A real cultural marker, poutine is Quebec's "embarrassing but adored" junk food. It consists of french fries and squeaky cheese curds topped with warm gravy. Since I'm not a fan of the greasy and "mushy" version, I make my own healthy vegan poutine to satisfy my "comfort food" cravings. I use oven baked fries and tofu instead of cheese curds. My homemade "gravy" sauce is made from healthy ingredients and is completely vegan. It's also a great substitute to the traditional gravy that accompanies my thanksgiving or christmas dishes (like vegetarian meatballs or meat pie). I've tried a lot of vegan gravy recipes (made from mushrooms, beans or thicken broth gravy) and this one is by far my favorite !
I like to eat my poutine with sautéed wild mushrooms, but you could also add green peas, red cabbage, caramelized onions or serve it just as is !
My vegan "poutine"
Gravy adapted from Oh She Glows
Yield : 4 servings
- Potatoes of your choice (sweet potatoes can also been used for a colourful alternative)
- Olive oil
- Sea salt
- Green onions (for garnish)
Ingredients for the gravy :
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (more information here)
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch or tapioca starch
- 2 tablespoons tahini (or 1/4 cup sesame seeds if you have a high speed blender)
- 1.5 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1.5 tablespoon blackstrap molasses or maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup raw cashews (optional - adds more creaminess to the gravy) - See note
- A few drops of natural liquid smoke (optional)
- Fresh grounded black pepper, to taste
Tofu "cheese" ingredients :
- 1 bloc firm tofu (around 500g)
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 4 teaspoons sea salt
- Preheat your oven to 450F. Slice the potatoes in your desired shape and put them in a bowl filled with water. Let them soak for an hour or more, but if you run out of time, try to let them soak for at least 15 minutes. This will remove some of the starch, making the french fries more crispy once baked. Lay your oiled potatoes on a oiled baking sheet and let bake until golden and crispy (around 20-40 minutes, depending on the type and shapes of your potatoes). Be sure to give them a turn every 10-15 minutes and to keep an eye on them.
- To make the tofu cheese curds, mix the salt with the lemon juice and stir well. You can either cut the tofu into cubes or irregularly cut it by hand. Soak the tofu in the liquid for about 30 minutes (not more). Rinse well and drain. Set aside.
- For the gravy, blend all ingredients until smooth. In a pot on medium heat, add the sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce to low temperature and stir frequently until thicken. Remove from heat. Add fresh grounded black pepper to taste. If your gravy is too thick, you may have to add a little bit of broth or water. I often double the gravy recipe and freeze the rest to have it ready for my next poutine (you may have to blend it for a few seconds after defrosting it to obtain the smooth texture) !
- To keep your fries crispy, add the tofu cheese curds and gravy only a few seconds prior to serving. Top with chopped green onions.
Note : if you choose to do the sauce without the cashews, you may need to add 1 teaspoon extra of cornstarch.