This is another one of those posts that is a recipe, but more an idea than a straight-up, dictatorial recipe. When I was a kid, my mother would sometimes make “potato boats” for special occasions. It’s not that twice-baked potatoes are hard, but the baking things twice part does take time — and there’s the cooling off in between so that you can handle the potato. In college, a friend told me her family used to make meals of these potatoes. A meal made up of potatoes is right up my alley, and I was thinking all sorts of possibilities come out of this.
So this is a tuna casserole-style potato boat meal, but there have to be an infinite number of other options. How big is your imagination? How about a leftover chili twice-baked, topped with some vegan cheese? Or a jambalaya potato, stew potato, curried spinach potato? What do you have leftover in your fridge? (Bonus suggestion: While I tried really hard to do a twice-baked sweet potato, structurally, it was not possible. But leftover chili over a sweet potato is an incredible lunch combo.)
For this recipe, though, I’m going with a reimagined classic, tuna casserole. In this version, the mashed potato takes the place of noodles, and I’ve made a mushroom duxelle sauce to use in place of the can of cream of mushroom soup, relying on a herbes de provence blend of herbs to elevate this to a more adult palate of flavor while not destroying the comfort food base. These can be prepared the day before and just baked the final time before serving.
Tuna Casserole Twice-Baked Meal Potatoes
Makes 4 potatoes
- 4 large baking potatoes
- 1 1/4 cup cooked chopped broccoli
- 5 Tablespoons Earth Balance or other fat
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 8 oz white button mushrooms (one small package), cleaned and chopped
- 1 Tablespoon herbes de provence blend of herbs
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon non-dairy milk
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 6 oz of safe for you tuna (watch out for soy, particularly, if that’s an allergen)
Bake potatoes at 350°F for 90 minutes.
If you need to, cook and chop the broccoli.
In a large skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of your fat. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent. Add the mushrooms, and cook until they’ve shrunk and released their moisture. Then add the herbs, dry mustard, and stir thoroughly. Add the additional 2 tablespoons of fat, melt it, and then add the non-dairy milk and cook for a few minutes. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper.
When the potatoes are baked and then cool enough to handle, cut a slim slice off the top, length-wise, and scoop the cooked potato out into a bowl, being careful not to destroy the skin. Do this for all the potatoes. Add the mushroom mixture and mash the potatoes thoroughly, adding more non-dairy milk if needed. Mix in the broccoli and the tuna.
Spoon the mixture back into your prepared potato skin shells, making a pretty mound on top of each.
At this point, you can either cover these and refrigerate them, or you can proceed straight to the second baking.
If you are baking potatoes that you’ve just prepared, they are at room temperature or warmer, so bake them at 350°F for 25 minutes uncovered.
If you have refrigerated the potatoes overnight, cover them with foil and bake for 25 minutes at 350°F. Then uncover and bake 25 minutes longer.
Enjoy with a little side salad — or just on their own.