Brunch Tease: HK Vegetarian Egg Bake
I know that there are times when one should not brag about one’s own cooking, but in this instance, I’m going to toot my own horn.
Vegetarian egg bake!
So. Damn. Good.
I have a recipe for egg bake – my mom’s recipe, actually – that has a pound of pork sausage, 2 cups cheddar cheese, milk and 10 eggs. A brunch staple in my family’s repertoire for years, however, it’s unhealthy as chain-smoking sticks of butter.
(I imagine Paula Deen chain smoking sticks of butter behind her house when the cameras aren’t rolling…LOL.)
I wanted to have an egg bake for breakfast this Sunday morning, so I looked at what I had in the fridge and freezer to make an alternative version that was a bit more healthy. What found was veggie sausage, shredded sharp cheddar, frozen spinach and a package of baby portabella mushrooms.
The veggie sausage, while going against my “avoid fake food” beliefs, is something that I keep on hand in order to keep me from buying a package of Little Sizzlers and eating half the package when I get that breakfast sausage craving. Little Sizzlers: see chain-smoking butter.
Now the frozen spinach I buy is from Trader Joe’s (actually I get a lot of stuff there) and it isn’t a frozen block of doom, but loose, frozen bits of spinach that you can use as much or as little as you need. Works great to add a bit of spinach to pasta sauces, or in this case, an egg bake!
I didn’t measure this one as I made it, so you’ll have to forgive me if the quantities are a bit off – especially the quantity of milk. Hopefully my instructions are clear enough. If not, please email mefor more clarification.
A lightened-up version of an old family favorite using mushrooms and spinach to add a healthy boost of vegetables. Ground sage and ground mustard add another savory note to amplify the flavor of store-bought veggie sausage. Perfect for weekend brunch or for any day when you can take your time with breakfast.
- 2c sliced portabella mushrooms
- 1c (apx.) frozen bagged spinach
- 6 patty-style meat-free sausage (do NOT use the link style)
- 7 eggs (or equivalent egg substitute)
- 1 to 1 1/2c skim milk
- 1c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 slices bread (I used whole grain wheat bread)
- 1tsp salt
- 1tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground sage
- 1 tsp ground mustard
- Saute mushrooms in a non-stick pan over medium heat with a spray of olive oil until tender. Place in a bowl.
- In the same pan, saute the frozen spinach until the spinach is thawed and all the excess water has evaporated. Place in the bowl with the mushrooms.
- Heat the veggie sausage patties in the microwave on a large microwave-safe plate according to package directions.
- While the veggie sausage is heating up, beat 7 eggs in a separate bowl. Add 1c milk, salt, pepper and ground mustard and mix thoroughly with a whisk.
- On the plate, break or cut up the veggie sausage into small pieces. Sprinkle the ground sage on top of the pieces and mix thoroughly.
- Add the vegetable mixture, the sausage mixture and the cheese to the egg mixture. Stir to incorporate all the ingredients together.
- Slice the bread into small cubes and add to the egg mixture. You want the mixture to be a little runny, so if the bread absorbs too much egg mixture, add small amounts of the remaining 1/2c of milk until it's a little runny.
- Pour into a greased 9x13 baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until the top is starting to brown and the center of the casserole has set. Tip: insert a toothpick or butter knife in the center of the casserole, if it comes out relatively clean, then it's set.