Hi this heArt of mine fans! I have been enjoying all the scrumptious holiday recipes (and photography) for this Homemade for the Holidays series!
Today, I’m going to share a practical dish for Christmas morning.
You see, I do all my cooking and fancy stuff on Christmas Eve night. After said dinner is over, the formal part of Christmas melts away for us, except for our first gift of Christmas tradition in the morning. Christmas day is spent relaxing, staying in jammies and munching on leftovers from the night before. What could be better!? :)
To keep breakfast low key as well, I like to prepare a breakfast casserole I can stick in the oven, and let cook while we open presents.
Our usual casserole consists of potatoes or pie crust (for a quiche), but I thought I would try to mix things up and make the carb part of the dish out of quinoa! I really wanted to try this a few times before I shared it so I could work out the kinks. But…I ran out of time. So, I’ll share what I did and the changes I would make to get the recipe right.
The ingredients are simple and somewhat flexible:
1 pound of sausage, I like the bacon sausage from Farmland
2-3 cups total of any vegetables of your choice
*I used 1/2 c. red onion, 1 1/2 c. squash and zuchini mixed, 1/2 c. or so of mushrooms
** spinach or artichoke hearts would be a great addition as well
1 cup of milk
salt and pepper
1 1/2 c. grated cheese (cheddar, mozzerella, or any mixture you like)
1 c. quinoa
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
1. Cook your sausage. Set aside and drain off most of the grease.
2. Dice all your vegetables up small and saute them in the leftover sausage grease. Cook onions first, add mushrooms and then squashes, until soft.
3. Soak (10-15 minutes), rinse and drain your quinoa if needed. I am using a brand of prepackaged quinoa that allows me to skip that step. Cook quinoa in two cups of water until it starts to boil. Remove from heat and drain. (I put my quinoa in the casserole raw and ended up with cooked quinoa in the middle and partially cooked, crispy quinoa at the corners. Which is why I’ve added this step).
3. Whisk together your eight eggs and one cup of milk. Add about 1 tsp. of salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper or to your liking.
4. Stir in 1 cup of shredded cheese. Add vegetables and meat.
5. Grease a 9×13 inch pan. Spread your quinoa evenly on the bottom.
6. Pour the egg mixture on top and spread it evenly. Give the pan a good shake to help the quinoa stay on the bottom layer.
7. Cook in the oven about 1/2 an hour until the egg firms up. Top with the remaining cheese and bake for 10 -15 minutes more or until the cheese is melted.
To prepare ahead. Make your egg mixture and prep the quinoa. Cover each and refrigerate for up to a day. When you are ready to make it, layer the quinoa and egg mixture together right before baking.
And there you have pretty much all of breakfast done with one dish! It makes enough to feed a large family too.
Grate a hard salty cheese on top. I used Fontinella.
You can hardly taste the quinoa if you’re not looking for it, but the nutrition is there! ;)
Thanks for having me over Amy!
Extra notes: In the post I mention not really getting to test it more than once and work out the kinks. Having made it again since, I have found that parboiling the quinoa first is necessary. Just be sure to drain it well.
Adding artichoke hearts as is and un-cooked zucchini however is not ideal. It can make the casserole watery and increase the time it takes for the eggs to set up. If you want to add artichoke hearts, saute them with the vegetables or pat them dry before adding them to the casserole.
Other than the watery problem I noticed the second time, it was just as delicious. I think it will be a dish we make again when we have company. It’s filling, nutritious and easy to serve to a crowd. It fed 8 people with leftovers this last time!
Hope you’re having a beautiful Tuesday.