If you had to imagine the healthiest poutine, this would probably come close to the top. First, it is vegan. Second, there are steamed greens include. Third, there are sweet potatoes and they are roasted, not deep-fried. Fourth, the cheese sauce is made from carrots and potatoes. Fifth, there are mushrooms in the gravy.
Why else should you make it? Well, judging by your comments (you guys will be making delicious Thanksgiving meals!) ,most of the components might be leftovers from your Thanksgiving meal. Or possibly a great option for a vegan Thanksgiving as you load up with different side dishes.
I first encountered the Green Poutine at Fresh, a local veg haven in Toronto. While it is listed as an appetizer, it was enough for a main meal and then some. This recipe is a bit more streamlined, but to give you an idea the resto version included deep-fried white or sweet potatoes topped with a mix of greens such as steamed baby bok choy, kale & swiss chard, along with the roasted mushroom gravy, fresh ‘cheese’ sauce, and topped with green onions and sunflower seeds. It was a glorious bowl of goodness.
Dishes from Fresh are often imitated (see knock off Buddha bowls, All Star bowls, and Dragon bowls as examples) but I have the real recipes. I already know I love, love, love their miso gravy and while it seems tedious to make all the components, it is actually pretty easy and they all taste fantastic individually.
Here we go!
I started off my making the roasted mushroom gravy at the same time the sweet potatoes were roasting. Roasting the mushrooms really highlights their earthy flavour. Mushroom haters would not like this, but Rob and I really enjoyed it. Almost as much as the miso gravy.
The next component was the cheese sauce. Potatoes are used as the sticky/starchy base and the carrot gives it a brilliant hue. While this was not at all like real nacho cheese, it melted well with the gravy for a satisfying dish.
Next, steam your greens. I used kale but feel free to choose your favourites. Baby bok choy sounds delightful.
Top with chunks of roasted sweet potatoes. Drizzle with the mushroom gravy and cheese sauce. I wanted a bit more protein, so I added some fresh tofu. Squeaky and firm when chewed, so kind of like cheese curds? Otherwise, sunflower seeds and chopped green onions worked well, too. But for a simple weeknight meal, the components can be brought together for a glorious supper.
Super Fresh is the third cookbook from the creators of the Fresh Restaurant. There are quite a few exceedingly gorgeous vegan cookbooks that have come out lately (The UnDiet Cookbook -read my review here– and Crossroads also come to mind) and this definitely gets top marks for pretty. (Sadly, there were no pictures for this dish in the book, but most recipes have photos. I just knew how awesome the recipe was, I really wanted to share it.)
Like their previous cookbooks, there are a few components to some dishes (dressings, sauces, tofu, etc) but overall, I found this to be a very approachable cookbook.
There are simple recipes. More simple than I thought. Examples include their tofu scramble, scallion cashew spread, Montego Bay corn soup with red lentils and spinach, Moroccan chickpea and stars soup, golden curried dal and even their fresh burger mix. Most of their soups, which I usually pass over as they are daily specials, really impress me. They are simple, wholesome vegan soups. There are quite a few juice and smoothie recipes, as well.
The more elaborate sandwiches, salads and bowls come directly from their menu – Sam Houston Burrito, Ace of Kales Salad, Phytosalad, All Star Salad, Samurai Soba Bowl, Ninja Bowl and Smart Bowl. The Smart Bowl combines their Miso Gravy with their House Dressing for fabulous results. You could slather it on anything to make it taste great. The Inside Out Summer Roll Bowl is pictured on the cover (see above) with a soba noodle base, spring mix, sprouts, tofu cubes, peanuts, avocado, lime, mint, cilantro and green onions.
I am so excited about this cookbook and thankfully, the publisher allowed me to giveaway the cookbook to a reader living in the United States or Canada. To be entered in the random draw for the book, please leave a comment below telling me which root vegetable you like the most and how you like to eat it. The winner will be selected at random on December 8, 2015. Good luck!
Recipes from Super Fresh spotted elsewhere:
Green Poutine-Style Sweet Potato
Reprinted, with permission from Super Fresh: Super Natural, Super Vibrant Vegan Recipes
Author’s note: At the restaurants we make vegan poutine with sweet potato fries. At home, when I’m craving our Green Poutine, I find it much easier to just roast a whole sweet potato and not bother with the whole process of making fries. The measurements for the “cheese” sauce and gravy are not exact because it totally depends on how big your sweet potato is and how much sauce you like! Another quick and easy sweet potato idea comes from my right-hand woman at Fresh, Gillian Mountney, who tops a baked sweet potato with a drizzle of olive oil, some finely chopped walnuts, and some salt and pepper.
