The infamous and popular Canadian fast food specialty gets a healthy makeover- Breakfast style! It’s a filling, delicious and easy recipe which is also made vegan, gluten free, dairy free and oil free!
Hear me out.
Over the last couple of months, sweet foods have taken precedence over the savory. Much of this has stemmed with my new daily routine, involving recipe development and experimentation not too long after waking. With the cookbook draft due date looming, I’ve been trying to be strict with my days. Saying that, breakfasts have started to become failed and/or visually unfortunate results from said recipes.
To combat this, I’ve challenged myself to stick to savory breakfasts for the coming few weeks. I’ll also be sharing them on here so I hope I can rope more of you into some savory goodness for your first meal of the day- I feel like NO ONE enjoys savory breakfasts….C’mon, there’s so much goodness out there! (Actually, when Kelly isn’t on her random cereal phase, she has it on point).
So how has is it been so far? Pretty good, actually! For those of you who follow along on Snapchat (-> thebigmansworld) saw the brunch goodness consumed (toast + hummus + smashed avocado + egg) and since then, I’ve been on a roll.
But first, it’s Wednesday! Let’s see what made my plate!
Breakfast- A savory experiment involving last week’s amazing tofu recipe. Snacks/Lunch- Throughout the day, I had these banana bread breakfast bars post photo shoot (oh, the irony) and then met a friend for coffee and we shared some scones with jam and cream. Dinner- Leftover potatoes from today’s recipe and an unpictured omelet.
Safe to say, this particular day was a little bit of a mess. C’est la vie.
So let’s talk poutine and how we’ve made this a breakfast choice.
Even though I’ve been to Canada several times, I’ve never actually enjoyed the infamous poutine there. The first time I tried it was in London, at a place called ‘Dip and Flip’. Granted, I didn’t go here for their poutine, but actually for their burgers which you DIP in gravy. We got the poutine on the side and frankly, I couldn’t recall it being particularly amazing. The second time I had it, was in New York, at a food stand in Astoria. The mere combination of hot potatoes with cheese curds and smothered in a rich gravy….my life was made.
In both New York and Melbourne, finding cheese curd ingredients (and having to make them from scratch!) has been a time consuming and lengthy process. Trust me, I did it once and it was NOT worth the effort, especially since you could barely taste the curds! As such, I tried to find some substitutes. So far, I’d tried out low fat cottage cheese (fail), whole milk SMALL CURD cottage cheese (good, but drippy), whole milk LARGE CURD cottage cheese (YESSSSS), and goat cheese (a waste- eat it on its own). I also tried crumbled tofu which…..worked out the best! When mixed with the right spice blend and very lightly pan grilled, it really resembled a cheese curd texture, perfect for today’s recipe- This healthy breakfast poutine!
This healthy spin on the classic poutine has been designed specifically for a balanced breakfast- It’s full of wholesome carbohydrates, filling plant based proteins and healthy fats. Unlike traditional poutine, it’s not made using deep fried potatoes, deep fried cheese curds and thick, meat cut gravy!
Instead of fried potatoes, we’ll be using seasoned baked potatoes, which are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
For the deep fried cheese curds, we’ll be using crumbled firm tofu, mixed with some nutritional yeast, turmeric, and sea salt.
As for the gravy, I tried out a couple of recipes and both had different textures- This recipe was a little too oily for my liking, but kept REALLY well. It was this recipe by my favorite Jamie Oliver which was perfect- Thick, hearty and….involved a savory yeast spread. The only substitution I made was use this gluten free flour and vege spread to keep it completely gluten free! I do, however, prefer Vegemite. ZING.
HACK! If you don’t follow a vegan and/or dairy free lifestyle, feel free to sub the crumbled tofu for cottage cheese, but please make sure it’s the whole milk kind! If you can’t be bothered making your own gravy, I’ve tried this one before– However, I’m not sure if it will keep well. The Jamie Oliver recipe above kept really well for a week, perfect for multiple poutine breakfasts!
Make this healthy breakfast poutine and let’s toast so savory first thing in the morning.
Well, until my sweet tooth prevails. Let’s see how long this takes!
For the potatoes
- 2 lbs white flesh potatoes chopped into quarters (1 kilogram)
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 tsp mixed herbs
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper optional
- 1-2 T flour of choice
For the ‘cheese curds’
- 1 x 12 oz block of firm tofu (375-400 grams
- 1 T nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp turmeric
- Sea salt adjust to taste
- 1 cup gravy of choice warmed
- Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a large baking tray with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the potatoes with the olive oil and mix until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix until the potatoes are completely coated in it. Place on the greased baking tray and bake for 40-45 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- While the potatoes are baking, start prepping your ‘cheese curds’. In a mixing bowl, add your crumbled tofu, nutritional yeast and turmeric and mix well. Add sea salt to taste and set aside. Heat a large grill/frying pan lightly with oil and heat on medium. Once hot, add the tofu and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cooked. Once it is done, set aside to allow to cool.
