Sunday, March 31, 2013

Breakfast Casserole

Happy Easter! I hope you are having a wonderful Easter. I just read my Easter post from 2011, and it made me a little sad. In 2011, my Easter table was full—my dad and Lynn joined us, Les had the day off from work and my daughter was still in high school and at home. This year, Lynn, my son and I are having a quiet Easter with my daughter away at college and Les working, but the three of us attended a beautiful mass together and enjoyed a delicious brunch.

I’ve made this Breakfast Casserole countless times, so I was surprised this morning when Lynn said she had never had it. I guess that makes sense, since I tend to make Breakfast Casserole for Christmas breakfast, and Lynn usually comes over in the afternoon on Christmas for dinner. This casserole is perfect for brunch. You can assemble it the night before, and pop it in the oven to bake in the morning. It is savory and delicious and perfect with a sweet roll or a bit of fruit salad. I could also imagine it with a spinach salad with strawberries. Breakfast Casserole is the first to go on a breakfast potluck table.

Breakfast Casserole
Printable Recipe
1 28 oz bag of frozen O’Brien hash brown potatoes
1 lb of bacon, cut into pieces, fried and drained
1 7 ounce can diced green chilies, drained
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 dozen eggs
1 cup milk
1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Pour the frozen potatoes in the prepared baking dish and top with the green chilies, bacon and cheese. Beat the eggs, milk, salt, pepper and mustard together, and pour it over the potato mixture.

I usually prepare the casserole the night before and leave it in the refrigerator until I’m ready to cook it the next day. You can also prepare it the same day, but the casserole will take a little longer to cook due to the frozen potatoes.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake the casserole for 40 to 45 minutes or until the edges are brown and the center is firm.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Butternut Squash and Red Bean Stew

I really wanted to post a few vegan recipes during Lent this year, but I’m guess I’m just going to have to admit I'm a slacker during Lent. I have been cooking plenty of delicious vegan recipes, but I just haven’t been photographing them or blogging them. Maybe someday!

I'll just have to be satisfied with posting this recipe for Butternut Squash and Red Bean Stew along with the Vegan Muffelatta Sandwich I posted last month to represent my Lenten vegan cooking this year.

Butternut Squash and Red Bean Stew is another delicious recipe adapted from Bean by Bean Cookbook by Crescent Drangonwagon. The flavors in this stew are rich and filling. You won’t even miss the meat. Les and I enjoyed Butternut Squash and Red Bean Stew for dinner one night, and then I packed it for lunch all week, and it got better with age.

Butternut Squash and Red Bean Stew 
Adapted from Bean by Bean Cookbook by Crescent Dragonwagon
Printable Recipe
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 serrano peppers, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can unsweetened coconut milk (regular or light)
2 teaspoons agave nectar
1 Roasted Butternut Squash (recipe follows)

Heat the canola oil in a Dutch oven and add the onions and cook until the onions are translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the Serrano pepper, turmeric, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika and 1 teaspoon kosher salt and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Lower the heat and add the beans, tomatoes, coconut milk, agave nectar and roasted butternut squash. Heat for about 10 minutes or until the mixture has thickened slightly, stirring occasionally. Serve with brown rice, and garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and sliced green onions.  

Roasted Butternut Squash 
1 (1½ - 2 lb) Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon salt
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the butternut squash in a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Drizzle the squash with olive and bake until the squash is golden brown and tender, about 15 minutes.


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