mozzarella shreds in a pie pan, set aside.
Once potatoes have cooled enough that you can handle them, slice one side off of the potato lengthwise, so that when you scoop out the inside you are left with a potato 'canoe'.  You could also cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, but I liked having deeper pockets to fill with yummy goodness. Repeat with all the potatoes, leaving a 1/4 inch thick shell, scooping insides out into a large bowl. To the bowl, add 1 tsp salt, 2 Tbl SF Earth Balance, garlic salt, and SF Vegenaise to and mash until smooth and creamy. Add the sauteed vegetables and stir well. Fill the potatoes with the mashed potato/vegetable mixture, packing it tightly and slightly mounding the top. Take stuffed potatoes and roll the top in the bread crumb/cheese mixture, giving them a nice even crust. Place potatoes on a cookie sheet and bake 15-20 minutes, til heated through and cheese is melted.

* if removing eyes from the potatoes, make sure you make as shallow and cut as possible so that once you hollow out the inside you do not have holes in your potato canoes!!!

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