Thursday, April 7, 2011

Vegan Pesto Twice Baked Potatoes with THI'SL, Races, Diamond Rings and PS I Love You

I don't like baked potatoes. It stems from my many meals at steak houses as a vegetarian. There usually isn't anything for me to eat aside from a baked potato. This has led to me to look at the baked potato as what people who can't cook anything but meat make for vegetarians. But something happens to that potato if it is baked a second time. In just moments that little spud goes from being spartan to gourmet, from single material to playlist worthy.

Vegan Pesto Twice Baked Potatoes
(printable version)

-2 baking potatoes
-1 can quartered artichokes, diced
-4 Tbs. soft silken tofu
-1 cup spinach
-vegan pesto
-salt and pepper (to taste)
-bread crumbs
-olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Puncture the potatoes a number of times on each side. Using enough aluminum foil to cover the potato completely, fold the sides and pour in some olive oil. Place the potato in the oil and roll to cover. Season with salt and pepper. Wrap the potato and place in the oven for 50 minutes. Repeat with the other three potatoes.

2. In a metal bowl, mash together the tofu, artichoke hearts, spinach and pesto (add pine nuts too if you can afford them).

3. When the potatoes are done, remove them from the oven and slice in half (I did this without allowing them to cool because it was easier). Use a tablespoon to scoop out the flesh leaving a thin layer of potato on the skin. Add the scooped out potato flesh to the tofu mixture. Repeat with other potatoes. Mash until well mixed.

4. Season the tofu mixture with salt and pepper (if necessary) and refill both halves of the potato with a heaping mound of filling. Top with bread crumbs. Drizzle with olive oil. Place potatoes back in the oven and bake again for nine minutes. Become one with the potato.

In case the playlist didn't tip you off let me state the obvious: I listened to a lot of music while making this recipe. A few songs that didn't make the cut of the playlist were tracks by THI'SL, Races and PS I Love You Featuring Diamond Rings.

THI'SL is an interesting story. He was a former crack addict dealer turned christian rapper who feels it is his duty to bring his message to those in his hometown who face the same problems he once had. His debut video "I Hate You" is off his Chronicles of an X-Hustler record (released in 2009) and hits the crack issue head on.

Playing the opposite role is Races. Instead of finding Jesus, they lost him (they were formerly known as Black Jesus). They have a new single out "Big Broom" in preparation for their debut 7 inch on Jaxart Records. The single is limited to 500 copies so pre-order yours now. A full length should be coming later this year.

Races-Big Broom

Almost everything Diamond Rings touches turns to gold for me. He makes an appearance on "Leftovers" by PS I Love You and it certainly does not become the exception to the rule.

PS I Love You - Leftovers