Vegan Chilli Cheese Fries

So, I’m sharing this delicious, healthy, guilt-free vegan chilli cheese fries recipe with you to help you make positive changes in your diet without sacrificing any taste! You will need a blender for this recipe – a food processor might work too though.

Serves: the chilli and cheese recipe both give large quantities and therefore can be stored in fridge/freezer until they are used up. In one sitting they would serve 6 people probably. Make the chips/fries as you need them.
Prep/cooking time: 1 hour approx (if you make the cheese sauce & chips while the chilli is simmering)

For the vegan chilli you will need:

  • 2 onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 carrot grated
  • 2 stalks of celery finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1/2 cauliflower finely diced
  • 1 aubergine finely diced and skin removed if possible
  • 2 cans of green or brown lentils (or equivalent weight in cooked from dry lentils)
  • 1 can of kidney beans
  • Apple cider vineger or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 can chopped tomates
  • 1 cup of passata
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp freshly ground chill or chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp dried coriander
  • 1 tsp onion powder

*I used the veggies that I had in the fridge, realistically you can use any veggies you want! Although onions, garlic, carrots, celery and pepper are the most important.
**Spice quantities are estimates – always taste near the end of cooking time in case you need to add extra spices.

 

 

 

For the vegan cheese sauce you will need:

  • 3 small-ish potatoes
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 red onion (any onion is fine)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp tapioca flour (optional)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce (might need more to taste)
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2/3 cup nutritional yeast (and possibly more to taste)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • the juice of 1 lemon
  • For the chips/fries you will need:
  • 1-2 large potatoes per person (depending on your appetite)

*Try to choose more floury, winter potatoes, as opposed to waxy new potatoes.

DIRECTIONS:

  • If your not using canned beans/lentils you’ll need to soak and cook up your beans and lentils.
  • For the chilli: finely dice all your veggies.
  • Put a large saucepan on a medium heat and add a tbsp or so of apply cider vinegar or white wine vinegar to moisten the the saucepan.
  • Add the onions and toss until they start to go translucent.
  • Add in more vinegar or water every time the pan dries up (just a splash because you don’t want to boil the veggies).
  • Add in the garlic and toss with the onions until it softens nicely.
  • Add the rest of the veggies and toss until the start to cook through.
  • Make sure the pot isn’t too dry and put a lid on it. This should help cook through the veggies.
  • Add in all your beans, lentils, spices and sauces to the mix, give it a stir and put the lid on, and let it simmer on a low heat while you make your cheese sauce and your chips/fries.

For the cheese sauce:

  • Roughly chop the veggies and boil until soft (including the onion & garlic) – add a bay leaf too.
  • When the veggies are soft, add to a blender with some of the boiling water – just enough to help the blending.
  • Put the tapioca flower in a small glass, add a little water, and stir it with a spoon until dissolved.
  • Add this to the blender along with the rest of the ingredients (not the bay leaf).
  • Add the sauce back to the saucepan and keep on a low heat.
  • It should thicken slightly and go nice and gloopy (due to the tapioca flour).

For the chips:

  • Chop your potatoes into chips or wedges.
  • Place on a non-stick mat, on a baking tray, and bake in an oven at 200 degrees Celsius.
  • You can add spices/herbs if you like but I didn’t for this recipe.
  • When your chips start to go golden brown they should be ready.
  • Add them to a bowl or plate and top with the chilli and then lather over the cheese sauce.
  • Add some chopped coriander or parsley on top.

I hope this recipe brings some fun to your dinner-time, and that it tastes delicious! Again, all spice measurements are open to interpretation – if you like it spicier add more chilli; if you like it smokier, add smoked paprika; if you like it saltier, add more soy sauce; if you like it sweeter, you can add agave or brown sugar.