What’s a vegan to do when she wants deviled eggs? Use plants, of course!
Full disclosure – I am not a vegan, even though the focus of this blog is largely vegan food. You know how some meat-eaters will say they are semi-vegetarian because they eat vegetarian most of the time, but occasionally have meat for dinner? I like to say I’m semi-vegan, or “veganish,” as Kathy Freston called it on Oprah’s vegan show a few months ago. I keep a vegan fridge, make vegan baked goods, don’t drink milk, and eat no animal products about 75% of the time; but the other 25% of the time I may have some eggs or cheese. I’ve been trying to lessen my intake of animal products year by year, but every now and then I’m swayed by a caprese salad or a deviled egg.
Enter Potato Angels!
I found this recipe for mock deviled eggs on VegWeb, a great resource for free and easy vegan recipes. So much of my vegetarian experience these past fives years has been due to this website. I had actually seen some vegan deviled egg recipes before, but they involved putting a seasoned tofu mixture into a carved block of unflavored tofu. Now, I like tofu – even cold and unseasoned, occasionally, if it’s in a salad or whatnot. But eating this tofu deviled egg of sorts just sounded … well, really unappetizing. As someone who grew up eating delicious deviled eggs my mom would make, that was a tough sell. I wanted a cruelty-free option to deviled eggs, but I didn’t want it to be one I choked down at a party, with the only pleasure coming from the fact that it didn’t come from an abused hen. I mean, that’s a great source of satisfaction, but when it comes to food, you want the source to taste good too! Thus, a recipe with potatoes came to save the day!
The recipe starts with having you roast new potatoes which are cut in half. They also recommend peeling them, but I chose not to because all the good stuff is in the skin. Deviled eggs are not health food, and neither are these potato angels; but I wanted to maintain as many good properties of the original potato as possible. You then coat the potatoes in olive oil and roast them face down for 40-45 minutes at 350 F. This may seem like a long time, and I was skeptical; but 40 minutes made them perfect. Just keep an eye on them; I removed mine when the peel started to get really wrinkly.
While you roast the potatoes, you can start preparing your filling. In a bowl, you mix vegan mayonnaise (I love Follow Your Heart – best taste and texture, hands down), yellow mustard, finely-chopped onion, hot sauce, garlic powder, salt/pepper, and turmeric. The recipe cites the turmeric as optional, but I highly recommend it because it adds the bold yellow color that defines deviled eggs. Plus, turmeric is good for you, so it adds some more healthy properties! Mixing these ingredients with a fork is the way to go. I mixed until the mixture turned yellow, signaling the turmeric was fully-incorporated. Usually this means everything else is mixed as well.
Now, let’s assemble these bad boys. To start, take a sharp knife (I used a dicing knife) and carve a hole into your potato half so as to make a bowl or cup shape. You can also finish the job with a butter knife so you can scrape out excess potato without slicing and dicing your “egg” base.
Throw the filling you’ve carved out into the mayo/mustard mixture and mix well. Then, scoop it into your hollowed-out potatoes! I started to get fancy and do this with a frosting pumper to create pretty stars, but the onions and potato pieces made this difficult; so I just scooped in the filling with a teaspoon. Then you just sprinkle on the key ingredient: paprika! And you’re done! You can chill in the fridge, or serve at room temperature – your choice.
Now, for any egg enthusiasts out there, this is not meant to be an exact replica of deviled eggs as far as taste. While potatoes and eggs both have relatively neutral flavors, they are distinct enough to where yes, there will be a difference; and this isn’t an exact mock. However, if you are craving something in the style of deviled eggs, but want something simple, whole plant-based, and relatively-free of excess processing (the most processed ingredient is the vegan mayo), then these Potato Angels are for you. The vegan mayo, mustard, and onion are the most prominent flavors, but everything melds together to create an excellent deviled egg substitute that’s perfect for a picnic, cookout, or other gathering.