Spring is here! And what does it mean for people in Québec? No, not the return of the sun and the disappearing of the snow (not yet, be patient). Maple sugar time, that’s what it means!
For outsiders who have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s in the spring that we tap the maple trees, put on our best plaid shirt and enjoy traditional dishes and maple products at the sugar shack.
As in many countries though, Québec’s cuisine is very fatty and meaty. It’s actually impossible to leave the sugar without having to unbutton your pants et regret having bitten more than you could chew.
It’s unfortunately not a very vegetarian-friendly place, despite the few veggie sugar shack that have recently starting to pop up.
But sugar shack food and the whole experience that surrounds it is so entrenched in most of us that having to give it up for ethical reasons often represents a certain deuil. But not anymore!
To remedy to situation – and since I live way too far from Québec anyway -, I’ve created my own vegan sugar shack menu, which you can enjoy comfortably at home with your friends to the sound of La bottine souriante or Les Cowboys frigants.
The dishes we eat at the sugar shack are basically always the same, with a few variations here and there. I chose my favourite ones, which, bonus, are all fairly simple to make.
On the menu:
Cocktail wieners wrapped in bacon
Millet meat pie (I recycled last year’s recipe)
Express pickled beets
And for dessert: a sugar pie. A delicious sugar pie.
It’s a bit dark because all I could find in Germany was dark brown sugar. But whichever brown sugar you use, the taste is simply divine. *This brown sugar has nothing to do with raw cane sugar. It resembles humid sand and yields its properties to many traditional Québec desserts.
I didn’t make baked beans because I’ve never been a fan, but you can either find vegetarian ones in the store or try this recipe by The Buddhist Chef.
As for my tasty “meat” pie, you’ll find the recipe here: Vegan Québec-style meat pie
The best part is that you can simply prepare everything the day before, even the scrambled tofu, and heat it up in the oven the day of. The dishes will even soak up some flavour overnight, and you’ll have more time to spend with your guests.
What’s your favourite sugar shack dish? Is it featured on my list?
If you make this feast, or even just one recipe, make sure to snap a picture and share it on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #valisesetgourmandises. I wanna see your creations! And don’t forget to leave a comment below :)
Vegan pea soup with smoked tofu lardons
- 1,5 cup yellow or green split peas soaked for 1h
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion minced*
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 large carrot finely diced
- 1 celery stalk finely diced
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter
- 1 cup approx. 100g organic smoked tofu, finely diced
- 5-6 cups water + 1-2 tablespoons powdered bouillon
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- salt & pepper
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast optional, to taste
- Herbamare to taste optional
- Maple syrup to serve
- Rinse the peas well and let them soak in water while you prep the other ingredients.
- In a large pot, fry the onion and garlic in olive oil until golden. Add the carrot and celery and cook another 5 minutes.
- Add the butter and smoked tofu and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the water (5 cups for a thicker soup, 6 for a lighter one), the bay leaves and the parsley and bring to a boil. Add the bouillon, salt and pepper. Lower the heat and let simmer covered for at least an hour.
- For a thicker soup, use an immersion blender to purée some of the soup, and add nutritional yeast to taste.
- Taste and adjust. Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup.
Cocktail wieners wrapped in rice paper bacon
- 8 saucisses "hot-dog" végétaliennes
- 2-3 rice paper sheets
- Marinade for the bacon
- 1 tablespoon nama shoyu sauce soy sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vegan Worcesteshire optional
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika or chipotle
- 1/2 teaspoon olive or canola oil
- Sweet marinade for the wieners
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon nama shoyu sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
- Cut each wiener into 4 pieces. Mix the ingredients for the bacon marinade.
- Heat some water in a large pan, without letting it boil. Meanwhile, gently cut 32 strips in the rice paper sheets using scissors (if you use large sheets, start by cutting it into two halves and then make shorter strips).
- Dip each strip in water until it softens up, gently press away excess water, dip in the marinade and wrap around a piece of wiener. Do the same with all the pieces and secure with a toothpick.
- Preheat the oven to 350F(180C). Lay the wieners on a cooking sheet lined with parchment paper (it sticks) et bake for 10 minutes, flipping them halfway through.
