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.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.
Love the idea of using tofu as cheese curds- pinning this one for sure! You always have the most creative (and delicious breakfast recipes!
🙂 Thanks so much, Jess!
Poutine is great! (so speaks a Canadian)!
The secret is the cheese curds, fresh not frozen fries, a good tasting and piping hot gravy.
The cheese curds need to be large. Here you can get them usually at dairies or at farmers’ markets. (At least where I live).
Fresh fries are always the best, I find frozen ones taste like cardboard.
If gravy has a flat taste, then you’ve lost it. Make sure it has lots of umani. Also it needs to be piping hot to melt the curds and make them softer.
Poutine gravy can also be found in a can, and might be able to give you and idea of what is in it. I don’t like canned things.
If you are able to make the poutine from scratch, you will love it.
Arman: The best place in Canada for Poutine if Quebec. It originated there, and they keep pretty true to form.
Thanks so much for letting me know, Charlie- Quebec has been on my bucket list for such a long time!!!
Oh yes- SEARING hot gravy over these! 🙂
Oh my goodness, I’m so excited about this! First, I only discovered in the last few months that I actually do love savory breakfasts. Second, even though I hate gravy in any other context, I love poutine. This is so creative!
Thanks so much, Ellen- Hope you try it out!
I LOVE YOU. Poutine is one of my favourite foods ever. The best poutine I’ve ever had was in Paris, at the Great Canadian Pub. I love Dip and Flip but agree that their poutine is less than stellar.
Right? Dip and flip had amazing roast beef rolls but that took over the poutine!
Savory? WHOOOOO ARE YOU?? It’s ok, I’m still your friend.
Haha, I know. I hang my head in shame.
oh my gosh I totally have day slike that, snack, leftovers, more snacking, I need to break the habit of snacking during a photo shoot!
Right? The perks of it all!
I am about to travel to Vancouver. Will definitely try finding some good poutine….yet, I love this recipe especially nutritional yeast – I used to order it for a ridiculous horrendous Price from the US. I guess I am not Healthy Living Blogger enough anymore to do this, but I miss it.
WHAT!!!!!!! You better eat some and then pour the gravy on your head!
OMFG this recipe is right down my alley: potatos, tofu, and NUTRI YEAST. I forgot about that delicious little ingredient!!
YES! Hope you try it out, Jess! 🙂
Alright alright alright. I can deal with this veganism for breakfast if it involves poutine. You genius, you. Let’s go to Montreal one day!!
YES! However, we shall be eating the real deal! 😀