Since my move to Richmond, I like to think that I've not only mastered, but reinvented the casserole. In my experience, casseroles tend to conjure up images of a gloopy combination of chicken, rice and cream of celery soup. Trust, you will never see that on Kate Uncorked. To me, the reinvented casserole represents the opportunity to pack tons of healthy, yummy and interesting ingredients into one dish giving you a delicious, balanced meal with every bite. That, my friends, is the challenge!
While casseroles seem to be rather widely known, the idea of a breakfast casserole is definitely more prevalent in the South. Simply put, a breakfast casserole is just baked eggs. I love a good breakfast casserole. Load it up with sausage, heavy cream and cheese and it makes the whole house smell like Christmas morning. But let's be honest, I have no business eating a loaded breakfast casserole everyday. So, I reinvented it! Below you'll find my recipe for heart healthy breakfast casserole and BONUS, it's gluten free! Cheers and happy cooking!
Gluten Free Breakfast Casserole
1/2 cup Quinoa, uncooked
4 cups Organic Free Range Chicken Stock, divided*
2 small Organic Sweet Potatoes or 1 large Organic Sweet Potato
3/4 lb Free Range Chicken Breasts (can sub chicken sausage*)
8 oz Organic Frozen Chopped Spinach
3/4 cup Shredded Grassfed Cheddar Cheese, shredded
2 TBS Coconut Oil
1 tsp Paprika
8 Free Range Eggs
1 cup Organic Whole Milk (or milk of choice)
1 tsp Dry Mustard
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
2 QT baking dish, lightly greased
*If using chicken sausage, you will only need 1 cup of chicken stock
1. Start by cooking the quinoa and chicken. For the quinoa, combine 1/2 cup quinoa with 1 cup chicken stock in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until liquid has been absorbed. After liquid is absorbed, turn off heat and let quinoa rest.
2. For the chicken, bring the remaining 3 cups of chicken stock to a boil, add the raw chicken breasts. Cook for 15-20 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Set chicken aside on a cutting board to cool. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred using your hands or a fork. Note- if using chicken sausage, remove casing and cook sausage in skillet until cooked through. Set aside.
3. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into a 1/2 in dice. In a sauté pan, melt coconut oil over medium heat. Add sweet potatoes and paprika and toss together so that all of the potatoes are coated with coconut oil. Sauté until potatoes are tender. If your sauté pan has a top, cover potatoes for a few minutes to create some steam and speed up the cooking process. Don't worry if your potatoes get some color on them! Once the potatoes are tender, take off the heat.
4. Using a fine mesh strainer, drain spinach. Using your fist, push spinach into the strainer to release the excess moisture. Another way to do this is to put the spinach in a tea towel, wrap up the edges and squeeze the towel over a sink to release the moisture.
5. In a large bowl, crack your eggs and whisk them together to break up the yolks. Add your milk, mustard, red pepper, salt and pepper and whisk until completely combined.
6. OK- now we're ready to layer up! Start by spreading your quinoa over the bottom of your casserole dish in an even layer. Next layer on the potatoes then the spinach.
7. Top this with the shredded chicken.
8. Top the chicken with cheddar cheese then pour your egg mixture over the cheese, making sure to evenly distribute the eggs. The eggs should come about 3/4 of the way up the casserole dish, but should not cover the rest of the ingredients.
9. Bake at 375F for 30-40 minutes, uncovered, until eggs have set. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before eating. Enjoy!
*Note this can be made ahead until step 8 and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Cover tightly with foil or plastic wrap while refrigerated.