Sausage, Cheese, & Veggie Egg Bake

It’s been so long since I posted a new recipe. Maybe I needed the liquor to get through the holidays. I feel like I just haven’t had the time, energy, or creativity for trying and making something new. I swear, my favorite food bloggers must have known, because they have been posting some very tempting things and have nudged me to get back to experimenting with food.

I, for one, have been eating a lot more eggs lately, especially boiled eggs. They make a very portable breakfast or snack. I even add them to my lunch as a source of protein. Occasionally, I fix breakfast for dinner – the kids are tricked into thinking it is something special but I know that it is also a really healthy meal.

I have always looked at these one pan egg dishes as a great and easy meal option – mixed with hash browns or bread for a French Toast version. I am said to say that none of my previous experiments worked out as planned. The French toast one ended up being too soggy in the middle and burned near the edges. The one with potatoes and sausage actually lacked flavor. But, I haven’t given up. So this recipe showed up on my Facebook newsfeed from Skinnytaste. She rarely (if ever) steers me wrong. I wasn’t crazy about all of her suggestions for veggies, but she plainly states that anything goes. So, well, here goes. (And, click here for the link to the original recipe.)

Ingredients: 2 links (7 oz) sweet Italian chicken sausage, removed from skin, 1 ¾ cups shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1/3 cup chopped shallots, 1 cup chopped roasted red peppers (from a jar), 1 ½ cups chopped broccoli florets, 8 large whole eggs, 4 large egg whites, ¼ cup fat free milk, 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese, ½ tsp kosher salt, ¼ tsp ground pepper

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Directions: Preheat the oven to 375F. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Place half of the cheese into the dish. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray, cook the sausage and set aside when done. Put olive oil into the skillet, sauté shallots until tender (5-6 minutes). Add broccoli, peppers and sausage to the skillet, mix well and cook for another minute or so. Spread in the pan over the cheese. In a bowl, mix together eggs, egg whites, milk, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Pour over the vegetables and top with remaining cheese. Bake 32-35 minutes – doneness is ensured when a knife is inserted in the center and comes out clean. Let stand for 8-10 minutes before serving.

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I have to say that this combination of whole eggs and egg whites is perfect, in my opinion. The original recipe calls for mushrooms – it would be a nice addition, but I’m not too keen on them. I also like the layer of cheese on the bottom, it seems to make for neater cutting (the pieces stayed together well also). Really, the sky’s the limit with options for what to add to this. And, I certainly plan to make this a few more times and experiment with various fillings.

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