Would you go to a steakhouse for an upscale vegan experience?
It seems so counter-intuitive, eh?
I was hesitant, though. Could a steakhouse really have great vegan food? It turns out that they recently hired Doug McNish, Raw Aura‘s former vegan chef that catapulted raw food into my dream books. He added a complete vegan menu at Prime, so I was confident that this would not be subpar vegan eats.
I priced out their Winterlicious menu. It turned out it was cheaper to pick from their standard vegan menu than to limit oneself to the vegan options on fixed price menu, especially since there was overlap between the options.
I opted to try the wild mushroom and pearl barley risotto with crispy sage and truffle oil as a starter. It was decadent and delicious. It was also rich and filling, so I decided to pace myself and take half of it home. Rob tried the nori rolls stuffed with a creamy ginger dill sunflower seed pate but we didn’t find them that exceptional.
For our mains, I happily munched on the herbed portobello mushroom and tempeh burger which was the highlight of the night. I have never had such a flavourful veggie burger. Unfortunately, the sweet potato fries were subpar, even after I asked for fresh ones since mine were cold. They also forgot to give me the sun-dried tomato aioli, but I am glad I reminded them because it was really good with the burger.
Rob had been pining over the cornmeal crusted tempeh steaks, spiced sweet potato coconut mash, steamed greens with caramelized onion and cherry tomato relish but we both found it lackluster. I suppose we’ve been spoiled by great vegan eats from Blossom Cafe, Candle 79 and Pure Food and Wine in NYC.
For dessert, I was salivating the vegan Mango Cheesecake with a Raspberry Coulis. When I packed my risotto earlier, I wanted to make room for this dessert. However, it was bad. It was uber sweet but in a dry icing sugar kind of way. Turns out, I can make a better version at home anyhow (remember those Mango Paradise Bars?)
I enjoy raw food because the flavours really pop. At Prime, although their meals are not raw, their tempeh burger had great flavours mingling together which is what captured me into the dish. Here, these mini burgers are flavoured with shiitake mushrooms, sage, rosemary, garlic with bulk from pumpkin seeds and sweet potato. They don’t require a long dehydration time since you want to maintain some moisture. Don’t have a dehydrator? I bet they could easily be baked for 15 minutes or so but I can’t say for sure.
I ate my sliders as mini sandwiches with a slice of tomato as the base, followed by a bed of alfalfa sprouts. The slider was then topped with a smear of avocado with a touch of salt. Delicious!
Sweet Potato Mushroom “Sliders”
Adapted from Rawmazing
1 large clove garlic
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and coarsely chopped
16 oz mushrooms, coarsely chopped (I used stemmed shiitake mushrooms but anything could work)
1/2 red onion, chopped (approx 1 cup)
1 cup pumpkin seeds ground into flour
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
Freshly cracked Pepper, to taste
2-3 tomatoes, sliced
1. Using a food processor, finely chop garlic.
2. Add the sweet potato and process until finely chopped. Remove mixture to a medium bowl.
3. Add the mushrooms and process until finely chopped. Add to the sweet potato mixture.
4. Add the onions and process until finely chopped. Add to the sweet potato mixture.
5. If you haven’t already, add the pumpkin seeds and process until you obtain a fine flour. Add to the sweet potato mixture.
6. Add the remaining ingredients to the sweet potato mixture and mix well.
7. Roll batter into 2-inch balls on non-stick dehydrator sheet and then squish into a 3″ circle.
8. Dehydrate at 145F for 1 hour, turn down heat to 105F and continue to dehydrate for another 3-4 hours. Check half-way to see if they can be flipped onto a mesh screen. Do not dehydrate too dry, you want to maintain moisture. To serve, lay sliced tomato, top with sprouts and slider, then smear avocado mashed with a bit of salt.
Makes 30 “sliders”.