Spinach and Cheese Breakfast Casserole

One of my favorite meals is breakfast, but I rarely give it the honor it deserves. I find it hard to devote time for it. The perfect breakfast for me would be later in the morning,  but leisurely. It would probably be a brunch. I don’t have the patience to go beyond the coffee too early in the morning. I love eggs though, and I love other typical breakfast food.

Spinach-Breakfast-Casserole-confident-cook

I had an abundance of spinach in my house. So, I decided to turn some of it in to breakfast food. I came up with this breakfast casserole. I am so happy with the way it turned out. I had to share it with you.


Spinach and Cheese Breakfast Casserole
Ingredients:

oil spray
1 bag pre-cooked hash browns (I like to use Alexia or Simply Potatoes)
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
5 oz. mushrooms, sliced (cremini, white button combo)
3 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
1.5 cups shredded swiss or gruyere cheese, or a combo of both
2 tbsp. shredded parmesan cheese
8  extra-large eggs
4 tbsp. half & half
1 tsp. cayenne
2 tsp. ground pepper
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. paprika

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375.

Spray a 9×13 baking dish with the oil spray.

Empty the bag of the hashbrown potatoes in to the pan.

Sprinkle the potatoes with salt and pepper. Drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes.

Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes or until you see the edges begin to brown.

When done, remove from oven.

Layer the onions and garlic, then the mushrooms and then the spinach over the potatoes.

Layer the shredded cheese over the veggie mixture.

Whisk together the eggs with the half & half and the rest of the spices. Pour the egg mixture over the veggies.

Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top.

Bake in the oven at 375 for around 25-30 minutes or until the eggs are set.

Remove from oven and serve.

Enjoy!

Spinach-casserole-confident-cook
Spinach and Cheese Breakfast Casserole
 
Author:

Ingredients
  • oil spray
  • 1 bag pre-cooked hash browns (I like to use Alexia or Simply Potatoes)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 5 oz. mushrooms, sliced (cremini, white button combo)
  • 3 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1.5 cups shredded swiss or gruyere cheese, or a combo of both
  • 2 tbsp. shredded parmesan cheese
  • 8 extra-large eggs
  • 4 tbsp. half & half
  • 1 tsp. cayenne
  • 2 tsp. ground pepper
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. paprika

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with the oil spray.
  3. Empty the bag of the hashbrown potatoes in to the pan. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt and pepper. Drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes or until you see the edges begin to brown. When done, remove from oven.
  4. Layer the onions and garlic, then the mushrooms and then the spinach over the potatoes. Layer the shredded cheese over the veggie mixture.
  5. Whisk together the eggs with the half & half and the rest of the spices.
  6. Pour the egg mixture over the veggies.
  7. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top.
  8. Bake in the oven at 375 for around 25-30 minutes or until the eggs are set.
  9. Remove from oven and serve. Enjoy!

Orecchiette with Caramelized Onions and Mushroom Sauce

I love pasta. Who doesn’t?

The best part about pasta is that my kids tend to love it–no matter what I put on it. Top it with veggies and some Parmesan cheese and they are happy campers.

Another reason I love pasta is because of all of the wonderful shapes it comes in. Every shape has a it’s benefits – based on how it sticks or holds whatever toppings you pair it with. One of my favorite pasta shapes is Orecchiette. The name of the pasta comes from it’s shape – the ear. Though my daughter thinks it resembles a hat more than an ear. We won’t go there. I love the shape and it’s consistency. I also love the way it grabs on to the toppings.

This recent pasta dinner was super easy to make – you just have to have a little bit of patience with the onions. I love onions, especially caramelized onions. They cook by themselves and require very little effort – my kind of meal. With the addition of some meaty baby bella mushrooms, the dish is complete.




Orecchiette with Caramelized Onions and Mushroom Sauce
Ingredients:


1 lb orecchiette pasta
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
2 large onions, sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
10 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
sea salt
fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped thyme
1/4 cup half & half
1/4 parmesan cheese

Directions:

Cook pasta according to the directions on the box. Cook to
al dente, reserving about 3/4 cup of the cook water. Strain the pasta. Do not rinse it. Set aside.

While pasta is cooking, work on the onions. 