2 sweet potatoes
1/2 tsp (2 mL) sunflower oil (optional)
4 cups (1 L) mixed greens (bok choy, Swiss chard, kale), steamed (see Tip)
1/2 to 1 cup (125 to 250 mL) Fresh “Cheese“ Sauce
1/2 to 1 cup (125 to 250 mL) Roasted Mushroom Gravy, warmed
4 tsp (20 mL) raw sunflower seeds (Janet’s note: I used fresh tofu)
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Using a fork, poke a bunch of holes in each sweet potato. Rub potatoes all over with oil. Place on a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven until tender, 45 to 60 minutes. (Alternatively, you can cook the potatoes in a microwave on High for 5 to 10 minutes or until tender.)
- Cut cooked potatoes in half lengthwise, and place two halves on each serving plate. Mash potatoes slightly with a fork to make some nooks and crannies for the sauces.
- Place steamed greens on top, then pour over “cheese” sauce and mushroom gravy.
- Sprinkle with sunflower seeds.
Tip: To steam greens: If you have a steamer insert, bring 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) of water to a boil in your saucepan. Add greens to the steamer insert, place over the boiling water, cover with lid, and steam for 3 to 5 minutes, until greens are tender and vibrant green. If you don’t have an insert, place 2 or 3 tbsp (30 to 45 mL) of water in the bottom of a large wok or pan, top with mixed greens, cover with a lid, and cook over high heat until greens are tender. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove steamed greens so you don’t add water to your dish.
Fresh “Cheese” Sauce
Author’s note: I tried so many ways to make a vegan cheese substitute. I soaked nuts, added probiotics, drained things overnight in cheesecloth, special ordered from Brooklyn, New York, and had to go pick them up … but nothing tasted good to me, and it just wasn’t worth all the trouble. I was about to give up. Then one day I stumbled across this idea somewhere on the internet. It was so fast, so easy, and so tasty I almost couldn’t believe it. You know how if you mash potatoes using a blade (like in a food processor), it turns gummy? Well, it’s that effect that makes this recipe work. The potatoes take on a gumminess that perfectly replicates melty cheese.
If you want to make the prep even easier, buy cans of cooked carrots and potatoes. Just rinse and drain, and you can have this sauce done in about a minute.
To make it really easy to use, put it into a squeeze bottle! You can get squeeze bottles for a couple of dollars at kitchen stores, or just reuse an old ketchup or mustard bottle.
2 cups (500 mL) peeled and chopped potatoes
3/4 cup (175 mL) peeled and chopped carrots
1/2 cup (125 mL) flaked nutritional yeast
1/3 cup (75 mL) sunflower oil
1/3 cup (75 mL) water
1 tbsp (15 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp (7 mL) sea salt
- In a saucepan full of boiling water, cook potatoes and carrots until very soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain.
- Combine cooked potatoes and carrots, nutritional yeast, oil, water, lemon juice, and salt in a container and, using an immersion blender, puree until smooth. If needed, add some more water to get a pourable consistency, 1 tbsp/15 mL at a time. (Alternatively, use a regular blender.) Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, this sauce will last for up 1 week.
Makes 3 cups (750 mL)
Roasted Mushroom Gravy
3 tbsp (45 mL) sunflower oil
2 cups (500 mL) sliced button mushrooms
2/3 cup (150 mL) finely diced onion (about 1 small)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp (10 mL) tamari
2 tbsp (30 mL) flaked nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup (60 mL) gluten-free all-purpose flour (we prefer Bob’s Red Mill)
2 ½ cups (625 mL) Vegetable Stock
Sea salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Combine mushrooms and 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil in a bowl and toss until well coated. Transfer to a roasting pan.
- Roast in preheated oven for 15 to 25 minutes or until mushrooms release their liquid. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add onions and garlic and cook for a 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.
- Stir in tamari, nutritional yeast, and pepper.
- Add flour and just enough stock to make a thin paste. Cook, stirring, until the raw taste of the flour cooks out.
- For a smooth gravy base, put immersion blender into pot and gradually add the rest of the stock while blending. Remove immersion blender. (If you don’t mind a gravy base with chunks of onion, just stir the rest of the stock in gradually with a wooden spoon, going slowly at first to avoid getting lumps of flour.)
- Add roasted mushrooms and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Use immediately or let cool,transfer to an airtight container, and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
Makes 2½ cups (625 mL)
From Super Fresh: Super Natural, Super Vibrant Vegan Recipes Copyright @ Fresh by Juice for Life, Ltd., 2015. Reprinted by permission of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Photography credit: Kyla Zanardi.
Note: I was given a copy of the cookbook from the publisher. I was under no obligation to share a review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.
Contest Rules: No purchase necessary. Contest period begins Tuesday, November 24, 2015 and ends Tuesday, December 8, 2015. For US and Canadian residents only. Approximate retail value $24.99. Enter by writing a comment answering the prompt for a chance to win. Entrants must supply a valid email address. Winners will be notified by email and must respond within 48 hours.