Parsnip Poutine

This was a fun dish to make – I always find it enjoyable to play around with healthier substitutions for classic comfort dishes. This "poutine" tastes like a serious indulgence when realistically it’s HEALTHY. Who would have thought the words poutine and healthy could be used together?

Parsnips are a great alternative to deep fried potatoes as they are incredibly low calorie (roughly 100 calories for an entire cup), contain a surprising amount of fibre, and are high in vitamin c and folic acid.
Folic acid is typically recommended to women when they become pregnant to prevent birth defects – aka it’s important, we all need it to build healthy cells!

This gravy is full of flavor- it’s not necessary to slave away cooking a turkey or pot roast all day for those meat drippings because the mushrooms and spice combination (thanks Urban Bulk Emporium!) create a similar flavor.

In Quebec it would be considered sacrilege to substitute the famous cheese curd, an apparent necessity to all worthy poutines, with CASHEWS? How rude! But in fact, the cashew cheese MAKES this dish. It’s “cheesy” and tangy and delightful. 

It can also be put on a multitude of other things and will keep in the fridge for a while, so you can make larger batches and dig in whenever you please. Plus, the longer it sits, the better it gets!

PARSNIP POUTINE

Ingredients:

  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • 3 medium-large parsnips, chopped into ¼ inch fries
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 large mushrooms, diced- about 1 cup (I used button and shiitake)
  • ½ tsp poultry seasoning or thyme
  • ½ tsp rubbed sage
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 TBSP nutritional yeast (2 for gravy, 2 for cheese)
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • 2 TBSP all purpose flour
  • 1 TBSP cider vinegar
  • 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 TBSP tahini
  • ¾ cup cashews
  • 1 TBSP Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ TBSP water
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. Blend together cashews (optional to soak ahead of time- until soft), nutritional yeast, mustard, water, lemon juice and a generous pinch of salt- mix until smooth. Refrigerate.
  2. Preheat oven to 450F.
  3. Lightly coat parsnips with oil, pepper, and salt.
  4. Roast for 10 minutes, turn, roast for 10-15 more or until edges become crispy.
  5. While roasting: Whisk together vegetable broth with flour in large measuring cup or bowl. Set aside.
  6. Sauté onions and mushrooms on medium heat until soft.
  7. Add garlic, poultry seasoning, sage, and rosemary. Heat for one minute.
  8. Pour in broth mix and bring to a low simmer.
  9. Add cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, nutritional yeast, and tahini.
  10. Once parsnips are baked, assemble poutine and serve! I topped mine with a simple vegetable “salsa” (diced tomatoes, red onions, raw zucchini- diced small, seasoned with S&P, and a dash of vinegar) 

Authors note: If you choose to use shitake as your mushroom only chop the head of the mushroom. The stem can be cooked with the gravy and removed before serving; it’s too fibrous to eat, but ads great flavor!