Leftover Recipe: Sausage Muffin Breakfast Casserole

Have you ever had leftover Sausage Muffins and not known what to do with them?  It  *is* a dilemma, right?  I really hate to waste food, so when I purchased too many sandwiches one Sunday morning (and ended up bringing five of them home that evening), I knew I needed to come up with a workable solution.  After thinking about the composition of the sandwiches for a bit, I came up with a great way to use these tasty treats in a way that changed them into something relatively healthy and totally yummy… a breakfast casserole!

NOTE:  This is a recipe that is best made the night before you plan to bake it, so the bread has time to soak up SausageMuffinBreakfastthe liquid.  I actually put this casserole together when I brought the cold sandwiches home from work on Sunday night so I would have something ready for breakfast that I could also take into work to share with co-workers on Monday. 

I started with five sausage muffin sandwiches.  The ones I purchased simply had english muffins, a sausage patty, and some cheese, so I diced them into bite-sized pieces and loaded them into a pie plate, sprayed with cooking spray.  I then made a mixture of 3/4 cup egg substitute, 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk  (you could certainly substitute any milk product you like, but I really like almond milk for baking… and for the low calorie count), 1/2 cup shredded 2% cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup shredded 2% colby cheese, 1 Tablespoon dry mustard, 1 teaspoon each of parsley and herbs de provence, and 1/2 cup James River Cellars Reserve Chardonnay white wine.  As with all my recipes, you’re welcome to substitute your favorite ingredients wherever you see something you’d prefer.  Different flavored cheeses and any sort of white wine you like (or have open) is a great way to personalize this recipe.

I whisked the liquids and cheeses together and poured them over the sausage muffins in the pie plate.  I then pressed the muffins down into the liquid so they would have the best chance to become thoroughly soaked before I baked the casserole in the morning.  I covered the casserole with some plastic wrap and allowed the dish to sit overnight.  NOTE: You can also place a weighted plate on top to continue the pressure on the casserole until you bake it.  I ended up adding an additional drizzle of 1/4 egg substitute before baking in the morning because mine just didn’t look quite “soaked” enough.  Just before baking the casserole, I garnished the top with some smoked paprika and popped the dish into a preheated 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes.

This was a really delicious casserole.  I shared it with my co-workers and it got rave reviews from everyone, which made me very happy.  I was able to create something that tasted totally “new”, using something that otherwise might have gone to waste.  To me, that counts as a win-win!

I hope you’ll try this recipe sometime.  Being able to make a totally new meal with a leftover ingredient is pretty fun!

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Recipe: Breakfast Egg Casserole

I’ve been trying to plan my meals and eat better this year, so I’m always on the lookout for a fun and tasty breakfast that will fill me up without a sugar-rush.  Being able to make this casserole at home and control the ingredients is a definite bonus.  My college friend, D, shared her version of this casserole with me and I knew I just had to give it a try.  The wine I use is a surprising ingredient, but one that adds a lovely depth to this recipe.

I started with 1/3 package of bacon.  I diced the bacon and cooked it in a skillet until the bacon was nicely toasted.  I then added about a cup of frozen sweet peppers.  I chopped them fairly fine and used red, yellow, orange, and green peppers, and allowed them to soften with the bacon.  Once this was done, I spooned the bacon and peppers to the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish, leaving a little of the bacon grease in the skillet.

BreakfastEggCasserole

I gathered 2 cups of kale, removed the ribs, and roughly chopped the kale.  NOTE:  You can also add in some spinach if you prefer. Using the remaining bacon grease in the skillet, I tossed in the kate and added 2 oz Dry Rose wine (like Boordy Dry Rose), sauteing the kale until it had wilted and the bitterness had dissipated.  NOTE: If using full leaves of kale, be sure to massage the kale to remove some of the initial bitterness from the leaves.  Trust me… this is important.  I like to season the dish while cooking the greens so the spices have time to develop – for this dish I used salt, pepper, herbs de provence, and smoked paprika. Once I finished sauteing the greens, I layered them in the casserole dish, on top of the bacon/pepper layer.

Here’s the easiest part of the recipe… I poured 1 1/2 cup fat-free egg substitute into a Pyrex measuring cup, gently poured the egg over the entire contents of the casserole dish and pressed the bits of vegetable down into the egg mixture.  How simple is that?

Once everything was in the pan, I popped it into a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  If your oven runs hot, you might want to check it after 25 minutes, but 3o minutes seems to work best for me.  I allow the casserole to cool for at least 10 minutes and then cut it into 6 square, equal-sized pieces and wrap each in Saran to store in the fridge.  It’s easy to reheat (30-45 seconds in the microwave) and tastes wonderful in a breakfast sandwich, using bread thins.

Hope you’ll consider trying this fun recipe sometime.  Use what you like or what you’ve got in your fridge and it can take on whatever flavors you want.  I love it…. especially when I realized that it’s only 91 calories per square… SWEET!

Enjoy!