Kabocha, Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole

Christmas is almost here! Less than a week away and one of the most important meal times for my family on Christmas day is breakfast! Of course, no one ever wants to wait for a delicious hearty breakfast on Christmas morning because there is too much excitement going on! That is why I usually  make a breakfast casserole. The preparation is done the night before so all you have to do is pop it in the oven while opening presents! 


This is my first time making a breakfast casserole with kabocha squash, but I loved how it turned out! Kabocha squash tastes similar to butternut squash, pumpkin or sweet potatoes. Now... I have made breakfast casseroles with sweet potatoes and white potatoes so I thought this squash would make a wonderful substitute for the higher carb laden potatoes. It makes a slightly sweet and savory casserole that my family enjoyed! That makes this mama happy!


I usually find kabocha squash at Trader Joes, but for some reason my Trader Joes no longer carried it. I finally found it at my local grocery store, Vons. They are also commonly found in Asian markets.


Take your kabocha squash and slice it in half. They have very tough skin and can be difficult to cut. Use a sharp knife and watch those fingers! Scoop out all the seeds and goop with a spoon and throw them away. Cut each half into wedges and then cut away the skin.


Cut the wedges into chunks so they can fit in the tube of your food processor. 

Preparing the kabocha squash is the hardest part in preparing the casserole. Well not hard, but time consuming. I wish they sold it already prepared in grocery stores! I know Trader Joes sells butternut squash already peeled and cut into chunks. I hope they will do the same to kabocha squash :)


Put the chunks of kabocha squash in a food processor with the shredding disc. You don't have to use a food processor but it makes it so much easier to grate and you save time! It would definitely be a great investment if you don't already have one!


Shredded kabocha squash! 

One whole kabocha squash is going to give you more than 2 1/2 cups needed for the recipe. You can freeze the chunks of leftover squash. Use them later to roast, throw them into stews or mash up as a substitute for mashed potatoes. They are so versatile!

Here is a link that explains how you can freeze them. Click HERE.


Layer the shredded kabocha squash in a prepared 9 x 13 inch glass casserole dish. If you are going to cook it the next day, I would use one of those disposable foil pans instead of a glass dish because glass can break if you put it directly from the cold fridge to the hot oven.


Next, add the red bell peppers. You can actually use any veggies you like. I had some red peppers I wanted to get rid of so I used those. Feel free to add more veggies since you still have 2 more servings of veggies per serving to make up your full Lean and Green for the day. Mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, yellow squash, assorted peppers are all good options.


Then sprinkle Jimmy Dean turkey sausage crumbles on top of the veggies. Use a food scale to measure out 6 ounces.


No thawing required. They will bake wonderfully into the casserole and give it the delicious flavor I remember from numerous Christmas breakfast casseroles.


Whisk a dozen eggs together.


Add your spices. I love sage because it has a sweet savory flavor that matches the flavor of this casserole. It pairs nicely with sausage and winter squash.


Pour the egg mixture over the sausage.


Sprinkle sharp cheddar cheese on top and bake for 40 to 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Enjoy!



Kabocha, Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups kabocha squash, shredded (5 Greens)
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced (1 Green)
6 ounces Jimmy Dean turkey sausage crumbles (1 Lean)
12 eggs (4 Leans)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (1/2 Condiment)
1 tsp dried sage (1/2 Condiment)
1/2 tsp salt (2 Condiments)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper (1 Condiment)
1 cup 2% reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese (1 Lean)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly spray a 9 x 13 inch glass casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside. If making this the night before, use a 9 x 13 inch disposable foil pan.

Cut the kabocha squash in half with a large sharp knife using a rocking motion. Scoop out the seeds and goop with a spoon. Not sure what to call it, so goop it is :)

Cut the squash halves into wedges. Remove the skin with a knife. 

Cut the wedges into large chunks so they can fit into the tube of the food processor and then shred. They don't have to be cut nicely because they are going to be shredded anyways. 

Measure out 2 1/2 cups of shredded kabocha squash and spread out along the bottom of the prepared casserole dish.

Sprinkle the diced red bell pepper over the kabocha squash.

Spread the Jimmy Dean turkey sausage crumbles over the kabocha squash and peppers. No need to thaw the sausage.

Combine eggs, almond milk, sage, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Whisk thoroughly. Pour the egg mixture over the sausage.

If you are cooking it in the morning, cover with foil and place in the fridge.

Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake uncovered for about 40 to 45 minutes or until cooked thoroughly. You may need additional baking time if it was in the fridge the night before. Allow to cool slightly. Divide into 6 equal portions.

Don't forget to add 2 more Greens per serving to complete your Lean and Green for the day! Enjoy!

6 Servings with 1 Lean, 1 Green, and 1 Condiment


Share:

PECAN TASSIES

Everyone seems to have their own favorite Pecan Tassie recipe, but the crust in 99% of the recipes out there is the same..... flour, butter and cream cheese.

This year, I added just a little extra something to the crust part of the recipe and it made a HUGE difference to the overall cookie, they were a big hit.

Tassie Crust
1 cup butter (room temperature)
6 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream the butter and cream cheese (with electric mixer) until it is light and fluffy. Add rest of the ingredients and beat until the dough comes cleanly away from the inside walls of your mixing bowl. Flatten dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill for one hour.


Tassie Filling
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

Beat the eggs until very well mixed and lemon colored. Stir in everything else.


ASSEMBLYRoll pastry into 1 inch balls and place them into an ungreased mini-muffin pan. Using your fingers, press the balls of dough into the bottom of each cup and up the sides. (I use the floured end of my rolling pin to press the dough into place instead of my fingers). Put a few chopped pecans in the bottom of each pastry shell and top with about a tablespoon of filling. (see note)

Bake in pre-heated 375F oven for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the filling is set, yet still a little soft in the center. Remove from oven and sit the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before you try to lift them out. Lift tassies out of pan and cool on a wire rack.

NOTE: Keep in mind that the filling puffs a little as it bakes, so don't overfill the unbaked shells. If you overfill them, they will be harder to get out. For those stubborn Tassies that want to stick, just use the tip of a knife to help you lift them out of the pan.
Share:

Zucchini "Noodles" with Sesame Peanut Sauce

I was craving a quick and easy noodle salad and this recipe fit the bill! Nowadays... I do not eat pasta so my noodle salad wasn't made up of noodles at all, but it was still incredibly delicious! I used spiralized zucchini in this dish. I have used spiralized yellow squash, spaghetti squash or even cabbage as my pasta. All of them would have worked for this dish, but zucchini is what I had on hand. 


Trust me when I say this... I did not miss the pasta at all. I loved the crunchiness and freshness of the veggies and there was tons of spicy Asian flavor coming from the sesame peanut sauce that complimented the veggies.


The easiest way to spiralize your veggies is with a spiralizer of course :) I have mentioned the Paderno World Cuisine Spiral Slicer being my favorite one numerous times in a variety of posts. You can get it HERE on Amazon, but I think they have a five blade spiralizer which is the same price as the tri blade one. Go check them out!


The Paderno Spiral Slicer makes the zucchini into beautiful spirals in no time at all. Measure out 2 1/2 cups.


Chop up 1/2 cup of red bell pepper. I love the red, orange, and yellow bell peppers the most because they are sweeter and have an almost fruity flavor compared to green bell peppers which have a slightly bitter taste.


Toss the spiralized zucchini and red peppers together in a medium sized bowl.


Some of the ingredients used to make the Sesame Peanut Sauce.


Along with powdered peanut butter, also known as PB2. It is less fat, calories and carbs than regular peanut butter.


You do not need to add this, but I added a very small amount to the sauce because I wanted to sweeten it up just a bit. When I mean a little bit, I mean a very light sprinkle.


Combine the sauce ingredients and mix it well.


Pour the sauce over the veggies.


Stir until the veggies are evenly coated.


I added some shrimp for my Lean that was already peeled and cooked. I just take them from the freezer and run them under warm water for a few minutes to defrost them or leave them out on the counter for about an hour. This shrimp is so convenient on busy weekdays. Love them!

A wonderful healthy meal that is so easy to make. There is absolutely no excuse for not making healthy choices when we are busy. Enjoy!



Zucchini "Noodles" 
with Sesame Peanut Sauce

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups spiralized zucchini (5 Greens)
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced (1 Green)
4 tbsp powdered peanut butter (2 Snacks)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (1/4 Condiment)
1 tbsp soy sauce (1 Condiment)
1/2 tsp garlic powder (1 Condiment)
1/2 tsp ground ginger (1 Condiment)
2 tsp sriracha sauce (2 Condiments)
2 tsp sesame oil (2 Healthy Fats)
2 tsp water
Light sprinkle of a NuStevia packet (Optional)

Directions:

Combine spiralized zucchini and diced red pepper in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the powdered peanut butter, water, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, garlic powder, ground ginger, sriracha sauce and sesame oil together until mixed thoroughly.

