Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Baked Potato Buffet Bar Party!

"Oh, exalted PoTaTo!"
I am now a proud member of the potato club

lots of baked potatoes, a big bowl of chili, and a big bowl of steamed broccoli florets.

Last weekend, we hosted a family dinner at our house. My family is quite excellent -- but as you might recall from previous posts, we have quite a staggering array of dietary preferences. From salt-free + oil-free vegans on one end (my aunt & her partner) to teenagers who are definitely not enthusiastic about veggies (my brother's children and step children) and even a serious soy allergy. Ha ha, it's pretty funny.

So, somehow in conversation with my mom and my aunt, I realized we could have a baked potato bar party, and it would meet everyone's needs! 

Everyone loves chili on baked potatoes, so I made a batch of chili from "30-Minute Vegan." I hadn't ever made this recipe before, but I absolutely loved it. Possibly my new favorite chili recipe?! I did make a few substitutions (extra can of beans instead of seitan and doubled the quantity of chili powder...) to good effect. 

And my aunt and her partner brought along a huge and beautiful salad, which was a perfect side for hearty potatoes and fixins. 

I made a big spread of various toppings (in addition to the chili and broccoli):
Salsa, Sauteed Leeks, chopped Cilantro, Spicy Heidi Ho Cheeze
Avocado slices, BacoBits, Scallions, and Creamy Heidi Ho Cheeze

Yumz!! My brother's family also brought along a few non-vegan toppings (shunned from my photograph!!!), but they also tried and enjoy the Heidi Ho cheese, which is pretty cool.

potato sirsasana

my plate of goodness

I almost never make baked potatoes, but I gotta say, this was one of the most yummy and satisfying meals I've had in a while. It really Hit The Spot. As you can see, I had a sweet potato under all that good stuff! Everyone else wanted a regular potato, but I went the other way. Happily, there were actually a couple of baked potatoes left over, so I got to try that version for lunches over the next couple of days too. So delicious and filling and full of flavors and textures and colors.

sorry for the well-after-dark picture, but hopefully it's better than nothing

For dessert, I kept it simple - I made a batch of Dreena Burton's Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies (my favorite recipe ever) and a few baskets of fresh-from-the-farmers-market strawberries. Suffice it to say, there were not any dessert left overs! 
This dinner was so fun and such a hit with everyone, that I had to go out and buy a special mug for my potato friend.


  1. Your potato friend is so happy about his mug! Adorable!

  2. This is a GREAT idea!

    And I, too, would go for the sweet potato.

    Also, I want your plate for my lunch right now :)

  3. I love this idea! I am bookmarking this idea for my next family get together. And I am most likely going to have to put potatoes on next week's meal plan after drooling over this :-)

  4. Mmmm I love baked potatoes!! Some nights for dinner I do a roasted sweet potato topped with a bunch of guac!

  5. Yay! I wanna have a baked potato bar party!!! Your plate looks so perfect! AVOCADO!

  6. This was an excellent idea, Amey! Who doesn't love a spud? I don't believe I've ever met a person who didn't like potatoes. I love your potato sirsasana doodle! :)


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