CEiMB: Broccoli-Cheddar Breakfast Bake
Whether it be the CrockPot or some other form of make-ahead cooking, the idea of coming home to dinner waiting or needing minimal effort is incredibly exciting. Am I right? As the main cook in our apartment, I am responsible for dinner 99% of the time. A fact I rarely mind considering that our deal is whoever doesn’t cook is on clean up. Sometimes though, I just want a break. Sometimes the idea of heading to the kitchen just sounds tiring instead of exciting. It’s nice to have tried and true recipes to turn to on those days.
I’ve noticed that a lot of the recipes that claim to be “make-ahead” actually involve a lot of steps the day before. As much as I look forward to a night off, I don’t want to work doubly hard another night to make up for it. What’s so great about this recipe is I didn’t have to. With the exception of cooking up an onion and a little chopping, all I had to do was mix this all in a baking dish and leave it soaking in the fridge for a few hours. Easy.
Now, CEiMB is no stranger to these breakfast bake, strata style recipes, and despite choosing one of them myself, I’ve not yet been a fan. It seems the texture has been off both of the other times we tried something similar. Knowing that, I wasn’t sure what to think of Heide at chez zero‘s choice, but since we are now a broccoli-loving household, I decided to go with it. The texture this time around was much improved. I think cutting the recipe in half and using a smaller, square pan may have helped. It was definitely eggy, not mushy as it has been in the past. The nutmeg gives it a great flavor, and overall we were pretty happy. I particularly enjoyed watching it fall – the center was several inches higher when I first took it out of the oven! If I’m ever hosting a brunch or breakfast-themed party, this will be on the menu.
Broccoli-Cheddar Breakfast Bake
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 multi-graind baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup egg beaters
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 cup fat free milk
1/2 10-oz package frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
4 ounces shredded extra-sharp cheddar
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until translucent and beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Spray an 8X8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange the bread cubes in the dish. In a large bowl, beat the egg beaters, eggs, egg whites and milk until incorporated. Add the onions, broccoli, cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper and stir to incorporate. Pour the egg mixture over the bread, spreading it around so the liquid saturates the bread. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 deg F. Remove the plastic wrap and bake until the top forms a light brown crust, 50 to 60 minutes. Serve hot.
Source: Ellie Krieger’s “So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week”, p. 52 (or you can visit Chez Zero for the original recipe)