- While the wieners are cooking, prepare the sweet marinade: mix water, brown sugar, maple syrup, soy sauce and cornstarch and bring to a boil. Let reduce for a few minutes and set aside.
- Once the wieners are ready, place them in a bowl together with the sweet marinade.
If you're not using it, then you can simply boil the sweet marinade until the right consistency, add the chopped up wieners and cook for 5 minutes. (No need to bake in the oven then).
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small garlic clove minced
- ½ medium onion finely diced
- 1 cup split red lentils rinsed
- 625 ml water
- pinch of salt
- ½ cup quick cooking oat flakes
- ½ tablespoon nama shoyu sauce soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon vegan Worcesteshire optional
- ¾ teaspoon allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ tablespoon nutritional yeast optional, to taste
- In a small pot, fry the onion and garlic for a few minutes. Add the red lentils, the water and the salt and bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat and let simmer for about 40 minutes.
- Add the oat flakes, the soy sauce, the Worcesteshire and the spices and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and mix in the nutritional yeast, if using. Divide into airtight containers and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
Can be frozen.
Express pickled beets
- 2 medium beets cooked
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon organic raw cane sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- Roughly slice the beets and put them in a Mason jar (or a heat-resistant jar).
- In a small pot, bring the vinegar, the water and the salt to a boil. Once the sugar is dissolved, pour the liquid over the beets.
- Screw on the lid and put in the fridge for at least 12 hours.
Tofu scramble (vegan scrambled eggs)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or water*see notes
- 1 garlic clove and 1 schallot minced (optional)
- on organic firm tofu block crumbled with your fingers (about 400g)
- 1/2 teaspoon organic turmeric
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon veggie broth powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Kala Namak salt optional, see notes
- For runnier eggs
- 1/2 tablespoon chickpea flour
- 1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- If using, fry the garlic and schallot in olive oil for two minutes.
- Add the tofu and turmeric and mix well until everything is a nice yellow colour.
- Add the water, broth powder and Kala Namak salt and cook for a few minutes, until most of the water is absorbed. Add the chickpea flour and a little bit of water if necessary. Once your the desired texture, sprinkle nutritional yeast, mix well and serve.
For a more interesting taste and texture though, I encourage you to add onion and garlic fried in oil instead of water (since real eggs are pretty fatty) and to add water and powdered bouillon, which the tofu will soak in.
For "runnier" eggs, sprinkle some chickpea flour with a little bit of water and cook until you're happy with the texture. Add more or less flour to taste.
Kala Namak salt (aka black Himalayan salt) is reminiscent of eggs thanks to its sulfur content. You will most likely find it in natural food stores, Asian supermarkets or online.
*Le tofu brouillé est encore meilleur après une nuit au frigo
Vegan sugar pie
- Sugar sudge
- 1 cup brown sugar*
- 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 375 ml vegan cooking cream oat, rice, soy, coconut milk
- 125 ml maple syrup from Québec
- 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon raw sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 60 ml organic canola oil
- about 60 ml water
- In a large bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder, sugar and cinnamon. Add the oil and mix with your fingers until you get little crumbs. Add the water gradually and mix with your hands until you have a malleable ball of dough. Cover with a clean cloth and set aside.
- Sugar fudge
- In a pot, mix the brown sugar, flour and cornstarch.
- Whisk in the cream and maple syrup. Slowly bring to a boil, whisking constantly.
- Set aside and let cool for a few minutes.
- Assembling and cooking
- Preheat the oven to 350F(180C).
- On a clean lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a flat disc. Glently transfer to your pie form and press with your fingers to make it stick to the sides. Cut off excess dough.
- Pour the sugar mixture on the dough and flatten it with a spatula.
- Bake on the lower grid of the oven for about 35 minutes.
For a longer shelf life, keep in the fridge or freezer.
This brown sugar has nothing to do with raw cane sugar. It resembles humid sand and yields its properties to many traditional Québec desserts.
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This post is amazing! I just moved to Quebec this year and during sugar shack season I was looking for vegan alternatives. I already make a vegan tourtiere and the sugar pie will be a perfect addition! The rest is a bonus! Thank you for the inspiration. I will be trying all of these recipes :)