In honour of poutine week, I put together a little poutine at The Table by topping their roasted potatoes with their mushroom and tofu sauce. Tofu can be a great substitute for cheese in vegan poutines. The only thing missing in this case was ketchup! For those new to the Ottawa veg scene, The Table is a vegetarian, mostly-vegan, mostly gluten-free restaurant in Hintonburg. Like Montreal’s Le Commensal, The Table is a buffet where patrons pay for their food by weight. Unlike Le Commensal, the dishes change fairly frequently so you won’t get bored by their offerings, even if you go once or twice a week as I do. Now, back to poutine…
Having been born and raised in Montreal, my love for poutine didn’t stop when I embraced veganism. I just had to get a little more creative when “poutine” things together.
Here is another tofu-in-lieu-of-cheese version I made a while back. I cubed half a block of Soyganic organic smoked tofu and soaked the cubes in warm gravy for a few minutes (any store-bought or homemade vegan gravy will do, watch out for whey and milk solids in store-bought gravy mixes). Next, I topped some baked sweet potato fries with grated Daiya (a widely available vegan cheese; I used the cheddar flavour for this particular poutine). When using Daiya in any poutine, I’ve found that grating it myself from a block yields shreds that melt better and have a nicer texture than the pre-shredded stuff.
I threw together a similar creation with potato wedges, mushrooms (you’ll be seeing a lot more about mushrooms from this maven, no matter how much Pamela objects), and grated Jalapeno Garlic Havarti by Daiya. Daiya’s Havarti wedge is my favourite cheese for vegan poutine thus far.
Last but not least, sometimes when I’m feeling really lazy, I’ll order fries from the pizzeria down the street for takeout. By the time the fries are ready for pickup (or by the time they’ve been delivered to my door when I’m really lazy), my gravy is ready and waiting on the stovetop and the cheese has been grated (grating a whole wedge of daiya and freezing unused shreds in a tightly sealed bag for future use also works well: frozen shreds can be added directly to the poutine as long as the fries and gravy are hot enough). Throw everything together and voila! Vegan poutine in under 20 minutes.