Chili Cheese Fries – A decadent snack
Let me just say it. I am a decadent eater. Always have been. Inherently, this trait leads to an unhealthy diet and chili cheese fries is easily one of those less than healthy choices. Many people refer to this recipe as a heart attack waiting to happen. (High in salt, high in fat, and artery-clogging amounts of cheese.) Given these points, healthy food advocates simply remove this recipe from their diet. With this in mind, I am leading the charge to re-introduce a health-conscious version of chili cheese fries.
Vegan Chili Cheese Fries
- 1 bag frozen waffle potatoes
- 1 pkg Daiya cheddar cheeze sauce
- 2 tbsp Kate Hill cream cheese (non-dairy)
- 2 tbsp Miyoko MOZZ Cheese (non-dairy)
- 1/3 cup Almond milk
- 1 cup Vegan chili
- In a hot air fryer, cook waffle potatoes until crispy (15-18 minutes at 375 F)
- In a sauce pan, add 1 pouch Daiya CHEEZ sauce, Cream Cheese and MOZZ cheese. Add Almond Milk. Cook at low temperature while mixing with a whisk. Cheese sauce should be smooth.
- Arrange waffle fries on a large plate. Spoon half of the cheese sauce on top of the fries.
- Spoon on the vegan chili. Make sure you get nice coverage on the the fries.
- Spread rest of cheese sauce on top of the chili.
Who invented chili cheese fries?
If there ever is a time to answer “No Comment”, it would be now. Stories from Texas, Missouri, Ohio, Michigan, and Philadelphia all claim rights to this honor. No matter which account you choose to favor, one fact remains clear: None of those recipes were vegan. So feel free to invent your own method.
Vegan chili is not new. Dozens of fabulous recipes are readily available, including our award-winning Smokey Jack vegan chili. What is clear is that vegan chili is generally low in fat, low in sodium, and packed with nutrients. All of which keeps our chili cheese fries recipe on the healthy side of snacking.
Frozen potatoes and a Hot Fryer
Oddly, our recipe calls for using frozen potatoes. Typically, I prefer fresh ingredients, but for this recipe, I love using waffle-cut fries. In my mind, the waffle fries look better and allow a better distribution of cheese and chili. Also, I use a hot air fryer to give these fries that deep-fried crunchy texture while at the same time using zero cooking oil. Again, the focus is on healthy eating.
Perfect cheese sauce in a Vegan kitchen
One of the keys to excellent chili cheese fries is a gooey, smooth, creamy cheese sauce. In the vegan kitchen, a good cheese sauce is difficult to make. Plant-based cheese does not melt well, and in my cheese-loving opinion, vegan cheese tastes terrible. Consequently, I labored many hours to produce a perfect vegan cheese sauce. I highly recommend you follow our cheese ingredient choices carefully.
How healthy is this recipe?
I am not going to lie. Our recipe does not score well on the vegan health scale. Although, they are “Health Giants” when compared to traditional cheese fry recipes. Overall, this recipe delivers 70% less fat, 30% less sodium, 50% fewer calories, and 20% fewer carbohydrates. At the same time, it provides a decent amount of protein, fiber, calcium, vitamin C, and iron. So, is the recipe healthy? I say YES.
Fooling your guests
Far too often, I lie to my dinner guests. That is to say, many people reject a recipe based on its title. So, these people will eat a hundred plates of cheese fries but will not touch one plate of VEGAN cheese fries. Trust me when I say, present this dish as merely “chili cheese fries.” (Skip the word “vegan”)
A few classic toppings
- Sliced jalapenos – Add a little kick to your recipe
- Fresh cilantro – Add color and extra flavor
- Green onions – Chopped green onions adds appeal to this dish
- Sour Cream – Nothing like a dab of sour cream
- Bell Peppers – Use red or green peppers for an inspiring look
This recipe is a newcomer to my vegan cookbook. Early reactions are mixed. It is important to note, this recipe is a COVID-19 creation. That is to say, it was created during the Coronavirus pandemic, meaning I have not had the opportunity to serve these fries to any of my vegan friends. Nevertheless, I am confident our vegan chili cheese fries recipe is soon to become a favorite.