Here at No Eggs or Ham, we love dishes with light flavors that subtly compliment one another to form an elegant, well put together dish (our spicy tamarind pasta is a good example). But, we also love super ultra mega indulgent dishes, stacked to the brim with flavor in every single bite. This is one of those dishes.
This dish also happens to be a fusion of several past No Eggs or Ham recipes, including: mushroom bacon, mac ‘n’ cheese, black beans, and sweet potato fries. Albeit, all of them have been altered to fit my current diet – as well as the flavor profile of this dish – and topple the mouth’s tastebuds with orgasmic intensity.
These loaded chili cheese fries are a far cry from the processed bowling alley junk we grew up with. First and foremost, everything is prepared from scratch! Secondly, everything’s plant-based. Thirdly, each aspect of this dish is seasoned uniquely, so that when everything melds together in hot bliss at the end, the flavors are one hundred percent rich, full, and satisfying. Fourthly – is that even a word? – there’s no lectins to be found here! All in all, this is a nostalgic flavored feast for lectin-limited, vegan folk who miss indulging in gooey, cheesy, savory fare.
At the base of our meal is crispy baked sweet potato fries. But more than that, our thinly sliced white sweet potato is seasoned with paprika and cayenne for a pleasant kick, tossed with olive oil for paper-wrinkling crispiness, and baked at 500° F to harden & lightly burn the exterior before the inside turns to mush. If burnt fries aren’t your thing, we understand. Simply remove them from the oven a few minutes shy of our pre-destined time.
Next up in line of combat is our black bean chili, made from – you guessed it – Eden’s canned black beans! How’d you know I was gonna say that?!
Of course, Eden pressure cooks their beans in the can, which rids them of all their lectins. As a bonus, it doesn’t require 2 hours to cook canned beans, as it would for dry beans.
Our chili is predominately seasoned with liquid smoke, fresh garlic, chili powder, cumin, and a few drops of stevia for subtle sweetness, making these beans half chili, half baked beans. Because they’re already cooked, you only need to heat them on the stove for 15 minutes. However, being that the entire operation takes about an hour, I let them sit on the stove over low heat to let the flavors meld even longer, because a longer cook time equals tastier beans.
Next – and perhaps the best part – is the nacho cheese sauce, which is seasoned with apple cider vinegar and dijon mustard for a sharp bite – flavors akin to those found in cheddar cheese – and loads of nutritional yeast for general “cheesiness.” As a thickener, we reach for arrowroot starch as it thickens sauces mighty quick with mighty intensity. Plus, arrowroot-thickened sauces obtain a certain stringiness once they’ve reached a boil, giving them even more likeness to sauces with actual cheese in them. For this reason, it’s our go-to thickener for any cheese & alfredo sauces!
Lastly, the cherry – or should I say bacon – on top is our mushroom bacon bits! These are crispy, uber-umami packed, irresistible nuggets of goodness, and they couldn’t be more simple to make. First, we cut up shiitake mushrooms into small chunks. Then, we toss them with olive oil, smoked salt, black pepper, and bake them at 350° F for 45 minutes – at which point, the mushrooms have shrunken to half their original size and melt in the mouth.
We derived the concept of this bacon from a vegan, fast-food chain by the name of By Chloe, who top off their mac n’ cheese with “mushroom bacon.” After inquiring further, we discovered that the only ingredients used to create this delicacy is shiitake mushrooms, olive oil, and sea salt. Given bacon’s smoky flavor, however, we subbed out the regular salt for smoked salt, which adds an authentic twist to these shrooms. Thanks for the delicious technique, By Chloe!
We hope you enjoy our vegan, lectin-limited take on Loaded Chili Cheese Fries! This dish is: lightly spicy, crispy, melty, smoky, indulgent, and nostalgic.
If you like what your taste buds are tellin’ ya, leave behind a nice rating, share your thoughts with us in the comments, or show us your creations by tagging @noeggsorham on Instagram.
Ryan & Kim
Loaded Chili Cheese Fries
Lightly burnt, spiced white sweet potato fries are topped with sweet & smoky black bean chili, gooey nacho cheese sauce, and crispy, umami bacon bits.
Nacho Cheese Sauce
- 1/2 c water
- 1/4 c full-fat coconut milk
- 1/4 c nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp arrowroot starch
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp salt
Spiced Sweet Potato Fries
- 1 white or Hannah sweet potato, cut into thin strips
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
Black Bean Chili
- 1 can (15 oz) Eden’s black beans
- 1/4 c water
- 4 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 8 drops liquid stevia (roughly 1/8 tsp)
Mushroom Bacon Bits
- 1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, cut into small chunks (about the size of your thumb’s nail)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Heavy pinch smoked salt or sea salt (about 1/4 tsp)
- Heavy pinch ground black pepper (about 1/4 tsp)
- Green onions, thinly sliced
- Cilantro, roughly chopped
- Mushroom Bacon Bits: Pre-heat oven to 350° F and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, toss together mushroom pieces with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Spread atop prepped cookie sheet, ensuring mushrooms aren’t cluttered together. Bake at 350° F for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer to a plate, and let cool for at least 10 minutes. Boost oven temperature to 500° F for fries.
- Black Bean Chili: Place all of the ingredients in a medium sauce pot over medium-high heat. Stirring frequently, bring to a boil. Then drop the heat to low, cover with a lid, and cook for at least 15 minutes – stirring occasionally – or until the rest of meal is prepared.
- If the beans become dry, add a splash more water. Once ready to serve, remove bay leaf.
- Spiced Sweet Potato Fries: Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, toss together all ingredients until evenly incorporated.
- Disperse fries evenly among prepped sheets – ensuring each fry has space around it – and place in 500° F oven for 13-17 minutes. Remove at the 7 minute mark, stir fries around with a spatula, and rotate pans, placing the bottom pan on top and vice versa.
- Bake until fries are fork tender & crisp to your liking. We like ours lightly burnt, so we keep them in for 17 minutes, but if you prefer softer fries, you may want to take them out after 14 minutes.
- Nacho Cheese Sauce: Combine all of the ingredients in a personal-sized blender, or lidded mason jar, and blend or shake vigorously until all arrowroot is smoothed out. About 10 seconds for blender and 30 seconds for mason jar method.
- Assembling: Disperse fries evenly among two plates or baskets. Then, top each one with half of the beans, half of the cheese sauce, half of the mushroom bacon bits, and a sprinkle of green onions or cilantro and cayenne.
- Serve immediately! Once assembled, leftovers don’t keep well.