Planticized baked potato pizzas
So you love potatoes, and you love pizza – then why have you never eaten potato pizzas?!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – bring on the carbs! It’s really a shame that carbs have gotten such a bad rap. Quite often it’s not the carbohydrates in your meals that are the problem, it’s what you are eating with them. On a plant-based diet (diet as in “what you eat every day” not “what I’m going to eat for 3o days and then go back to eating exactly what I ate before”) you don’t have to worry about that. So carb up!
And what better way to do that then with giant baked potatoes! I’m embarrassed to admit that I haven’t always been the world’s best potato baker. Maybe it was my oven, maybe it was me, maybe the mega potatoes of the world conspired against me and refused to be baked jussssst right. I guess I’ll never know the answer, but that’s all in the past now. The baking method I use in this recipe results in perfect baked potatoes every time!
Something I love about baked potatoes is the skin! There are your skin eaters, and there are those who leave the skin. I remember when I had only been living in Sweden a short time and went out with some friends to a sports bar kind of place that had potato skins on the menu and a few people didn’t even eat the skin then! To be fair, at the time it was a new dish here, but if it says “potato skins” on the menu and you don’t actually eat the skin, well…
Apart from the skin of the perfect baked potato being wonderfully crispy, it’s got a fair share of vitamins. The potato itself contains potassium, vitamins C and B6, niacin and thiamine, but in just that little bit of skin is a ton more! (OK, not literally a ton – that’d be a HUGE potato.) But according to the USDA eating a potato skin will provide you with 75% more iron than if you left it on your plate. It’s also got a decent amount of fiber in it – something that most people need more of.
So that’s the pizza “dough” or “crust”, probably the trickiest part of any pizza, out of the way – onto the sauce. There are probably more ways to make a tomato or pizza sauce than there are Italians, but sometimes, simplest is best. There’s nothing fancy about this sauce, but once you taste it, I think you’ll agree that it’s full of flavor and hits the spot! Best of all, you don’t have to heat or cook it, just mix the ingredients in a bowl and your good to go!
As far as the toppings and cheese go, the sky’s the limit! One thing to keep in mind is that there isn’t quite as much surface area on these as compared to a normal pizza, so don’t get so carried away that you have to stack your toppings as carefully as a Jenga tower! Or, well, who am I to tell you what to do with your toppings – stack away!
As with my grilled cheese sandwich recipe, picking the perfectly melting plant-based cheese is key. You don’t want to cover your baked potatoes with cheese that doesn’t melt. So, before you go shopping, do a little research. Different types of vegan cheeses are available in different places so it’s hard for me to recommend one for just you. That said, I’ve heard good things about the Daiya and Follow your heart shredded varieties available in the US, the vegan society lists Wilhelmburger shreds as the best melters in Europe, Sheese is available throughout the UK, and here in Sweden I almost always go with Astrid & Apornas Perfekt Pizza.
My job is done here – now it’s time for you to pay attention to your stomach. I think I can hear it grumbling “Prepare perfect planticized potato pizzas, pronto! Pretty please.”
- 4 large baking potatoes
- 8 oz (225 gr) - tomato sauce
- 3 oz (85 gr) - tomato paste
- 1 clove - garlic
- 1½ tsp ( 7.5 ml) - dried oregano (plus fresh oregano as a garnish - optional)
- melting vegan cheese, and other toppings such as plant-based pepperoni, mushrooms, olives... you name it!
- Pre-heat your oven to 350° F (175° C).
- Scrub the potatoes with a brush and water, and pat dry. Use a fork and stab about 6-8 times (it won’t hurt the potato – I promise) all around potato, making fairly deep holes.
- Place all the potatoes in a large bowl, pour some oil on top, and then some salt. Use your hands and massage the potatoes (you did just stab them after all) spreading the oil and salt all over the skins.
- Put the potatoes directly on an oven rack in middle of oven. (A rack, NOT a solid tray/sheet. Place the tray under the rack, in the lower half of the oven to keep any oil from dripping onto the oven) Bake for approximately 50-60 minutes. (the skin should be crisp, while the inside should feel soft.
- While the potatoes are baking, make the pizza sauce. In a small bowl, mix the tomato sauce, paste, garlic and oregano.
- Remove the potatoes and carefully cut each in half. Turn all the halves skin side down. Cover with sauce, cheese and toppings and bake for approximantely 10-15 more minutes. Remove and garnish with fresh oregano.