The Food Lab

Unraveling the mysteries of home cooking through science.

Vegan: Cheesy Baked Potatoes With Broccoli

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[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

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Editor's Note: Welcome to the third year of The Vegan Experience! All month we're exploring the vegan lifestyle, from dining out to eating in, developing a slew of delicious recipes for vegan appetizers, snacks, and entrees along the way. For more posts in the series, check here!

I'm not all that fond of baked potatoes on their own, but baked potatoes with cheesy sauce and tiny broccoli florets is another story entirely. I love smooshing the sauce into the fluffy potato below, turning what was once dry and bland into something creamy and exciting.

During my vegan month, it's not quite so easy a goal to accomplish. At least it wasn't, until I developed my Vegan Nacho Cheese recipe. Now, it's a piece of cake.

There's not much to say here, seeing as I've already devoted a big chunk of real estate to explaining the most difficult part of this recipe (the sauce), so I'll let some pictures do most of the talking, instead.

This recipe starts with a baked potato. I bake mine half the way in foil to help it tenderize faster and retain moisture, then let it finish off in the open to crisp the skin. My broccoli florets are simply blanched in salted water for a few moments before they're folded into my cheese sauce. Spoon B over A, sprinkle with scallions, and you've got the crown prince of side dishes.

Say cheese!

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Ok, good. Now give me angry. Good. Ooh, angrier. Yes, perfect. Now gimme sexy. Can you do sexy? Yes! Sexier!

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You got it. Walk for me. Talk for me. Come on. Do the girls like you? How about the guys? I bet they both like you. And the animals? The animals like you too? That's it. Destroy me. Destroy me! That's it! Yes! Yes!

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I've worked with better. But not many.

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

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