I think I’m the most excited I’ve ever been! Guys, I made the ultimate vegan poutine with cheese curds that SQUEAK!!!
Traditional poutine, if you’re not familiar with this Canadian comfort food is a layer of crispy french fries and cheese curds smothered in delicious, warm gravy. So how does this fit in with this health kitchen? Well, a traditional poutine definitely would not.
This version is lightened up, and although still not a health food per say, it’s FAR healthier and FAR fewer calories than traditional poutine. So grab a fork and DIG IN to this one! 🙂
How do you make vegan poutine?
I like russet potatoes for this recipe because they make longer french fries. If you don’t have any on hand, other potato varieties will be just fine.
Poutine fries should be crispy, but in the interest of health and all, I’m making these potato fries using very little oil, some seasoning, and cornstarch to add extra crispiness, without the fried. If you’re avoiding oil, you can still bake the fries using a little water or broth on a baking tray with parchment paper. Use very little liquid and spray more on the fries as they’re cooking, if possible.
Make sure the fries are in a single layer with some space in between, so that they don’t stick to one another. I use this french fry cutter to make shoestring french fries. If you don’t have a tool, you may also use a sharp knife. I prefer shoestring for ultimate crispiness, but you may cut them a little thicker if preferred.
How to make the cheese curds (that SQUEAK!!!)
Follow my instructions for this vegan mozzarella cheese, using only half the recipe ingredients. Then refrigerate while you prepare the gravy.
Can you tell I’m excited about the squeak? I’m SO excited!!
For all of you rolling your eyes at me, let me explain. True cheese curds squeak when they are freshly made. After sitting in the fridge, for even just a day, the squeakiness can be lost. As moisture gets into the cheese, the texture changes and squeak is gone. So when you’re eating a traditional poutine, you want to hear a squeak as you bite into the cheese curd. This will indicate it’s freshly made.
In the case of my vegan mozzarella cheese, I discovered it’s squeak completely by accident. After refrigerating the leftover cheese I made, and scooping it with a melon baller (to resemble cheese curds), is when I heard the squeak. At first, I thought I was hearing things. But sure enough, this cheese squeaks when scooping it out!!! How cool is that???
Once you’ve prepped the cheese and have your fries going in the oven, get your gravy made.
The mushroom gravy is super simple to make. Just cook up the mushrooms, add some broth, and then flour to thicken it up.
If you’re not a mushroom fan, you can follow the same technique with onions instead.
Gravy usually uses butter or oil, but in the interest of cutting calories, I’m skipping those ingredients. The taste is still phenomenal.
Can you prepare vegan poutine ahead of time?
You can fully prepare the vegan mozzarella cheese, and refrigerate up to 1-2 days beforehand. You may also make the gravy ahead of time and just reheat it when needed. However, the french fries taste best when freshly made, so I wouldn’t make the fries in advance. But having the toppings ready to go will definitely save you time.
- French Fry Cutter
For the Fries
- 1.5 lbs russet potatoes
- 1 tsp avocado oil or skip for oil free
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp rosemary
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
For the Cheese
- 1/2 recipe vegan mozzarella cheese
For the Gravy
- green onion
- First, make your vegan mozzarella cheese, transfer to a glass container or bowl and refrigerate to let cool.
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F convection bake and line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
- Peel or scrub your potatoes (your preference) and slice into french fries using a french fry cutter, or sharp knife. I like shoestring for the ultimate in crispiness, but if you prefer a softer fry, you may make them larger.
- Toss the french fries with the oil, salt, rosemary and cornstarch and spread in a single layer on your prepared tray. If avoiding oil, use a tablespoon of water or broth instead. Bake for 25 minutes, then flip your fries and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, or until desired crispiness level is reached.
- While the fries are baking, prepare your gravy by adding the mushrooms and tamari to a small pot and cook over medium heat until mushrooms are reduced, approx 5 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil, let boil for 1-2 minutes, and then turn off the heat and add your flour. Whisk vigorously to get the flour to absorb and not clump. Remove from the heat and set aside until fries are ready. The gravy will further thicken as it begins to cool.OPTIONAL: You may transfer the gravy to a blender and purée if you prefer a smooth gravy without mushroom pieces.
- Assemble your poutine by layering the fries in a serving dish, and then scoop the vegan cheese using a melon baller (or teaspoon) to add the "cheese curds" on top. (As you scoop the curds listen for the SQUEAK! :)) Finally, pour the gravy on top and sprinkle with green onion to garnish, if desired. ENJOY!!!