Category Archives: bake

Breakfast Bake: Egg, Baby Kale, & Feta

Baby kale!  Who knew? I was so excited when I saw this in the grocery store.  Kale is great for you, but traditionally it’s really hearty and kind of tough.  Baby kale is so much more delicate, doesn’t require any prep work, and can be used in place of spinach leaves for just about anything, so I started with this. Throw this “breakfast bake” together in 15 minutes, bake it for 30-35, and you have a super filling breakfast that gives you the added benefit of another serving of veggies for the day.  We ate this over the next 2 days, and it was still delicious.

BREAKFAST BAKE: EGG, BABY KALE, & FETA (makes 6 servings)
– 1/2 a container of baby kale (I used Olivia’s Organics, so approx. 6 oz.), or regular-leaf kale, “ribs” removed, and chopped roughly
– 1 tbsp. EVOO
– 3 shallots, thinly sliced
– 1/2 – 1/3 C. crumbled feta
– 8 eggs – 4 with yolk, 4 egg whites only
– 1/4 c. milk
– 1 tsp. Herbamare, which is the greatest seasoning ever, or just regular salt & pepper if you can’t find it
– 1/2 tsp. fresh chopped dill (optional)
– Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 375.

2. Rub a little olive oil in an 8 x 8 (or similar) casserole dish.

3. In a large sautee pan, heat the 1 tbsp. EVOO, then add the shallots and cook until they soften, approx. 2 minutes.  Add the baby kale and sautee until wilted, which shouldn’t take longer than a minute.  If you’re using regular kale, it’ll take about 2 minutes until it’s just wilted.  Add the tsp. Herbamare and the dill, and stir to combine everything.


4. Remove from heat and spread the kale/shallot mixture in the casserole dish. Top with the crumbled feta.


5. Lightly beat the eggs and milk.  Add however much salt & pepper you would typically add for scrambled eggs.


6. Pour the egg mixture over the kale/shallots/feta.  Use a fork to gently sort of poke the egg mixture down into the kale & shallots, so that the eggs get evenly distributed.


7.  Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until the eggs are set.  Remove from the oven and let stand 5 minutes.


8. Cut into servings and enjoy, then save your leftovers (if there are any!) for a quick breakfast over the next day or two.

Lightened-up Cheesy Chicken & Broccoli Bake

 

Last Saturday was such a tease – almost 60 degrees and sunny – perfect for Scranton’s Parade Day (the second largest parade in the country!). The Irish in this area apparently have some serious pull, because right after Parade Day, the cold came again – snow flurries, winds whipping, etc.  Perfect for some end-of-winter comfort food. This cheesy chicken & broccoli bake was an incredibly rich-tasting meal for how little actually went into it.  I know a lot of these recipes can use a ton of butter, heavy cream, or even a block of Velveeta, but here, butter is used sparingly, and making a little “roux” to start really thickens the sauce on its own. 2% milk and some organic chicken broth combine to make the cheese sauce really deep and flavorful. Also, this takes about fifteen minutes tops to throw together, so you can have a fresh, hot meal on the table in less than an hour. We had this over a little orzo, but pasta would also work, or even quinoa.  

LIGHTENED-UP CHEESY CHICKEN & BROCCOLI BAKE (serves approx. 6)
– 1 lb. chicken, diced into bite-sized pieces
– 12 oz. broccoli florets, steamed until bright green (or frozen, and totally unthawed)

– 2 cups grated cheddar, or cheese of choice
– 4 tbsp. butter
– 3 tsbp. flour
– 1 cup 2% milk
– 1 cup chicken broth
– 2 pinches nutmeg
– 1/2 tsp kosher salt
– couple of grinds black pepper
– 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
– EVOO

1. Pre-heat oven to 350.

2. Rub a little olive oil around the base of a casserole dish.

3. Add broccoli & chopped chicken to the casserole dish, mix to combine.
4. Get your “roux” started.  A roux is a thickener for recipes, and also acts as a base for creating a deeper sort of flavor from whatever you’re adding to it. To start, melt 3 tbsp. butter over medium heat.  Then, whisk in 3 tbsp. flour, and continue to whisk while the mixture changes consistency, color, and smell.  It should start to become a golden color, almost a light brown, and smell kind of nutty.

5. At this point, whisk in the milk and chicken broth – Pacific makes a fantastic organic chicken broth in a convenient 4-pack of 1-cup boxes – and raise heat just to a boil, continuing to mix.  
6. Reduce heat to a low bubble, and whisk constantly – approx. 2 minutes.  The mixture will start to feel (and look) thicker.  When it reaches this point, remove from the heat and whisk in nutmeg, salt, & pepper.  

7. Whisk in the cheese.  For this recipe, I used 2 Laughing Cow Babybel  cheddar cheeses, and 3 of their Bonbel mini cheeses.  It’s up to you whatever cheese you’d like to use, though!
8. Pour cheese mixture over the chicken and broccoli mix in the casserole dish, stir well to combine and coat.

9. In a saucepan, melt the remaining tbsp. of butter.  When melted, add the cup of panko breadcrumbs, and stir to cover the breadcrumbs with the butter.
10. Evenly top the broccoli/chicken/cheddar mix with the breadcrumbs.   

11. Bake at 350 for approx. 30 – 40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.  (Optional) Ten minutes before this is done, top with a little more grated cheese, and let melt on top of the casserole.
12. Let cool a bit, serve over orzo/pasta/quinoa, and enjoy.