Add the sesame peanut sauce to the zucchini and red pepper. You can also add a light sprinkle of NuStevia. Stir until the vegetables are coated evenly.

You can also add your favorite Leaner Lean or Leanest Lean. I chose shrimp! Because shrimp is a Leaner Lean, you would still need to add another healthy fat per serving.

2 Servings with 3 Greens, 2.6 Condiments, 1 Healthy Fat and 1 Snack per Serving


Share:

Crock Pot Pineapple Salsa Chicken

I love Trader Joes! I especially love their grated raw cauliflower. It is about time someone created already grated cauliflower for us to purchase! It is so convenient and I don't have to worry about cleaning up my food processor and the mess surrounding my food processor :) For some reason, I always tend to get bits and pieces of cauliflower on the counter, the floor, and in my hair (don't know how that happens). Already grated cauliflower just makes my life so much easier! Not only do I love using it in place of rice, but I also use it to make my cauliflower pizza crusts. If you haven't tried the cauliflower pizza crusts yet, then you don't know what you are missing! You can get that recipe HERE.

How do I cook the raw cauliflower? I just throw it in the microwave. It is the easiest and fastest way to cook cauliflower. Add 1 tsp of water to help steam the cauliflower and make sure you cover the microwave safe container with a pieces of clear film or lid. I usually cook it for about 1 1/2 minutes but it depends on how much cauliflower you have in the container. A whole head of cauliflower could take about 3 minutes.You could also saute the cauliflower with a tsp of oil (1 Healthy Fat) if you have an extra Healthy Fat to spare on the stove top. When sauteing cauliflower, I love using the flavored oils such as Luscious Lemon, Valencia Orange or Roasted Garlic from Stacey Hawkins. This is a great way to add some flavor to plain cauliflower rice. You can purchase her products HERE.  She has a great collection of seasonings, oils, etc on her site!


Another product I love from Trader Joes is their pineapple salsa. It is delicious! The addition of pineapple in the zesty salsa adds a little bit of sweetness and medium heat. It works perfectly with this Pineapple Salsa Chicken! I absolutely love crock pot meals since some days I just don't have time to cook. You just throw everything together in the crock pot and dinner is ready a few hours later. Gotta love it!


Measure out 27 oz of raw chicken breasts and place it in the crock pot.


Add 1/2 cup of pineapple salsa, 1 tbsp of soy sauce and 1/4 cup of chicken broth to a small bowl. Mix it all up.


Pour the mixture over the raw chicken breasts. Cook on LOW for about 4 to 6 hours. I cooked it for 5 hours. Shred the chicken and serve it our cauliflower rice. Easy and delicious! Enjoy!


Crock Pot Pineapple Salsa Chicken

Ingredients:
27 oz raw chicken breasts (3 Leaner Leans)
1/2 cup Trader Joes Pineapple Salsa (8 Condiments)
1 tbsp soy sauce (1 Condiment)
1/4 cup chicken broth (1/4 Condiment)

Directions:
Add chicken breasts, salsa, soy sauce and chicken broth to a crock pot.
Cook on LOW 4 to 6 hours. Shred chicken when cooked. 
Divide into 3 portions.
Serve each portion over 1 1/2 cups cooked riced cauliflower 
or any approved Greens of your choice.

3 Servings with 1 Leaner Protein and 3 Condiments per Serving
1 Healthy Fat is still needed. 
Some great options are 1 1/2 oz of avocado, 2 tbsp of guacamole, or 2 tbsp of sour cream.


Share:

BBQ Beef Stuffed Peppers

Ground beef mixed with bbq sauce, grated cauliflower, diced tomatoes topped with melted cheddar cheese all stuffed in a sweet bell pepper makes a yummy family friendly meal!

When I was barely a teenager, I came across a recipe in one of the many cookbooks that my Dad owned. I guess you could say my love for cooking came from my father. He was in the Air Force so he really didn't have much time to cook during the weekdays, but the weekends were his time to unwind and well... cook. Don't get me wrong... my mother was and still is a good cook, but I always remembered the weekends belonging to Dad. I have lots of great memories of weekend family shenanigans.

