Everything Bagel Strata

For the Strata:
Unsalted butter, for the baking dish (did not use)
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
8 large eggs (5 whole, 3 egg white only)
2 1/2 cups milk (more like 2 cups)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill (unfortunately store did not have fresh. Used dried but fresh would have been way better).
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
5 day-old everything bagels, halved horizontally and cut into bite-size pieces (I used 4)

For the Caper Relish:
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 small red onion, finely diced (did not use)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 ounces smoked salmon, thinly sliced

Make the strata: Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Combine the cream cheese and eggs in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the milk and parmesan and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Add the dill and blend a few seconds, then blend in the lemon zest.

Transfer the custard to a large bowl. Add the bagel pieces and mix to coat, pressing on the bagels to totally submerge them in the custard. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Cover and refrigerate overnight, pressing on the bagels a few times. (I did not see this and it was 6PM so needless to say I skipped this step.)

Preheat the oven to 350˚. While it heats, remove the strata from the refrigerator, uncover and place on a baking sheet. Bake until puffed and lightly golden brown around the edges and just set in the center, about 40 minutes. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Make the caper relish: Combine the capers, dill, tomatoes and onion in a bowl. Season with a touch of salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.

To serve, cut the strata into large round circles (like a bagel!) and place on plates (I did not do this). Top with the smoked salmon and relish.

By Bobby Flay/Food Network

Polenta Bake with Goat Cheese, Spinach and Red Pepper

2 cups polenta
7 cups water
1 cup dried “porcini juice”: Add dried mushrooms (about ¼ cup or so) to 1 cup of hot water. When the water gets dark, take out mushrooms, squeeze over water and discard mushrooms.
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil
Package of baby spinach
1 or 2 red peppers, seeded and chopped
Herbed goat cheese
Fresh thyme, chopped

Preheat oven to 375. In a pot bring 7 cups water and the 1 cup of flavorful “porcini juice”. Gradually stir in polenta, stirring quickly to avoid lumps. Cooking time about 15 minutes. Add thyme and stir – take off heat.

Add olive oil to a skillet and heat. Add red pepper and cook until soft. Add spinach in bunches until wilted.

Spread the polenta on the bottom of a lightly oiled baking dish. Arrange red pepper/greens on polenta. Add blobs of goat cheese over the vegetable mixture. Bake for about 20 minutes.

By: K2

Kale and Red Pepper Bread Pudding with Blue Cheese

French baguette, cubed
1 bag prewashed, chopped kale
1 large red pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 tsp nutmeg
6 eggs
1 C 2% milk
About 1 C blue cheese, crumbled
½ C white wine
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss kale with a pinch of salt and pepper and some olive oil on a baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes and take out. Heat oil in a sauté pan. Add the red peppers and cook until just a little soft. Add nutmeg and pepper. Cook for a minute or two more. Take off heat. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, about half of the blue cheese, and white wine. Place bread down in casserole dish. Add some crumbled blue cheese. Then the kale and red pepper. Pour egg mixture over. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes. Take out of oven, remove foil, place back in oven and cook for 15-20 minutes more.

By: K2

Baked Pasta with Tuna, Spinach and Artichokes

1 pound short tube pasta
1 bottle grilled marinated artichokes, drained, chopped
1 bag frozen spinach, defrosted – squeeze out water
1 can of yellow fin tuna in olive oil
Bread crumbs
Olive oil
1 to 1.5 C coconut milk beverage or almond milk + 2 T potato starch (or corn starch) + pepper
Dried tarragon

Cook pasta according to directions; drain. In a bowl mix in artichokes, spinach and tuna. Pour the coconut milk slurry over and mix well. Place in a casserole dish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs, spray on some olive oil and sprinkle tarragon on top. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.

By: K2

Best Ever Enchilada Casserole

1 pound tomatillos, husks removed, halved
1 bag spinach
1 cup cilantro
Extra-virgin olive oil
Ground cumin and coriander
Corn tortilla (about 12 to 18)
Large red pepper, chopped
½ a bag frozen corn (thawed)
1 box salt-free kidney beans
Light shredded cheese
In a food processor, finely chop the tomatillos, spinach, and ½ C of cilantro. Add cumin and coriander. Chop the rest of the cilantro. Sautee red pepper in olive oil. Add corn and beans and cook for a little bit more. Take off heat. Add the cilantro.
In a casserole dish, layer tortillas, the “filling” (red pepper, corn, beans and cilantro), tomatillo sauce and then cheese. Do this layering a couple of times. Cook at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
By: K2

Breakfast Casserole #2 (Kale or Chard)