- Once potatoes are cooked, divide evenly amongst 4 bowls and divide the tofu mixture evenly between them. Add 1/4 cup gravy to each bowl, top with mixed herbs and extra sea salt and enjoy!
This recipe can easily be prepped in advance and reheated on the day. The potatoes can keep for 2-3 days, however they will lose the crispiness. The ‘cheese curds’ can be kept for up to five days.
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I used to live savory to stay the day- eggs, cheese, vegetables, etc. Now I’m more info sweet, but I did start of my day last Friday wih a runnyegg!
oooo what a delicious start!
This is such a creative way to make cheese curds! I’ve never had poutine, but in definitely intrigued by the combination of flavors. I could use more savory breakfasts!
YES! Hope you try it out, Kate!
I’m not a fan of poutine or gravy at all, but you have me intrigued because of the tofu. I love putting crumbled tofu in my pasta sauce because it gets all melty and reminds me of cheese, so I’m positive I’m gonna love it here (even if I skip the gravy lol)
You’ll love this! 🙂 Thanks, Giselle!
Yassss for savory! Haha you know me well. I’ve been living off turkey sausage, egg, and cheese English muffins this week and it’s amazing. I have never tried the whole milk cottage cheese, but I am totally going out to buy some now.
Haha, I wrote that out and was like..WAIT. There is one person who leaves me craving savory. Except your cereal and milk phase but we shall gloss over that.
I’ve never had putine, but I am absolutely intrigued by this! I can never say no to a bowl of crispy and salty potatoes.
These are so good- Enjoy, Megan!
I don’t remember the last time I had a savory breakfast but this poutine is making me rethink my breakfast choices. I would only go the savory route for this!
😀 You are the best!
I am ALLLL about the savory breakfast so I can’t wait to try this. Looks amazing! 😀
Thanks so much, Amanda- Enjoy!
This is BRILLIANT. I love scrambled tofu, and often serve them with potatoes, but never in this way and never with gravy!!!
You’d love this- although I would totally faceplant basic poutine too 😀
Awww, I was really hoping to see Vegemite in the list of ingredients on this one! Haha. Given that we live fairly close to Canada, we occasionally see poutine down here. We did try poutine in Canada a couple of years ago, and I remember it being good but not great. I didn’t understand the craze. But what a unique twist using tofu here! Well done, eh!
I think its totally the novelty of it- Nothing TOO special, but something to tick off a stereotypical foodie bucket list!
I was in Vancouver last week and had a veggie omelette from Cora’s restaurant every day. =) Cora’s breakfast is so yummy! Otherwise, I usually go for sweet breakfasts. Being Canadian, I’ve had poutine many, many times. If you’re ever back in Canada, you have to get some Canadian poutine! The best poutine usually comes from the random chip stands/food trucks that you see on the side of the road. Fast food poutine (New York Fries, Harvey’s, McDonald’s) doesn’t even come close to how amazing chip stand/food truck poutine is. Hopefully you’ll get to try some soon! I’m excited to try your healthy version of poutine!
YES!!!!!! I did try it once from a Food truck in Toronto- SO GOOD (and then once again at 3am….shhh).
Hm interesting. I’ve heard of poutine, but couldn’t tell you what it was and have never tried it before. haha. This looks interesting haha. It’s strange though the whole sweet and savory..if I am making it myself..sweet 100% (with likely a savory breakfast later haha..I eat it multiple times a day) but if I am going out for breakfast its pretty much 100% savory. Strange. Who knows lol
I think you’d enjoy it, it’s really yummy!
When I work early, I usually do a breakfast burrito as my first meal. I put hashbrowns and cheese inside it, so basically poutine hahaha. I gotta make gravy, it’s so good!
You’ve got me craving a breakfast burrito now! 😀
The cheese curd combination is right up my alley, with tofu and nutritional yeast! Love adding the breakfast potatoes as well. I’m more of a sweeter breakfast gal, EXCEPT after a long run. Then it’s savory all the way 🙂
The best of both worlds- Hope you enjoy this after your next long run!
OOH I have never had breakfast poutine, but I’ve heard rave reviews about it. It doesn’t sound like something my stomach could handle all the time, but I think this one is something my stomach could handle! 😀 And it just looks delicious all around. I think I love baked crispy potatoes more than regular fries.
Are you back in the US Arman? I need to read the blog more often, but I confess I haven’t. :'(
That’s okay! You should never feel forced to read my blog 🙂 Whenever you like!
I am based between New York and Australia so travel between both.
Yum! This looks great—I love when you do savory recipes : )
🙂 Thanks, Jess- I’ll need to slowly include more!