The key is to keep brunch simple, casual, and be organized by preparing dishes ahead of time. One of my favorite recipes to serve a crowd or just all the in-town family is an overnight breakfast casserole. There are French toast casseroles, egg, and bread dishes, but I find my Mildly Mexican Breakfast Bake the perfect mix of easy-to-make and scrumptious to eat. This recipe is not too cheesy, meaty or eggy, making it great for those that aren’t true breakfast eaters.
Everyone has a house full this time of year so this recipe will appeal to all ages, satisfy your palate, and keep you out of the kitchen, since who has any extra time to cook? Best of all, this delicious breakfast casserole can be assembled the night before, then popped in the oven the next morning. By using a combination of egg and egg whites, reduced-fat cheese, and turkey sausage, this Mexican morning dish will fill you up and not out, as this is my healthier “trim & terrific” version. For those that are gluten free, corn tortillas may be substituted for the flour tortillas and for a vegetarian version just omit the sausage, creating an equally awesome recipe. Add a fresh fruit salad and orange mimosas and brunch is on.
A FEW TIPS:
- Don’t put a cold glass/Pyrex dish directly into a hot oven.
- Use kitchen scissors to easily cut tortillas.
- Look for omega-3 fortified eggs, for extra anti-inflammatory benefits.
MILDLY MEXICAN BREAKFAST BAKE
This overnight sensation with bright colors and bold flavors will wake up those morning taste-buds!
Makes 8 (1-cup) servings
8 ounces ground breakfast turkey sausage
1 onion, chopped
1 red, green, or yellow bell pepper, cored and chopped
2 cups baby spinach
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies
6 egg whites
2 cups fat-free half-and-half
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 cups reduced-fat shredded Mexican blend cheese
5 (8-inch) 98% fat-free flour tortillas, cut into quarters (use corn for Gluten-free option)
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1. Coat 13x9x2-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In large nonstick skillet, cook and crumble sausage until it starts to brown. Add onion and bell pepper, cooking until sausage is done and vegetables are tender. Add spinach, garlic and green chilies; cooking until spinach wilts, about 2 minutes.
3. In large bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, half-and-half, chili powder, cumin and cheese.
4. Spoon one-third of sausage mixture in baking dish. Top with one-third tortilla quarters and one-third cheese and green onion. Repeat layers, ending with green onion. Pour egg mixture evenly over casserole and refrigerate, covered, at least 6 hours or overnight.
5. Preheat oven 350°F. If using glass baking dish, place in cold oven and bake 50-60 minutes or until bubbly, golden brown and knife inserted into dish comes out clean.
Nutritional information per serving:
Calories 309 Calories from Fat 35% Fat 12g Saturated Fat 4g Cholesterol 151mg Sodium 751mg Carbohydrates 29g Dietary Fiber 3g Total Sugars 7g Protein 23g, Dietary Exchanges: 1 starch, 1/2 fat-free milk, 1 vegetable
Written by: Holly Clegg, Author of trim & TERRIFIC cookbook series
About the Author:
With over 1 million cookbooks sold, Holly Clegg has become a healthy culinary expert on practical, easy, healthy recipes through her best-selling trim&TERRIFIC® cookbook series, including the more health focused cookbooks, Diabetic Cooking with the ADA, Eating Well Through Cancer and Eating Well to Fight Arthritis. Clegg has appeared on Fox & Friends, NBC Weekend Today, The 700 Club, QVC, USA Today, Web MD, and The Huffington Post. She has partnered with Wal-Mart and is currently working with Albertsons, Inc, Baylor Hospital in Dallas and is a menu consultant for Our Lady of Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge. She has a phone app, Mobile Rush Hour Recipes. Visit www.hollyclegg.com or http://thehealthycookingblog.com