Italian Egg Strata with Turkey Sausage and Vegetables (adapted from Dash)
It’s so nice not to have to rush to get dinner on the table. How I love the weekends! The nice thing about this dish is that it can be prepared ahead of time, stored in the refrigerator, then baked for a weeknight dinner. For a Sunday night dinner, it is the best. According to the original recipe, each serving is 380 calories, but since I made substitutions like nonfat milk instead of 2% and whole wheat bread instead of white, that lessens the calorie count. To reduce calories further, substitute part-skim mozzarella cheese for the Monterey Jack cheese.
Prep Time: 20 minutes plus 20 minutes resting time
Cook Time: 1 hour
TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 40 min (includes resting time)
1⁄2 cup sliced scallion
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 zucchini, chopped
4 cups fresh baby spinach
1 lb sweet turkey sausage, casings removed, broken into bite-size chunks
3 cups nonfat milk
1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan-Romano cheese
1⁄4 tsp black pepper
1 half loaf whole wheat baguette (about 5 cups), cut into large chunks
1 cup grated reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese
Salt and pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and a large skillet with cooking spray. If using a glass dish or a pan with a dark nonstick finish, reduce heat to 325˚F and bake for 55 minutes.
2. Sauté scallion, red pepper, and zucchini in the skillet for 4 minutes. Add sausage and continue cooking until sausage is browned. When the meat is almost cooked through, add the spinach. Cook until the spinach is wilted. Turn off the heat. The meat and vegetable mixture will spring water, so drain it well and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk eggs. Add milk, Parmesan-Romano, and black pepper.
4. In the prepared baking dish, layer half the bread, half the egg mixture, and half the drained sausage-vegetable mixture. Repeat layers.
5. Press down the top to make sure the bread is completely submerged. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and if desired, with crushed red pepper flakes too. Let the strata rest for 20 minutes. At this point, you can prepare the strata up to a day ahead and store, covered, in the refrigerator.
6. Just before baking, sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese. Bake for 1 hour or until golden brown and puffy.