When I was young my mom occasionally took us to Wendy’s and I would often order a baked potato with broccoli and cheese sauce because it seemed fancy. Its not something that I make at home a lot, but has stuck in my brain as a comfort food. I eat at the hospital a lot because sometimes its the only time in a day I see my husband. On certain days, in the magical hospital cafeteria, the stars align and I can order a baked potato, a side of broccoli, and a bowl of Wisconsin Cheddar soup and I create my own loaded potato.
The other day I was roasting some sliced potatoes and some broccoli on the same pan. I realized that all I needed was some cheese sauce and I could have a deconstructed broccoli and cheese potato! And then I started realizing the benefits of eating it this way. By slicing the potatoes instead of baking them whole, you can season every bite, you can get a delicious roasty crisp on each piece, and it cooks a lot faster. And roasted broccoli is so so good.
The cheese sauce is vegan and gluten free and can be made quickly in the blender while the veggies cook. It is very, very yellow. It gets a nice yellow color from the carrots and nutritional yeast, and then I went and sprinkled some turmeric in and it turned BRIGHT yellow! You can’t really taste the turmeric, so if you don’t want it so bright yellow, just leave it out. And yes, it has carrots in it! The sauce doesn’t taste carroty, but they give it a sweetness and softness that is perfect. If you have explored the world of vegan cheese sauce, you are probably used to seeing ingredients like carrots, squash, or sweet potatoes. I have done a lot a experimenting and have come up with my favorite combo of ingredients, and carrots were my winning veggie. If you are new to the idea of a cheese-less cheese sauce, don’t be scared away by the carrots! This sauce is far healthier than a cheese sauce laden with cheese and milk and butter, so this sauce is great even if you aren’t vegan and are just looking for a healthier alternative.
Oh, and can winter be over soon? Please?