9 eggs, 5 whole and 4 egg whites only
Package (16 oz) of frozen hash brown potatoes (plain –no fat or salt added)
5 or so cups of finely chopped lacinato (dinosaur) kale (chard is another good option)
1 C light grated cheese
1/2 - 1/3 C grated pecorino romano cheese
Cooked bacon
Other spices, herbs

Turn on oven to 350 degrees. Defrost hash browns in microwave. Spray casserole dish with olive oil. Place potatoes in dish, spray top with a little olive oil and place in oven. Wash and spin dry the kale; chop finely. Whisk eggs in a bowl (I add a little coconut or almond milk). Add pepper and any other spices or herbs of choice, and/or bacon. Take potatoes out of oven and turn up heat to 375. Place kale on top of potatoes. Follow with eggs and the shredded cheese. Top with pecorino cheese. Bake for about half an hour – until set and cheese is turning brown.

By: K2

Breakfast Casserole

1 package frozen hash browns (I use "naked" ones - no salt or oil)
3 green peppers, cut into strips
1 orange or red pepper, cut into strips
1 small onion, sliced into half-moons
1-2 clove garlic, minced
9 eggs (4 whole and 5 egg-whites)
1 bag shredded light cheddar cheese
2-3  T of Parmigiano-Reggiano

Place hash browns in a casserole dish. Bake in oven about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat some olive oil in a skillet. Saute onions until soft. Add peppers and continue to saute until cooked. Throw in garlic. Set aside. Place eggs in a bowl and whisk (add a little liquid if you prefer - I have used a little 1/2 and 1/2 I had on hand or unflavored coconut milk - the kind in a carton). Place veggies on top of hash browns. Follow with cheddar cheese (I use about 3/4th a bag). Sprinkle parm. on top. Place in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or so. Let it sit for a little before cutting it into squares.




Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole

1 dozen corn tortillas
1 small can diced green chilies (hot)
Green or red salsa (low salt)
1 can pinto beans, drained (low salt)
1 small can sliced olives
1 carton low fat cottage cheese
Light shredded cheese (Mexican blend)
1 onion, chopped
1-2 zucchini, chopped
1 carton of mushrooms, chopped
1-2 t dried epazote (or oregano)

Add some olive oil to a pan and heat. Sauté vegetables until soft.

Mix together the beans, chilies, olives, vegetables, cottage cheese and epazote.

Dredge the tortilla in the salsa. Place half in bottom of an oiled casserole dish. Place half of veg mixture on top. Dredge the second half of tortilla in salsa and lay on top followed by rest of veg mix. Top with shredded cheese. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes.

Chicken (or Turkey) Divan

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast (used leftover turkey breast from Thanksgiving)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups diced leek, white and light green parts only (only had a few shallots but would like to try with the leeks)
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
14-ounces reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup low-fat milk (used non-fat soy)
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Added: some fresh ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 10-ounce boxes frozen chopped broccoli, thawed, or 1 pound broccoli crowns
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise (used low-fat Canola oil mayo)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Added: Whole wheat dried breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 2-quart glass baking dish with cooking spray.
Place chicken in a medium skillet or saucepan and add water to cover. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the center, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and slice into bite-size pieces (I shredded the turkey).

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add leek [diced shallots] and salt and cook, stirring often, until softened but not browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add flour; stir to coat. Add broth, milk, sherry, thyme, nutmeg and pepper and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Add broccoli; return to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan, mayonnaise and mustard.

Spread half the broccoli mixture in the prepared baking dish. Top with the chicken, then the remaining broccoli mixture. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan. I added about ¼ C breadcrumbs. Bake until bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes (added another 4-5 minutes under broiler to brown the top a bit). Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition: 308 Calories; 10 g Fat; 4 g Sat; 4 g Mono; 76 mg Cholesterol; 20 g Carbohydrates; 35 g Protein; 4 g Fiber; 712 mg Sodium; 401 mg Potassium

From: Eating Well

Mac n Cheese n Cauliflower

2.5 C skim milk
4 tablespoons light cream cheese
3 T flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Dash or two of cayenne pepper
2.5 C shredded light cheese mix (e.g., cheddar and jack)
1/2 C shredded Pecorino Romano cheese
1 t Dijon mustard
8 cups cooked whole-wheat pasta (I prefer shells)
Chopped cauliflower (about a medium head), cooked (but not mushy)
Panko breadcrumbs
Spray oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, combine milk, cream cheese, flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until mixture comes to a slow boil, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove pan from heat; stir in remaining cheeses and mustard until cheese melts. In a baking dish sprayed with oil, toss pasta with cauliflower; pour cheese mixture over top and stir together. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top and spray with some oil spray. Cook until heated through and bubbly. Yum.

By: K2