Slice the onions in to thin strips. Heat up a pan with olive oil and butter. Add the onions. Let them cook on medium with a lid for about 20 minutes. You will see them begin to caramelize. 


After 20 minutes, add the garlic, mushrooms and thyme. Let it cook for a bit longer. 


After another 7 minutes or so, add in the half & half and the parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Stir.  Add in the pasta water and the pasta. Stir everything up.


Serve and enjoy!

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Parmesean Crusted Tilapia

When I am craving protein in the middle of the week, we usually turn to fish. We have been buying fish at some of the local Korean and Japanese markets. We find the fish to be freshest and pretty cheap. This week I had some tilapia that I wanted to use up. My only regret, was that since we bought it whole, it wasn’t cut properly. I can’t debone or fillet a fish for the life me. Our dinner was still tasty, but we had to eat around the bones. Next time I will buy the fillets. So much for saving a buck.

Parmesean Crusted Tilapia
Ingredients:

3/4 cup grated parmesean
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter – softened
Juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt
pepper
One lemon, sliced thinly
4 tilapia fillets


Preheat the oven to 425.

Mix everything except for the fish and lemon slices in a small bowl. Grease a baking pan.

Lay the lemon slices on the pan. Lay the fish over the lemon. Spread the cheese mixture over the fish.

Bake 15 minutes, or until done.

Enjoy!

Kosher Carbonara – Yes it’s possible…

Pasta Carbonara is said to be pure Italian comfort food. The basics of the classic dish are bacon, eggs, pasta, and parmesean. The bacon is obviously problematic in my world as far as kashrut goes. The raw eggs, which are cooked in the pasta, while not a problem, it still made me nervous.

Some people choose to use some of the fakin’ bacon. I choose not to, only because the texture doesn’t work quite right ever. Have no fear though, Bacon Salt is here. Bacon Salt is a spice mixture that gives your food that yummy eerie flavor of bacon. I just bought it and thought that a cabonara would be the perfect dish to test this spice out.

Below is the recipe I came up with…

Kosher Carbonara

Ingredients:

1 lb. spaghetti
3 eggs
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
8 mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup of peas
1/2 stick of butter
salt
pepper
1/2 cup of white wine
1/2 cup of starchy pasta water
2 tbsp. bacon salt
1 cup parmesean
olive oil

Cook the pasta to al dente in a pot of salted water.
In pan, saute the garlic. Add in the mushrooms and peas. Continue to saute. Add in one tablepoon of the bacon salt. Now add the wine and the cooking water.

In a separate bowl, mix up the eggs with the parmesean cheese.

Drain the hot pasta into a large bowl. Quickly add in the egg and cheese mixture and stir, stir, stir. Now mix in the mushroom/pea mixture. Keep stirring. The pasta will cook the egg, but you don’t want the egg to scramble. Add in the butter. Stir some more. You should have some yummy creamy pasta.

Serve on a plate. Spinkle on additional bacon salt and parmesean.

It was very tasty. I have never tasted real carbonara, so I have nothing to compare it to, but this was very good.


Pasta with Pesto

The kid must have read my mind when I asked her what she wanted for dinner on the ride home from school. I was overjoyed when her response was “green noodles.” This is 6-year-old speak for pasta with pesto. Next to pasta aglio e olio, pesto is my favorite pasta pair-up. As luck would have it, I had just bought a nice bunch of basil during my lunchtime trek through Chelsea Market.It was extra special to have two miniature assistants to help with the dinner cook-up. Pesto is super easy to make with your food processor. A plate of pasta and a nice salad on the side and you are good for the night.

Pesto
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup basil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup of toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup of parmesean (I leave mine out usually to make a pareve pesto, then add parmesean as necessary on a per meal basis) Do not use the powdered processed stuff in a can
  • 1/2 cup of good quality olive oil
  • a sprinkle of salt to taste

Directions:

Wash and sort your basil. Basil is often dirty and sandy.

Combine the dry ingredients in the food processor, then slowly add the olive oil. Dip finger in and taste. Add salt if necessary.

Pesto freezes well. I like to freeze in 1/2 cup increments.

 

Spoon pesto over and mix into pasta. I add a sprinkle of pine nuts and shredded parmesean. Enjoy with a side salad. Bon Appetit!

 

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