Breakfast is absolutely my favorite meal of the day.
In fact, I enjoy breakfast foods so much that I can recall the first time I was introduced to various breakfast foods, including breakfast burritos, cheese toast, a full English breakfast and bagels with cream cheese.
Perhaps the most memorable first, though, was the first time I ate a breakfast casserole. It was on a Saturday morning in June 1995.
It was the weekend of City Stages, a now-defunct music festival in Birmingham, Alabama. My date and I went to a brunch before heading to the festival. Our host served breakfast casserole with fresh fruit and mimosas. It was filling, but not heavy, and so very delicious. I asked for — and got — the recipe, and I cooked it for many years whenever I had guests over as well as on Christmas morning.
Over the years, I’ve tweaked the recipe and I think I now have it where it needs to be. Both delicious and healthy, it features spinach, which is one of my favorite foods. A recent report said that eating just one serving of spinach daily may help slow the process of age-associated cognitive decline. In other words, eating a serving of spinach every day is an easy and affordable brain booster. Spinach also contains natural compounds that quell your hunger and possibly help you eat less, if weight loss is a goal.
My family and I will be enjoying this eggs-cellent breakfast casserole Christmas morning… and New Year’s Day as well. I hope you’ll consider making it a tradition for your family’s favorite holiday celebrations. But it’s certainly healthy enough to enjoy more often…
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 12 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- One bunch of spinach (roughly 10oz.)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup salsa
- 5 eggs
- 5 egg whites
- ⅓ cup water
- 3 shallots, thinly sliced
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 7-by-11 glass or ceramic baking dish with olive oil spray and set aside.
- Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are tender.
- Add the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil and the spinach. Cook until the spinach has cooked down and is bright green, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Season with the sea salt and pepper. Drain any extra liquid.
- On the bottom of the prepared baking dish, spread the mushroom and spinach mixture evenly. Spoon the salsa over the mushroom and spinach mixture.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites and water. Pour the egg mixture over the mushroom, spinach and salsa mixture. Sprinkle the shallots over the top.
- Bake until the eggs are set and are starting to turn light golden brown, about 25 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a fork or toothpick into the middle of the eggs. It should come out clean, but slightly wet.
- Allow the casserole to sit for about 5 minutes, then cut into pieces and serve. Fresh fruit makes a good accompaniment.