The recipe I had found in one of his cookbooks was an easy one made with only a few ingredients. It was called Barbecue Cups. They were absolutely delicious, yet so simple. It consisted of ground beef mixed with barbecue sauce and then stuffed into a muffin cup. Each muffin cup was lined with a refrigerated biscuit. They were topped with shredded cheese and placed in the oven. That's it! I told you they were easy. 


Biscuits are mighty tasty, but peppers work just as well. I just needed to find something that could hold the meat mixture, yet still taste great. I personally like the taste of sweet red peppers. I love them raw, roasted, grilled, etc... Either way, they taste delicious! You don't even have to use red peppers. Use and color you like. I don't discriminate! They are all yummy to me!


This recipe makes two Lean and Green meals, but feel free to double or triple the recipe if you have a large family or if you want more left overs!


Start off by cutting the tops off the peppers and getting rid of the seeds and membranes.


Then boil the peppers in a large pot of water for only 5 minutes. It helps soften the peppers so you don't have to spend so much time baking.


Measure out 7.5 ounces of cooked lean ground beef. Use a food scale! It is one of those gadgets you should own for portion control. You don't want to cheat yourself of any food you may be missing or vice versa... getting too much of a certain food. It just makes measuring simpler. Set aside the ground beef.


Next, measure out 1/2 a cup of riced cauliflower. Riced cauliflower is a great alternative to rice so it works great in this recipe. You can always grate your own cauliflower, but purchasing it already done is so much easier and saves some time!

Cover the bowl of riced cauliflower with clear plastic wrap or place a plate over the bowl. Microwave a few minutes until the cauliflower is tender. No need to add anything, but I have seen some people add a little bit of oil to the cauliflower. It really doesn't need it, but if you ever need that extra healthy fat, then adding it would be a great way to get it in.


Add the cooked cauliflower to the ground beef.


Then add the drained Italian diced tomatoes.


I added Stacey Hawkin's Honey BBQ Seasoning. It is delicious and it enhances the flavor of the meat mixture. If you don't already have it, you can purchase it HERE. It has quickly become a favorite of mine.


If you do not have the Honey BBQ Seasoning, don't fret! You can use any combination of your favorite seasonings. Just make sure you do not exceed two condiments total.


Now you are going to add the barbecue sauce! I found this sugar free barbecue sauce at Wal-mart. I have to say... considering it is sugar free... it is pretty darn good! My husband who hates sugar free anything actually likes this one. It comes in a variety of flavors too!


Mix all of the ingredients together until everything is combined.


Stuff the meat mixture in the cooked peppers. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes.


Uncover and sprinkle 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese on each pepper.


Bake for about 5 more minutes or until the cheese is melted.


Look at all that melted cheese! Don't they look heavenly? Enjoy!

BBQ Beef Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:
2 Sweet Bell Peppers (4 Greens)
7.50 ounces 93% Lean Ground Beef, cooked (1 1/2 Leans)
1/2 cup 2% Cheddar Cheese, shredded (1/2 Lean)
1/2 cup raw grated Cauliflower (1 Green)
1/2 cup Italian diced Tomatoes, drained (1 Green)
* 1 tsp Stacey Hawkins Honey BBQ Seasoning (2 Condiments)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut the tops off both peppers. Discard the seeds and membranes.
Boil a large pot of water over medium-high heat. Add the peppers and cook for about 5 minutes or until slightly tender. Remove the peppers from the water and place the peppers upside down on a plate to drain the water. Set aside.

Put the grated cauliflower in a small bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or you can place a plate over the top of the bowl. Microwave on high for about 2 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender. Set aside.

Combine cooked ground beef, cooked cauliflower, diced tomatoes, BBQ sauce and seasonings of choice in a large bowl. Evenly divide meat mixture between the two cooked peppers.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle 1/4 cup of cheese on each pepper. Bake uncovered for 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted. One stuffed pepper is one full Lean and Green Meal.

*If you do not have Stacey Hawkin's Honey BBQ Seasoning, you can use any combination of seasonings of your choice. Just make sure the total number of condiments does not exceed a total amount of 2 Condiments.

Makes 2 Servings
Per serving:
1 Lean, 3 Greens, and 3 Condiments


Share:

Popular Recipes

Labels

Blog Archive

Featured Post

Recipe Chirashi Sushi

Chirashi Sushi, also known as scattered sushi, is a vibrant and flavorful Japanese dish that combines seasoned sushi rice with an array of c...