Make-ahead egg bake

The holiday season is well under way and who among us isn’t busy? This simple, make-ahead egg bake is one way to make life a little easier. It can be made the day before and will keep, covered, until you are ready to pop it in the oven. This egg bake is extremely customizable to suit the tastes of your family. All you need to know is a basic ratio: 10 eggs to 2 cups of milk. To make this recipe heart healthy consider substituting two egg whites or a commercially made cholesterol free egg substitute – 1/4 cup can be substituted for one egg.

This recipe can be as simple or complex as you like. For example, sautéed spinach (well drained of all liquid), onions and garlic are great in this recipe, but perhaps you don’t have time for these extra steps or have fresh ingredients on hand. Defrosted frozen chopped spinach (squeezed of all liquid) and garlic and onion powder can be used in their place, still resulting in a delicious egg bake. This is an excellent way to use up leftover ingredients and incorporate more vegetables into your diet. Don’t be afraid to try new combinations.

Stick to your healthy holiday eating plan but be realistic. Enjoy the holidays while keeping in mind moderation. Emphasize non-starchy vegetables in recipes like this. Eat 2-3 servings of fruit per day and keep moving!

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Grease a 13×9 casserole dish with olive oil or whipped margarine (0 trans fats, 0 saturated fats).
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Preparing ingredients.
  • Whisk together 10 eggs (or equivalent listed above) and 2 cups of 2% milk (low fat milk will result in a watery egg bake).
  • Season with herbs, spices, garlic and pepper to cut back on salt.
  • Cover the bottom of the dish with the filling ingredients of your choice. See below for suggestions.
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Sautéed mushrooms, spinach, garlic, onions and roasted red peppers.
  • Sprinkle cheese (if using) over filling ingredients.
  • Pour egg and milk mixture over your ingredients making sure to evenly distribute.
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Pouring egg mixture over filling ingredients.
  • Cook at 375° for 45 to 55 minutes (checking after 40) or until eggs are golden brown on top and a knife comes out clean when poked into the center.
  • Let sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
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Resting egg bake.
  • Consider serving with fresh fruit and a side salad for a wholesome breakfast, lunch, or even dinner.
  • Serves 9-12.
Egg bake with sautéed mushrooms, spinach and roasted red pepper.
Egg bake with mozzarella, sautéed mushrooms, spinach, garlic, onions and roasted red pepper.

Suggestions for filling ingredients

Vegetables:
emphasize to minimize calories and keep fiber up.
Sautéed fresh spinach or defrosted frozen spinach (well drained.)
Asparagus (pre-cooked.)
Sundried tomatoes.
Artichoke hearts.
Roasted red peppers (if using jarred, rinse and dry well.)
Broccoli (pre-cooked.)
Sautéed onions or shallots.
Sautéed garlic.
Sautéed mushrooms.
Sliced kalamata olives.
Cheese:
consider using low fat cheese as a heart healthy substitute.
1 ½ -2 cups of shredded cheeses.
Cheddar.
Swiss.
Mozzarella.
Fontina.
Feta.
Parmesan.
Meat
No more than 1 lb.
Bacon (cooked, drained of fat and crumbled.)
Sausage (cooked and drained of fat. Consider trying sweet italian turkey sausage.)
Proscuitto.
Diced ham (a great way to use up leftover holiday ham!)
Diced cooked chicken or turkey.
Flavoring
To be added to the egg mixture.
A dash of hot sauce or crushed red pepper flakes for added heat.
Teaspoon of dijon mustard.
Herbs of your choice: Basil, parsley, oregano, etc. Fresh or dried.

Tips

  • If you use a salty ingredient such as bacon or ham, don’t add salt to the dish.
  • Be sure to drain ingredients well, squeezing out excess moisture whenever possible. Watery ingredients will create a watery egg bake.
  • Season every layer to achieve a more flavorful egg bake. Season your egg mixture as well as the vegetables you may cook for the filling.
  • If you are using minimal filling ingredients, for example, only ham and cheddar cheese, consider adding an extra 2 eggs and ½ cup of milk.
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