Growing up, my family made stratas (i.e. savory bread puddings) on a fairly regular basis. They offered up a great way to use crusty old bread that was too stale to eat and salty meats and dairy products hidden away in the dark corners of the fridge or freezer. While I don’t eat these products anymore, I can still appreciate the joys of a great breakfast strata.
In fact, I may even appreciate them even more now as a way to utilize leftovers while simultaneously creating a meal that covers my nutritional bases.
This strata, in particular, does remind me of the ones I used to have, given its cheese and bacon-like flavors. Unlike the others, however, this one contains kale for good measure plus the addition of a secret ingredient (custard powder) to mimic the egginess.
Custard powder is super popular in Australia, but if you can’t get your hands on it in the States or wherever else you may live, don’t worry. It’s pretty simple to make on your own–it consists of just cornstarch, sugar, salt and a bit of natural yellow food color.
I’ve fed this strata to meat eaters and they also agreed that it reminded them of meat and egg-filled breakfast bakes that they’d eaten before. Hopefully, it can satisfy you and your taste-testers just as well.
Vegan Kale & Bacon Breakfast Strata
- 6 slices sourdough bread
- 1 bunch lacinato kale
- 1 tbs. olive oil
- 1 tbs. soy sauce
- 2 tbs. vegan butter
- 8 slices vegan bacon
- 1 tsp. maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp. paprika
- 1 + 1/8 cup unsweetened soy milk
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tbs. custard powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 cup vegan cheese, shredded
1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
2. If bread is fresh, toast it. If it is stale, you can skip this step.
3. Tear bread up and evenly scatter in glass baking dish.
4. Finely chop kale and toss with oil and soy sauce.
5. Saute in pan over medium-high heat until wilted.
6. Transfer to large bowl, then add butter to same pan and heat until melted.
7. Dice bacon and add to pan, stirring every 30 seconds or so.
8. Continue until bacon starts to crisp, then reduce heat slightly and add maple syrup and paprika.
9. Cook for 1-2 minutes more, then add to bowl with kale.
10. Spread both on top of bread in baking dish.
11. Add soy milk, mustard, custard powder, baking soda, salt and pepper to the same bowl that the kale and bacon were in.
12. Whisk well until all dry ingredients are fully dissolved.
13. Pour over bread, kale and bacon, making sure to evenly coat all ingredients.
14. Use a spatula to lightly press solid items down into the wet mixture until nearly submerged.
15. Sprinkle with cheese, then cover with a layer of aluminum foil and place in the oven to bake.
16. After 15 minutes, remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes.
17. Remove from the oven, cool slightly, slice and serve.
Also by Quincy: Eggless Scramble On Toast With Matcha Hollandaise
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Photos: Quincy Malesovas