Category Archives: Breakfast

Sausage, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole

As I’ve mentioned before, Sam and I do a lot of running.  Currently, we’re training for the Rock ‘n Roll USA Half Marathon, which is held in DC in March!  Are any of you running it?  I would love to see some bloggers and readers out there!

For me, the hardest part about training for distance races (halfs, fulls, etc) is providing your body with enough nutrition and energy.  Specifically, the day you do your long run- ours tend to be Saturdays.  What can you eat after a run during which you’ve burned over 1,000 calories?  A burger definitely hits the spot, but I some mornings all I want are eggs.

A couple of weeks ago, I was perusing my Google Reader and I saw the perfect post-long run breakfast dish.  It was from Liza, of (a)Musing Foodie- a fellow blogger I met at the Eat, Write, Retreat Food Blog Conference.  The best part was, it’s a dish you put together the night before, and just pop it into the oven in the morning.

Sausage, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Even if you don’t have a long run planned for this Saturday, this is a perfect dish for your brunch guests.  Easy, delicious and very versatile!

Sausage, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Sausage, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Casserole
Adapted from: (a)Musing Foodie

Liza used a baguette, I did not have one on hand- so I used leftover whole-wheat bread from Trader Joe’s that had flaxseeds and sunflowers seeds in it.  Feel free to use what you have in your bread box!  Additionally, use any type of milk product for the 2 1/2 cups of liquid (regular milk, soy milk, almond milk, etc)- I ran out of the soy milk so I substituted the rest with the half ‘n half.

2 cups of bread, cubed
6 slices of bacon
1 large onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
1 lb Polish sausage, cut into small pieces
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
10 large eggs
2 cups soy milk
1/2 cup half ‘n half
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Spray a 9×13” baking dish with cooking spray. Then spread the bread cubes on the bottom of the baking dish.

Heat up a large skillet, place the bacon on it and heat it up until crispy on both sides.  Set aside on a paper towel, but leave the bacon grease in the pan.  Then add in the onion, let it cook until translucent over medium heat, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and jalapeño, cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Next, add in the sausage and cook for about 5-10 minutes, until it begins to brown.  Add all of these ingredients into a large bowl.

Once the bacon has cooled off, chop it up and add it to the bowl.  Then mix in cheese, spinach, and green onions.  Once the meats and vegetables are mixed, spread this out over the bread cubes in the baking dish.

Next, in a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, soy milk, half and half, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.  Then pour this mixture over the layers in the casserole dish, and gently press down so the liquid drips down.

Cover the casserole, and let it sit overnight in the fridge.

Once you’re ready to cook it, preheat the oven to 375ºF.  Bake the casserole covered with aluminum foil for 45 minutes.  Then uncover it, and bake it for another 15 minutes when it starts to bubble.

Let it rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Egg & Swiss Chard Tacos

There are some days I just don’t feel like cooking.  Yes, I think everyone has this problem- even food bloggers.  But we would like to continue to eat healthy, and not always call for take-out, or grab dinner at the restaurant around the corner.  So for those kinds of days, I look for recipes that are simple, yet still delicious.

Egg Taco 2

This Egg & Swiss Chard Taco is inspiring and easy- perfect for a lazy Sunday dinner, something quick on a hurried Thursday night, or a perfect breakfast dish Saturday morning.  Love the versatility!  If you’re not a fan of Swiss Chard, swap it out for spinach, kale, or any winter greens which might be available in your area- it will still be tasty!

Egg Taco 1

Egg & Swiss Chard Tacos
Adapted from: Food & Wine (January 2013)
Serving: 6 tacos

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, finely chopped (seeded or optional)
1 large Swiss chard bunch, finely chopped
5 eggs
1 tbsp half and half
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tbsp butter
6 corn tortillas

Additional taco toppings:
sour cream
salsa verde
tomatoes
cilantro
cheddar cheese/Mexican cheese

In a large skillet heat olive oil, then add the onion.  Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the onion is starting to brown.  Then add in the garlic and jalapeño pepper, cook for another 3 minutes.  Finally, add in the Swiss chard and cook, stirring, until it softens- about 5 minutes.  Put the ingredients to the side.

In a cup whisk together eggs, half and half, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Heat a non-stick sauté pan over medium heat.  Add the butter, let it melt and pour in the egg mixture.  Let the eggs cook for about a minute, until the bottom starts to set.  Using a rubber spatula, gently push one side of the egg into the center of the pan, repeat with all edges.  Once there is no liquid left, turn off the heat from the scrambled eggs.

Next, dress your corn tortillas.  Spoon out sour cream, add the Swiss chard mixture, scrambled eggs, then top with salsa verde, cheddar cheese, cilantro and tomatoes on top.

Fall Granola

Everyone is running around to finish up their Thanksgiving shopping list- it’s a little hectic!  Although Thanksgiving may not be one of my favorite holidays (my Birthday is #1), it’s definitely up there near the top.  It’s the one time out of the year that everyone considers what/who they are grateful for, and shares the day with loved ones.

Sam and I will be staying in D.C.- after a long honeymoon, our annual leave has to be replenished.  We’re starting off Thursday morning with a Turkey Trot- it’s been our little tradition since we first started dating.  We’ll be running the So Others Might Eat Turkey Trot 5K!  Are any of you running tomorrow?

Since all of us may be eating too much during the day, I thought a great way to start the morning would be with some fall granola!

