It's the morning after a weekend of heavy eating, and still you have family and friends visiting, sleeping in, slouching over their first cups of coffee, needing to be fed. By this time, everyone has had their fill of turkey-potato-stuffing leftovers. You want to send them home with a great breakfast, one that's easy on the cook and a bit kinder to the waistline, and you can't go wrong with an egg and cheese casserole packed with vegetables. After just a few minutes' work, and 35 minutes in the oven, something pouffy and tantalizing emerges, and your guests will feel loved and pampered and never know how simple it was for you to create. In this version, combine low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese with a little bit of goat cheese for a creamy texture. Leeks contribute a sweeter flavor than onions, though either would be fine here. Just add toast, orange juice, the Sunday newspapers, and, well... more coffee.
Egg casserole with leeks, red bell pepper and goat cheese
3 large leeks, white parts only, chopped
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
2 tsp dried thyme
10 large eggs
2 Tbsp nonfat (skim) milk
8 oz shredded low-fat cheese (I use four-cheese Italian blend)
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a casserole dish (approximately 9x13, any shape) with cooking spray, and set aside.
Wash the chopped leeks thoroughly in a bowl of cold water, and spin dry in a salad spinner.
In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil. Sauté the chopped leeks and red pepper for 3-4 minutes. Add the thyme, and cook for 1 more minute. Transfer the mixture to the casserole dish, and allow to cool slightly.
In a large bowl or 8-quart measuring cup (my favorite mixing bowl!), whisk the eggs and milk until slightly frothy. Stir in the cheeses, salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables in the casserole dish. Stir gently, to bring some of the vegetables to the surface.
Bake, uncovered, for 35 minutes.
Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold.
More egg and cheese dishes for breakfast, lunch or dinner:
Broccoli, mushroom, egg and cheese breakfast casserole, from The Perfect Pantry
Kale, mushroom and caramelized onion breakfast casserole, from The Perfect Pantry
Egg and cheese casserole with chayote squash and green chiles, from The Perfect Pantry
Spinach frittata, from Simply Recipes
Mini frittatas with bacon, parmesan cheese and green onions, from Cookin' Canuck
Egg muffins with ham, cheese, and green bell pepper, from Kalyn's Kitchen
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