Isn't that an oxymoron? Chili cheese fries can't possibly be low-fat, can they? If they are made the #thevegan8way, they can be. These are comfort food, without the guilt or extra lbs. Potatoes are super filling and good for you and so is every other ingredient. So, go on, eat chili cheese fries happily, no shame. This is basically healthy fast food. It takes a little longer than a drive-thru, but certainly worth the health factor and effort. As promised on Instagram, here is the recipe.
Funny little story about that adorable litte hand there. I was standing on top of my wobbly ottoman to capture this overhead shot (the things we do as bloggers) and I didn't even realize my daughter was reaching for the fries. I was focused on centering and just didn't notice it. I did hear her say beneath me, "oh, these aren't cooked yet". Haha. When I was editing my photos, I just beamed when I saw this photo. I swear, something that simple made me so happy. Her beautiful little hand. This is probably one of my favorite photos ever now. I know, I'm a total goober, but I'm just being honest. It was unexpected.
Ok, back to these bad boys.
Big sloppy, messy plate of yumminess right there. This is kind of like a fast food type of chili...simple and few ingredients to meet that craving. If you are wanting a full blown chili recipe, be sure to try my Mexican Chili. It's gotten rave reviews here on the blog and on Instagram and it's 1 Pot!
This recipe is made for anybody really, as it is vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, grain-free and nut-free and extremely low-fat. Just 8 ingredients (+ salt & water).
This recipe is full of protein. Who the heck says you can't get enough protein on a vegan diet?? That is the biggest misconception out there, not to mention, there is such a thing as too much protein, which can be harmful to your kidneys. I used to eat a ridiculous amount, yet still felt hungry. Now I eat a balance of protein, lots and lots of good carbs, some fats and guess what, I've never felt better because they are whole foods. Carbs are not the enemy friends...not the natural, plant-based ones. Carbs are full of fiber and vitamins and digest way better than protein. There is practically protein in every plant based food, naturally. Have you ever heard of anybody being protein deficient? Nope. This amazing recipe clocks in at less than 1 g fat per serving and almost 16 g protein!! Yeehaw.
It is super simple too, just following a few steps. You will first bake the potatoes and while they are baking, prepare the incredibly simple chili quickly over the stove and then the cheese.
I decided to get a little creative with the cheese part. After you make this yummy chili mixture, you will take part of it and blend that up with some nutritional yeast and lemon juice and it makes the cheese really flavorful. When combining it all together on the plate, it's a happy tastebud party!
Can't wait to hear what you think of these, so please leave me feedback below in the comments after you make them! I love to keep permanent track of my recipe comments, so it’s much appreciated. You can also tag me on Instagram@thevegan8 with hashtag #thevegan8, so I don’t miss it! My feed moves quickly, so without the hashtag, I may miss your beautiful creation!
Comfort food made simple and low-fat, without sacrificing flavor! These chili cheese fries are a great way to eat a healthy version of fast food, but actually be good for you. By utilizing the same ingredients in both the chili and cheese, it keeps the ingredient list low and simple. Go ahead, eat some "fast food"!
35 minPrep Time
35 minCook Time
1 hr, 10 Total Time
2 lbs yukon gold potatoes (You'll need about 6 cups chopped 1/2 inch fry wedges)
FOR THE CHILI
2 small or 1 large red bell pepper, chopped (184 g, you will need 1 3/4 cups chopped)
1/2 large white onion, chopped (160 g, you will need 1 cup chopped)
1/2 tablespoon chili powder (+ 2 more teaspoons towards the end of cooking, see directions)
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
Optional: 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup water
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (added towards the end of cooking, see directions)
1 1/2 cups cooked red kidney beans (290 g)
FOR THE CHEESY SAUCE
1/2 cup of the above cooked chili mixture
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice (don't omit!)
2 tablespoons water
good pinch salt
Vegan sour cream, green onions, parsley, hot sauce (I only added hot sauce and some parsley)
Please note in the directions of making the chili, you will be adding spices at 2 separate times since you are adding water 2 separate times. This is important to layer the flavors this way.
First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a large sheet pan with parchment paper to prevent sticking. No oil is needed! Rinse (don't peel) and chop your potatoes into 1/2 inch wedges. Spread them out evenly on the pan, being careful not to overlap them. Salt and pepper very generously and bake for 30-35 minutes until very golden brown. I did mine for 34 minutes. Then, for extra crispiness, turn on your broiler for 1-2 minutes. Watch closely.
To prepare the chili, add all of the ingredients (except the beans and nutritional yeast) listed under "Chili" to a large pan and stir well. Bring to a boil, once it's boiling, turn to medium heat and cover. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times during. At the end of the ten minutes, all of the water should be gone. Mine took exactly 10 minutes.
While the veggies are cooking, roughly mash the beans with a fork, leaving some whole. After the 10 minutes is up for the veggies, add the beans and another 1/2 cup of water, 2 teaspoons chili powder and 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast. Adding these at the 2nd part of cooking enhances the flavor, since you are adding more water. Heat through just until thickened. Turn off the heat. Taste and add any more salt or seasoning. I didn't add anything extra. If you want your chili more soupy, add more water, but you may need more spice then. I like mine chunky.
Add 1/2 cup of the above chili mixture to a food processor with the remaining "cheesy sauce" ingredients. Blend until completely smooth. Add water if needed. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired. I didn't add anything else. Keep in mind this will not taste identical to cheese, but has a cheesy flavor and goes excellent on the finished dish!
Serve the chili over the fries and drizzle some cheese on top. I then added a bit of parsley, green onions or jalapenos on top. Add vegan sour cream, tomatoes or any other toppings you like. I added some hot sauce and oh boy, it took it over the top!
Hi! I'm Brandi, a wife and mom behind this blog who healed her husband's gout and my digestion issues through a plant-based diet. I'm not complicated, I keep things simple. All my recipes are 8 ingredients or less, not including salt, pepper and water. They are allergy-friendly, as they are all vegan, oil-free and nearly all are gluten-free. You'll find lots of baked goods here, as I've been a baker all my life, it's my passion!