Saturday, November 6, 2010

Southwest Spinach strata

I finally decided to make an egg type casserole.  I've been wanting to make one for breakfast, but never do, so I put it on the menu for dinner this week.  This recipe came from my taste of home healthy cooking magazine.  It called for southwestern-style egg substitute.  I looked at it at the store and it had diced peppers and onions, then one of the ingredients was horseradish and I decided not to get it, but to make my own.  (I was going to add diced peppers and onions but totally forgot.)  What I didn't forget to do was add a blend of spices.  I was super happy with the combination of spices I made.  It had a wonderful flavor.  However, it took forever to cook and then still ended up soggy.  I'm not sure why.  I used regular bread which I toasted and cube (It called for day old.)  I used all wheat because that is what I have.  (It called for 1/2 wheat and 1/2 white bread cubes.)  I did everything else the same -other than added spices which should make no cooking difference.  I had to cook this at least 20 minutes longer than it said - probably more like 25 because I kept letting the timer buzz at me before going and adding 5 of 10 more minutes.  It was still way too soggy for me and the kids.  (It wasn't super soggy, it was completely cooked - didn't feed the kiddos raw eggs or anything, it was just overly moist - hey, my 2 meals today needed to get together and work out a trade - breakfast was too dry and dinner too moist.)  I think if I made this again, I'd leave out 1 cup of milk - maybe even add an extra 1/2 cup of egg.  That would give 1/2 cup less liquid, and I think it would do the trick.  Like I said, I really really liked the flavor.  I liked the black beans (not the Spinach so much - would prefer corn with my black beans, but Tavio loves spinach.)  I also liked the edges where the cheese got melted and made a wonderful cheesy crust.  Yum.  I forgot to serve this with sour cream and salsa, but I really didn't think it needed it.
This gets a 4 star for flavor, but 2 star for the texture.  Ends up 3 star all around.  Although at least 1 of my boys would put it lower.

  • 5 cups cubed day old bread (I used wheat - recipe said 2 1/2 cup wheat and 2 1/2 cup white.)
  • 2/3 cup black beans, rinsed and drained (I could up this a bit.)
  • 1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup egg substitute (possibly up to 1/2 cup next time)
  • 2 cups fat free milk (definitely lower next time - probably by 1/2)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Place 1/2 of the bread crumbs in an 8 inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Layer with beans, spinach, and half of the cheese.  Top with remaining bread cubes.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the egg substitute, milk, cilatro and salt.  Pour over the top.  Let stand for 5 minutes.
  3. Bake, uncovered at 350 for 40 minutes (mine was in at least 1 hour.)  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

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