I’m ashamed to admit it, but I just had poutine for the first time. And, yes, I am Canadian. I’m sorry, Canada. Please don’t take my citizenship. But, I’ve had some now, and it was fantastic.

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I had my reasons for waiting, though. The first poutine I had easy access to was sold at my high school cafeteria, and it looked just revolting. Soggy fries, insipid, runny gravy, and very suspicious looking mozzarella cheese. Ick. Also, as someone who doesn’t eat potatoes or meat, the cheese was the only ingredient I was interested in.

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So, after avoiding missing out on poutine for ages, on my ride home from work I decided I needed to see what all the fuss was about. But, with sweet potato fries, vegetarian gravy, mozarella, and chévre. Mmm.

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And—oh my. I have been missing out. It was divine. Gooey, warm, full of flavour, delightfully salty and cheesy… just… wow. And while I know you’ve probably had poutine before, and you know it’s wonderful, you should really give my recipe a try anyways. Mmm.

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Vegetarian Sweet Potato Poutine

1 sweet potato, sliced into fries
Olive oil, as needed, for roasting
Seasoned salt, as needed (I used mine!)

2 tbsp butter
All-purpose flour, as needed
¾ cup low-salt vegetable broth, heated
½ tsp soy salt
½ tsp nutritional yeast
½ tsp freshly cracked pepper
½ tsp thyme leaves
Pinch smoked hot paprika

Crumbled chévre
Grated mozzarella

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Toss the sweet potato fingers/fries in olive oil (pomace) and seasoned salt and roast for 20 minutes, stirring and turning halfway through.

While the sweet potatoes are roasting, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once it’s melted and browned a bit, whisk in the flour, bit by bit, until you have a burbling paste. Stir, cooking, until the paste is a light brown colour.

Start adding the broth, little by little, stirring as you go. It will thicken a lot immediately, and you’ll have to thin it out until it’s the consistency you like. Season with the soy sauce, nutritional yeast, pepper, thyme, and paprika. Taste. You won’t need salt if your broth is at all salty! Adjust your other flavorings to taste.

Now, to assemble! Place your fries in a bowl, and sprinkle some cheese over top. Drizzle with gravy, top with more cheese and a bit of pepper, and off you go! Yum yum yum.

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