After a week of nonstop marketing and promotions across all time zones for my latest romance novel, Bared., I was in desperate need of some vegan comfort food. Other than a million different types of ramen, nothing says comfort to me like potatoes.
And what is greasier and more comforting than cheese fries? Vegan cheese fries with sausage, of course!
With a few fun vegan hacks, you can enjoy this (mostly) guilt-free version of cheese fries, or you can make a few small adjustments and make comfort food light.
Even though the photos make it appear as if there are dozens of ingredients in this easy vegan comfort food recipe, the list is actually quite small.
As always, I prefer to start with the foods that have the longest cook times, and in this recipe, it’s the fries. The potato and squash make up the fries in this dish so cut them into whatever shape you prefer for vegan cheese fries and pop onto a baking sheet.
Because this is an oil-free recipe, I didn’t use oil, but a tablespoon should get the job done if you choose to add the extra fat. Once you’ve done that, toss the potatoes in salt, pepper, garlic powder, cayenne, smoky paprika and Cajun spice, until well coated. Bake in a 200C oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until they are crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Feel free to taste one (or two, or three) to test for doneness.
Now we move to the top of the stove. Crank the skillet up to medium high or high and add mushrooms, cook 5 to 10 minutes until crispy on the edges but not too crunchy. Be prepared to stir frequently because though they are packed with water, mushrooms have a tendency to stick.
When the mushrooms are close to ideal texture, add in onion (or shallots) and bell pepper. Cook another 5 minutes and add garlic and your favorite vegan sausage. Cook another 3 to 5 minutes until sausage is warmed through and garlic is fragrant.
Now you’re ready for the vegan “cheese”.
I’m not saying “cheese” because it’s not real cheese, but because this isn’t cheese at all. It’s a veggiegurt based sauce with turmeric, curry, cumin, garlic, spicy paprika, oregano and scotch bonnet chili pepper. Think of this as cheese-less cheese fries, so really it’s totally guilt-free!
Drizzle the vegan cheese sauce on top, along with jalapenos or your favorite chili peppers. You can also add avocado, fried onions or any other cheese fry toppings you can think of.
Next step? Grub.
And that’s it, fast vegan comfort food that won’t require an extra long workout the next day.
What’s your favorite vegan comfort food?
If you’re interested in a new book to read, check out my latest novel, Bared.
My parents sent me away without a goodbye
They were good enough to release my big ass trust fund early to ease their guilt
I fled to the streets of Chicago, specifically Green Street
It was a place that changed my life forever
I met my family, Charlie & Indigo & Gwyn
The only place where I ever really belonged
Together we found our way, made lives for ourselves, forgot about the past
Together, we thrived
When we lost Charlie she made me promise that I would learn to trust again
I couldn’t lie to my dying best friend so I agreed, thinking I’d never have to do it
But Gwyn & Indigo didn’t forget
They made me live up to my word and that’s where Tru came in
He was tall, dark and gorgeous
And totally unexpected in every way
He made me do something I never thought I would do again,
Now I have to try not to f*ck it up before I lose him forever