I’ve been a bit impulsive lately. Mainly with shopping, chores, and cooking, painting my toenails red – nothing dangerous (but if you knew me, my toes have never been anything other than white or French pink… so this is the real deal).
I bought a mandolin off of Amazon a few months ago. To be completely honest, I forgot I bought it, much like several other kitchen gadgets. I get excited, have an idea, buy a tool I need, get a recipe together, lose track of time, lose said-recipe, and *poof!* Just like that, a thought now gone far, far away.
I have been craving scalloped potatoes. I can remember my mom as a kid, making Betty Crocker boxed potatoes, and I absolutely loved it. I even tried to eat one of those dehydrated potatoes – PSA – they are not like potato chips. But, with the weird powder mix, the milk, the water…. It just didn’t really seem that appealing to me once I learned how to cook. As a potato connoisseur, I’m surprised I haven’t tried to make them sooner. A regular cheese sauce is easy… anyone can do that. But I wanted a challenge. After rummaging through my cabinet and finding a big old fat potahto, it came to me.
Homemade… dairy free.. why stop there!? Vegan scalloped potatoes, it was.
Now, everyone knows the best part of cheese is, well, cheese. It’s melty, delicious, can be put on pretty much anything. I am a cheese lover, and I don’t have a major sensitivity to dairy, but I respect that it should be used in moderation from a health standpoint… and moderation with cheese is just lame.
I ran to the store and grabbed the first dairy-free cheese that looked good – I landed on Follow Your Heart’s Vegan Cheddar Shreds, and hoped for the best. Let me just say…… this was the perfect choice, because the potatoes came out absolutely delicious.
Enough blabbering, you all need to make these ASAP.
Jalapeño Cheddar Scalloped Potatoes (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 40 min
- 3 medium-large baking potatoes, peeled
- 1 can of full-fat coconut milk
- 1 cup of Follow Your Heart’s cheddar shreds
- ½ cup vegetable broth, plus more if needed
- ½ tbsp garlic powder
- ¼ tbsp paprika
- ½ tsp salt, plus more to taste
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 large jalapeño, finely chopped – ribs and seeds removed
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Using a mandolin, slice your potatoes into about 1/4 to 1/8 inch slices. (If you are very skilled with a knife, you can use a knife, but please be careful)
- Place the potatoes on a plate or baking sheet and gently pat dry with a paper towel. Add a pinch of salt – not to give a lot of flavor, this is more to help them dry out as you cook your sauce.
- In a medium sized saucepan, bring your coconut milk and vegetable broth to a boil. Once bubbling, turn down to medium low heat. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, paprika and jalapeno and continue to stir.
- Add your cheese – you may need to turn the heat back up to medium if you don’t see it start to melt. Using a whisk, ensure the mixture stays piping hot but does not burn, so that the vegan cheese can melt. If you find the sauce starts to get too thick, you can add more vegetable broth, a splash at a time. At this point – taste your sauce. It should have a good kick, perhaps more than you’d normally season a sauce – remember, the potato starch will absorb a lot of it, so you want some flavor!
- As the sauce simmers, arrange your potatoes into an 8×8 baking dish – no need to grease, the coconut milk prevents the potatoes from sticking to the bottom. Arrange the potatoes in several layers so that each slice is mostly flat but stacked on top of each other. If you use a different sized baking pan, this is fine – your potatoes may not stack as deep but that shouldn’t be a problem.
- Pour the sauce over your potatoes so that they are almost completely covered. If you feel you need more sauce, you can add a splash of vegetable broth to the top, and poke potatoes around with a fork to gently mix the sauce. The potatoes will absorb a lot, so no need to worry about mixing the sauce uniformly if this is needed.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until top starts to get golden brown. Remove from heat and add a dash of salt and pepper to the top (this is added now rather than before, so that the potatoes don’t absorb and diffuse the salt right away upon cooking)
- Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes and serve.