Twice Baked Spinach Garlic Stuffed Potatoes
4 large russet potatoes, scrubbed and cleaned
kosher salt
canola or other vegan margarine, or favorite high quality flavorful oil like olive oil or coconut oil

1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp vegan margarine (or more olive oil)
1-2 tbsp fine brown rice flour
2 cups (more or less, to taste) rice milk, plain
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1+ package fresh spinach, cooked and drained, chopped
Garlic powder to taste

1 portobello mushroom, stemmed, thinly sliced
salt, pepper

Take baking dish and sprinkle with a layer of kosher salt (large grain). Cover the entire surface of the dish entire bottom of the dish. Prepare your potatoes, making sure to remove any eyes but keep the cuts shallow and leave as much of the skin intact as possible. Place your washed, dried potatoes on the salt covered baking sheet and bake them at 375 or 425 (your preferred temperature) for 1-2 hours, or until the potato squishes slightly when you press it. Rotate your potatoes a few times during that cooking process to make sure it bakes evenly. When potatoes are done, slice them in half horizontally and gently remove most of the baked potato flesh, leaving a nice potato skin boat. Rice the baked potatoes if possible and then fold into them some canola margarine or olive oil (or other favorite oil, coconut might be nice if you have it) and rice milk. Salt and pepper to taste. Make sure your mashed potatoes are not soupy- you want them to be fluffy and fairly dry. If you like, you can enjoy half or more of these mashed potatoes for a snack or side dish right away. You only need about half or a quarter of the recipe for the stuffed potatoes.

This step can be done the night before. Just keep your potato skins and mashed potatoes refrigerated.
Preheat oven to 375.

Heat your oil and margarine (if using) in the pan until margarine has melted but not browned. Throw in your diced onions and let them start to get translucent. Add your pressed garlic. When the pan begins to release the fragrance of garlic, mix in your fine brown rice flour and let it begin to toast slightly. Add a little garlic powder and mix into the roux. Gradually add your rice milk (I used organic, brown rice milk) and create a light white sauce. Whisk often to avoid lumps. When you’ve created a nice white sauce, add your nutritional yeast (this adds both color and flavor) and your chopped, drained spinach. When dish has heated through, add a quarter of your mashed potato to the filling and combine. If desired, add more mashed potatoes to taste. Taste and add additional garlic powder as you like.

Heat cast iron pan with olive oil and a little margarine if desired. Add your thin portobello mushroom slices and add salt and pepper to taste. When they have softened, turn them over.

To prepare: Fill your potato boats with the spinach white sauce potato filling and top with portobello mushroom strips. Place in oven and bake until they are heated through and take on a golden brown tinge. Plate and enjoy!

When cooking for our celiac group, I try to avoid allergens as much as possible. Earth Balance is a Vegan, Gluten-Free margarine, but I don’t believe it is soy free, which is a must for some of our members. To make this recipe strictly vegan, you could use Earth Balance or a high quality olive oil or coconut oil. The margarine I used had minor amounts of whey flavoring (the very last ingredient, under flavorings, a sub-component of “flavoring”), making it not strictly Vegan, but it was 100% lactose free. Lactose is often a problem for (newly diagnosed) Celiacs.