Category Archives: cheddar cheese

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.

Squash & Bean Burritos

So this is a different take on a burrito.  Since the weather started getting colder in Washington, I’ve been craving rich, fall dishes.  This was a great dish that was very filling, full of texture and a seasonal take on a Mexican staple.

Feel free to omit certain ingredients, or add others that you like in your burritos.  This is definitely one we can all make our own, without taking anything away from the dish.

Butternut squash is definitely one of my favorite fall ingredients.  It’s very versatile in any fall dishes- from soups to casseroles.  Personally, I think it has the best flavor once it has been roasted.

Squash & Bean Burritos
Adapted from: Oh She Glows

1 butternut squash, peeled & cubed (1 inch pieces)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 cup of rice (white or brown)
1 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, chopped
1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
15 oz black beans, drained & rinsed
4 tortillas or wraps
1 avocado, chopped (optional)
4 tbsp sour cream (optional)
1 cup of lettuce
1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped (optional)
1/4 cup of cheddar cheese, grated (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425ºF.  Spray a baking dish or cooking sheet with cooking spray.  Place all of the butternut squash pieces in the dish.  Drizzle with 2 tbsp of olive oil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and chili powder.  Toss and coat all of the ingredients on the butternut squash.  Roast it for 45 minutes, or until the squash is soft.

In a small pan, cook 1 cup of rice.  Once cooked, leave it to the side.

In a skillet heat 1 tbsp of olive oil, once warm add chopped onion.  Once the onion is translucent, add chopped garlic and jalapeño.  Then add the red pepper, black beans and cooked rice.  Sauté for about 5 minutes on low heat.

Divide the ingredients between the tortillas or wraps.  In ours, we added: roasted butternut squash, the rice-bean-onion mixture, avocado, sour cream, lettuce, cilantro and cheese.  But feel free to add extra toppings (these or others)- it all depends on your tastes.

Fish Taco’s

I love Mexican…a lot!  Especially chips and salsa- definitely my weakness.  So this might seem weird- I have never had fish taco’s until about a month ago.  When I did try them, I was already thinking how we could recreate some at home.

Flipping through the Mexican cookbook, I liked how the picture looked, and decided we should have some for dinner.  We’ve made taco’s once that had the red cabbage in it, and I fell in love with the crunchiness of the cabbage with the soft tortilla.  Sam made the fish, so he gets all of the credit- the tilapia was tender and flaky.  Mexican food is great since there aren’t any concrete rules.  You can add any ingredients which you like (extra cilantro for me!).

Lastly, Sam’s Special Sauce was wonderful- we’ve had some in our fridge for a couple of days now and have been using it whenever we could.  (Perfect on panini’s!)

Fish Taco’s with Sam’s Special Sauce
Inspired by: Mexican Cookbook: A Practical Guide to Preparing and Cooking Delicious Mexican Meals

1 lb tilapia
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne
1/4 head of red cabbage, thinly sliced or shredded
4 tortillas
1/4 cup cilantro
1 cup salsa (we make our own, but that’s another post)
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup Sam’s Special Sauce*

Mix together the salt, pepper, chili powder and cayenne in a small bowl.  Then use all of the spice mix to sprinkle both sides of the fish.  In a pan melt the butter, and then add the olive oil.  Cook the fish for 2 minutes on both sides over medium-high heat.

Assemble the taco: 1 tortilla, some fish, small handful of red cabbage, pinch of cilantro, 2 tbsp salsa, 2 tbsp cheese and 1-2 tbsp of Sam’s Special Sauce.*

 

* Sam’s Special Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 of an onion, chopped
1 canned chipotle

In a food processor, add 1 cup of mayo, onion, and 1 canned chipotle.  Blend, until smooth.  Taste, and add more chipotle’s if you want it to be more spicy.

Mac ‘n Cheese with Peas & Prosciutto

DC still feels like winter, a winter that’s almost done, but cold enough that you still need your winter coat.  So, since it’s still a little chilly here- baked Mac ‘n Cheese is the perfect warm-up food!  This one has a bit of extra flavors in it: onions, peas and prosciutto.  I don’t think anyone will go back to the box Kraft kind after this.  It also is delicious when  you heat it up the next day for lunch, you won’t be disappointed. 

Mac ‘n Cheese with Peas & Prosciutto
Adapted from: Happy Jack Eats Blog

1/2 lb pasta (we used penne)
5 oz prosciutto, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup frozen peas
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp flour
2 cups soy milk
3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup bread crumbs

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Once cooked, drain and set aside.  Preheat over at 400 degrees.

Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat, and add onions.  Cook them until they are soft and translucent.  Once cooked, add garlic and prosciutto; cook for 3-4 minutes, until prosciutto is crispy.  Finally, add the frozen peas, and cook until they are heated through.  Remove from heat, add the salt and pepper, stir and set aside.

In a small or medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add in the flour, and keep whisking so no lumps develop.  Slowly, while whisking, add the milk.  The mixture should become thick, all of this should take about 10 minutes.  Add in about half of the cheddar cheese, and keep stirring until the cheese melts. 

Transfer the pasta, prosciutto-veggie mix, and cheese-milk mixture into a large bowl.  Stir well, until the ingredients are combined well.  Spray a baking dish with cooking spray (or smear butter around it), and add the mixture.  Finally, top with the remaining cheddar cheese, the Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. 

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the top is bubbly.

Chile Reyenos with Rice

Sometimes everyone needs a little more green in their lives- and this recipe is defeinitely green!  Different cheeses can be substituded in the chiles, depending on your liking.  This can be a side dish- or a main dish.  Although, the amount of rice and cheese was perfectly filling.  You can also change up the heat level of this recipe- jalapenos can be excluded, or more heat can be added. 

Chile Reyenos with Rice
Adapted from: So Good and Tasty Blog

4 poblano chiles
1/8 lb smoked cheddar, shredded
1/8 lb smoked mozzarella, shredded
1 cup parsley, chopped
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
2 jalapenos, chopped
2 cups rice
3 cups 1% milk
2 tsp salt
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Lay the whole peppers on a pan, and place it in the upper third of the oven.  Roast them for 10 minutes, and then turn them over.  Roast for another 15 minutes, make sure all the sides are evenly roasted.  Once they are roasted, take them out of the oven and let the cool.  Remove the stem and seeds from the chiles; cut in half.  Divide both of the cheeses between the 4 poblano peppers.  Set aside.

In a food processor combine parsley, onion, garlic, jalapenos and 1/3 cup of water.  Blend thoroughly.   

In a saucepan, heat the milk with the salt.  Once the water has began boiling, add the rice.  Turn down the heat to low and cook.  After 5 minutes, add the parsley mixture from the food processor.  Stir, and then cover; cook for 25 minutes.  Meanwhile, place the chiles into the oven for about 5 minutes- or until the cheese has melted.  When the rice is done, transfer to the serving dish.  Then place a poblano chile on top.  Sprinkle with red pepper flakes.