The fall flavors in this granola are slight, and a perfect pairing with Greek yogurt, or mixed with fresh milk.  This recipe is very flexible- if you don’t have a specific ingredient, feel to swap what you do have in your cupboards this fall day.

Fall Granola
Adapted from: Eat, Live, Run

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 cups raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup honey
1 tbsp brown sugar
4 cups old fashioned oats
1 tsp salt
1 cup maple syrup
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup dried cranberries

In a small bowl mix together the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice to make the spice mix.  Set aside.

On a skillet, over medium heat, melt the butter.  Then add the pumpkin seeds and 1 tsp of the spice mix.  Toast seeds for about 3 minutes, or until they are lightly browned.  Then add the honey and brown sugar.  Continue to cook until they are incorporated, for another 3-4 minutes.  Next, spread out the seeds onto a sheet tray, allowing it to cool for at least 15 minutes.  Once it’s cooled off, break it apart using a spatula.

In a large bowl mix together the rest of the spice mix, oats and salt.

Add the maple syrup and coconut oil into a small saucepan over high heat.  First, bring to a boil and then simmer for an additional 2 minutes- continue to stir.  Pour the maple syrup sauce over the oats mixture into the large bowl.  Toss well until everything is evenly coated.

Preheat the oven to 325ºF.  Spread out the oats onto a sheet try (or two).  Bake for 25-30 minutes, moving and flipping the oats every 5 minutes.  Allow the oats to cool.

Lastly, toss the pumpkin seeds, oats mixture and dried cranberries together.  Eat it as a snack, or over yogurt.

Summer Squash & Ricotta Tart

Need a perfect dish that would work as a brunch item, or dinner?  Well, I’ve got one for you!  I know recently I’ve done some tarts and frittatas (such as: gluten-free tomato tart, tomato leek & brie tart, squash blossom & bacon frittata), but they are so easy in the summer!

And now that it’s (slowly) cooling off, don’t spend too much time in the kitchen and enjoy the last of the summer vegetables.  Make this tart!  If you’re not a fan of squash or zucchini, feel free to swap for anything else that’s colorful!

Summer Squash & Ricotta Tart
Adapted from: Cooking Light (July 2012, pg 180)

Crust:
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water

Filling:
1 zucchini, sliced thick
1 yellow squash, sliced thick
1 tbsp olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp & pinch of salt
1/4 tsp & pinch of pepper
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/4 cup basil, chopped

Add the flour, salt, and baking powder into a food processor.  Pulse about 2 times to mix the ingredients.  In a small glass mix together the olive oil and water, then slowly pour it into the flour mixture with the food processor on.  Process until the dough is crumble.  Take it out, and knead it for about 1 minute on a floured surface.  Then shape it into a disk and wrap it up with parchment paper.  Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

In a large bowl combine the yellow squash and zucchini with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, stir together ricotta, thyme, lemon juice, egg, black pepper, and salt.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  After the dough is chilled, unwrap it and press it into a 9 inch tart pan.  Spread the ricotta mixture over the dough.  Then arrange the zucchini and squash slices over the tart (there will be a couple of layers).  Bake in the oven for 40 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.

Allow to cool, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and basil.  Cut into wedges and serve.

Squash Blossom & Bacon Frittata

Over the last couple of years, I noticed many squash blossom recipes, but I could never find any.  This year when I spotted them at the Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market, and finally bought some!

Squash blossoms grow at the end of the bud that turns into a squash.  They tend to be unavailable in stores since they are very perishable, so a farmer’s market is the best place to find them.  They can be eaten raw, or incorporated into recipes.

About the time I bought the squash blossoms, we had a significant amount of bacon in our fridge.  Days before, my friends and I went blueberry picking, and stopped over at the Lancaster County Dutch Market in Germantown, MD.  There are a number of different vendors that sell desserts, salads, meats and veggies.  Everything that I bought was delicious, including that bacon!

So rather than just frying the squash blossoms, I decided on a breakfast frittata.  It’d be a perfect place for the bacon and squash blossoms to join together.  I ended up making it the day before, and it was enjoyed on a beautiful Saturday morning with some coffee!

Squash Blossom & Bacon Frittata
Inspired by: Sweet Sugar Bean

If you don’t have bacon, or don’t want to use it, feel free to use olive oil when sauteing all the veggies.  Also, if you don’t have bacon or squash blossoms- change up the ingredients to what’s in your fridge.  Frittatas are perfect for “cleaning on the fridge”!

8 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tbsp chopped chives
9 pieces of bacon
3/4 cup chopped leeks
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 squash blossoms
10 grape tomatoes, halved
2 oz goat cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

In a medium-sized bowl, lightly beat together the eggs, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and chives.

In a cast iron, cook the bacon over medium heat.  When all of the pieces are done to your liking, remove and put them aside on a paper towel, leaving the bacon fat in the cast iron.  Once the bacon has cooled off, chop up into smaller pieces.

Next, add the onion and leeks into the cast iron (that has the bacon fat).  Cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.  Add in the garlic and cook for another 3 minutes.  Remove from pan, and set aside.

In the hot cast iron, set the squash blossoms, and cook them on each side for approximately 30 seconds.  Then remove them from the pan.

Next sprinkle the onions, leeks and bacon into the cast iron.  Over those ingredients, pour the egg mixture.  Arrange the squash blossoms and tomatoes on top.  Quickly, scatter the goat cheese around the cast iron.

Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the egg begins to set on the edges.  Then transfer the cast iron into the preheated oven, bake for 10 minutes.