Vegan Chili Cheese Fries

Hello friends!

Do you ever get the most random craving for no reason? Like you have a craving for a particular food but didn’t see it, smell it or hear about it? That’s how I’ve been with chili cheese fries! For no reason at all, I’ve been craving chili cheese fries, but one, I have no idea where to get them when it’s not fair season yet, and two, I knew my body would NOT appreciate it. So I thought about maybe making a healthier version. These chili cheese fries are vegan (and although I’m not vegan, I do enjoy plant-based meals), and it’s much easier to control what you put into these than if you bought some at a fair or sporting event.

Sweet Potato Fries:

  • 1 sweet potato
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Chili:

  • 1 can beans of choice (I used a tri-bean blend)
  • 1/3 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. chipotle pepper powder

Cheese Sauce:

  • 1/2 c. cashews, soaked in hot water for 1 hour (or more)
  • 1/3 c. plant-based milk
  • 1/4 c. nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

This recipe can be done in 30 minutes. While you bake the sweet potato fries, you can make the chili and cheese sauce. To start, wash your sweet potato and cut into wedges. The best way to do this is to cut it in half, then cut the wedges. Lightly coat the wedges in olive oil, arrange on a sheet pan, and cook at 450 degrees for 25-30 minutes until crispy.

While the sweet potatoes fries are baking, drain and rinse the beans. Throw the beans in a small pot with the tomatoes, salt, oregano, cumin, garlic powder, black pepper, and chipotle pepper. Stir and simmer on low while you’re waiting for the sweet potatoes to bake.

While the fries are baking and the chili is simmering, throw the cashews, plant-based milk, nutritional yeast, salt, turmeric, paprika, and black pepper into a blender and blend until smooth. Once it’s smooth, refrigerate until you’re ready to use.

Arrange the sweet potato fries on a plate, top with chili, and drizzle the sauce on top. Enjoy this lighter, more nutritious version of traditional chili cheese fries!

What other “fair favorites” would you like to see made healthier?

Naturally,

Ari

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