This week's Craving Ellie in my Belly recipe is Vegetable Cheese Strata and was chosen by Jenn at A Mid-Life Culinary Adventure. The generic title of this recipe is so appropriate because it's basically a "clean out your fridge" type of dish. Throw in any random veggies and cheese you need to get rid of and you've got yourself a strata!
I'm so proud of myself for not adding anything fattening this time....like spicy sausage (but that would have been really good!) I did substitute roasted asparagus because I'm not a fan of broccoli and since I didn't have any mozzarella in the house, I used goat cheese. Like I said, throw in anything that suits your fancy.
This is one of those make-ahead dishes that needs to sit in the fridge for at least eight hours, so plan accordingly. I can see making this for brunch when the family is all visiting. So easy to throw together the night before and pop in the oven in the morning.
I was the only one here to try this today but I'll definitely make this again. I think Mr. B would really like it.
Here's the recipe:
Vegetable Cheese Strata
The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups (8 ounces) sliced mushrooms
1 whole wheat baguette, crusts removed, cubed (about 5 cups)
8 eggs and 8 egg whites (I used the egg whites from the carton so I didn't have to figure out what to do with eight yolks!)
2 cups lowfat milk (I used fat free)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
10 ounces broccoli, steamed, cooled and chopped (or frozen, thawed) (I substituted roasted asparagus)
1-ounce (1/3 cup) grated Parmesan
4-ounce (1 cup) part-skim mozzarella cheese (I used goat cheese)
1/2 cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes, reconstituted
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent and beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another 1 minute. Transfer the onion mixture to a medium bowl and allow to cool. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in the skillet and saute the mushrooms until they release all of their water, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely. Spray an oval baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange the bread cubes in the dish. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, egg whites, milk and mustard until incorporated. Add mushrooms, onion-garlic mixture, broccoli, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, sun-dried tomatoes, thyme, and salt and pepper and stir to incorporate. Pour mixture over bread, making sure liquid saturates bread. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or at least 8 hours. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the plastic wrap from strata and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until top forms a light brown crust.