Monday, January 20, 2014

Meatless Monday... Cheesy Vegetable Breakfast Casserole

Brinner (get it... beakfast for dinner) can be so underrated. Breakfast foods are often quick to cook for busy nights. Be careful not to serve too many simple sugars and high carbohydrate foods (like waffles or pancakes with syrup). On their own, these sweet treats aren't very balanced and may leave you hungry in a few hours. Go for whole grains when possible (maybe oat or flax added to pancakes for extra fiber), add some fresh, frozen, or unsweetened canned fruit and pair with a good quality protein for a more balanced meal.
Eggs are a balanced food providing complete protein, fats, and lots of vitamins and minerals. Have high cholesterol? The American heart association encourages people with high cholesterol to limit their dietary cholesterol to 200 mg per day (one egg has about 185 mg). The cholesterol, fats, and most of the nutrients are found in the yolk. If you have eggs on a regular basis, make sure you select lower cholesterol foods for the rest of the day by limiting your meat consumption and having more vegetables! Consider mixing in egg whites to your scrambled eggs, omelets, or scrambles to lower the fat and calories. Egg beaters are another option to consider. They are made from egg whites and many of the nutrients found the yolk are added back in. The breakfast meats that are often served with eggs (bacon, sausage, and ham) can pack a lot of fat, sodium, and calories into the meal. For a healthier option, consider lower fat options like canadian bacon, low sodium ham, turkey bacon, or chicken or veggie sausage.
I used vegetables that I had on hand, but lots of vegetables pair well with eggs! The varieties are endless, try broccoli, spinach, asparagus, tomatoes, or salsa!
Cheesy Breakfast Casserole
Makes 12 servings
3 Tbsp canola oil, divided
4 cups shredded frozen hash browns (I like the Alexia brand)
1 red onion, diced
1 cup baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 bell pepper, diced
8 large eggs, beaten
2 cups of skim milk
1.5 cups shredded lowfat cheddar cheese, divided
pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Heat 2 Tbsp of canola oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Once hot add hashbrowns and cook 5-6 minutes. Pour into baking dish and set aside.
3. Heat remaining Tbsp of canola oil in the frying pan. Add vegetables and saute for 5 minutes until softened. Set aside.

4. Mix eggs, milk, and 1 cup of the shredded cheese in a large bowl. Pour on top of the hashbrowns.
5. Sprinkle vegetables over the eggs. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
6. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Serve warm.

Nutrition Facts: 1/12 of pan
150 calories, 7 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 9 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 10 g protein, 260 mg sodium, 120 mg cholesterol.

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