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!

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Recipe: Healthy Bread Pudding

Ok… I’m probably pushing it by saying this recipe is “healthy”, but it’s certainly got more healthy ingredients included than some of my recipes, so hopefully you’ll forgive this slight.  In any case, I think this bread pudding recipe is fabulous… I’ve made it twice now and it’s only tasted better each time.  If you’re not a huge fan of bread pudding, then feel free to skip this one.  If you like bread pudding at all, this is definitely one to try!

HealthyBreadPudding

This recipe makes a single serving, so if you’re planning to make this for more people, just increase the ingredients as needed.  I made my recipe with the following ingredients:  2 cups of cubed ciabatta bread,1 mini-box of raisins, 1 Tablespoon of chocolate chips (I chopped mine), 1/4 cup fat-free egg substitute, 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/4 cup white wine, 2 teaspoons Chia Seeds, 2 packets of Equal (feel free to use your sweetener of choice), and some cinnamon to taste.  I also sprinkled the pudding with regular sugar just before popping it into the oven.

I started by assembling all my ingredients, pre-heating my oven to 350 degrees, and spraying my baking dish with Pam cooking spray.  Note:  I neglected to spray my baking dish the first time I made this recipe and it took ages (and some serious elbow grease) to get the dish clean.  I put the bread cubes into the baking dish and then mixed the remaining ingredients in a measuring cup.  I then poured the liquid (and the raisins/chips) over the bread and, using my hands, mixed and mashed the liquid into the bread cubes until they were sufficiently soggy (see the lower right photo).

Once the bread was heavy with the egg/milk mixture, I sprinkled a bit of sugar on top and popped the baking dish into the oven for 30-40 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center came out relatively clean.  I let the pudding rest for 10 minutes, til the dish was cool enough to hold, and dug in with a spoon.  It was heavenly, in my opinion, with tiny bits of chocolate and plump raisins found throughout the dish, with a very faint back note from the wine.

This recipe was wonderful and a great example of comfort food to me.   The reason I called it “healthy” was the use of Fat-free Egg Substitute (in place of eggs), Almond Milk (in place of cow’s milk of any sort), along with the use of Chia Seeds (rich in Omega-3 fatty acids) and raisins with a small amount of chocolate.  Even with the wine, this recipe came in under 275 calories, which was a definite plus in my book.  Another plus?  This is a dish that you could serve to company as a dessert, simply by adding a hard sauce or ice cream to top each serving.

I hope you’ll try this recipe out sometime.  Call it whatever you like, it’s simply delicious to me!