Healthy Egg Casserole

As April showers bring the promise of May flowers, I find myself yearning for Christmas morning.

Why, you ask? Do I wish for snow and colder weather? Definitely not. Do I want to snuggle up with a blanket and watch my favorite Christmas movies? Confession: I do that anyway. (Hanna quirks: I am constantly cold, and I firmly believe Elf was created to generate giggles and joy all year long.) The real root of my desire is simple, special, delectable, and dreamy all rolled into one dish: egg casserole.

Although the menu for my family’s Christmas breakfast varies from year to year, egg casserole is a staple that has earned a permanent spot in the buffet lineup. Fluffy in texture, hearty in nature, and loaded with sausage and cheese in every bite, egg casserole is absolutely divine. A few modifications to the original recipe transform this holiday favorite into a healthy everyday meal known as Healthy Egg Casserole. In this recipe, the key players (eggs, whole milk, white bread, pork sausage, and cheese) have been replaced with their healthful counterparts (Egg Beaters, almond milk, whole wheat bread, turkey sausage crumbles, and fat-free cheese); however, the end result is every bit as flavorful.

Healthy Egg Casserole is extravagant enough for a fancy weekend brunch, but easy enough for a weeknight dinner. (Another quirk of mine: eating breakfast for dinner, often.) Because the dish can be prepared in ten minutes the night before you serve it, this casserole is the perfect choice for lazy Saturday mornings. All you have to do is pop it in the oven when you wake up and allow it to bake while you sip your coffee. This recipe yields a generous amount, but freezing the leftovers works like a charm! Heat in the microwave, and just like that you have a scrumptious weekday breakfast or even a protein-packed dinner in a pinch.

They say not to put all of your eggs in one basket. I agree; put them all in my Healthy Breakfast Casserole instead, and every morning can feel like Christmas morning!

Healthy Egg Casserole

Yields: 12 servings

2 1/2 cups cooked turkey sausage crumbles (about 10 ounces)
2 cups egg substitute (or 8 eggs) + 2 large eggs
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
8 thin slices whole wheat bread, cubed (I use Sara Lee Delightful bread – only 45 calories per slice!)
1 cup fat-free cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 3-quart casserole dish with cooking spray.

If turkey sausage is not already fully cooked, brown sausage in a skillet over medium heat, crumbling with a wooden spoon. Drain and transfer to a bowl lined with paper towels.

Whisk egg substitute, eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the sausage, bread cubes, and almost all of the cheese, saving approximately 1/4 cup to sprinkle on top. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish and top with remaining cheese. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake uncovered for 45 – 55 minutes. Freeze leftovers.

Servings: 12
Calories: 120
Fat: 3.6g
Carbs: 11.2g
Sugar: 1.1g
Fiber: 3.5g
Protein: 14.3g

Chicken Wild Rice Casserole

How do I love thee casserole? Let me count the ways.

If the name of my blog didn’t give it away at first glance, I have also previously shared with you my affinity for casseroles in my Baked Blueberry Oatmeal Casserole recipe. Casseroles are comforting to the max, they produce enough leftovers to feed a small army, and they are a great way to clean out the fridge–anything goes!

According to my mom, I wasn’t always such a casserole aficionado. I have been told that I would often ask for a sandwich for dinner instead of the casserole Mom had on the menu. (Sorry Mama!) Only once I was older did I realize the error of my ways. A creamy combination of savory chicken, zesty rice, and yummy good-for-you veggies all in one dish–what could be better?

Chicken Wild Rice Casserole is particularly dear to my heart, because it was my grandpa’s favorite meal in my mom’s recipe book. Much to my then-casserole-despising self’s dismay, Grandpa would request Chicken Wild Rice Casserole every time he came to our house for a visit. My saving grace at the time was that Grandpa never failed to take me to TCBY for frozen yogurt after dinner. In that regard, my tastes have not changed; to me, frozen yogurt is still a cure-all.

I have made a few changes to the original recipe to make it a bit lighter and easier to prepare–swapping out sour cream for Greek yogurt and purchasing ready-cooked chicken at the store. Using a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup saves time, but you can easily make your own if you prefer. (Try this recipe.)

If you’re still not sold on casseroles, I implore you to try this recipe. Chicken Wild Rice Casserole is a healthy, foolproof weeknight meal that is absolutely addicting. One taste and you’ll know you want seconds!

Chicken Wild Rice Casserole

Yields: 6 servings (approximately 1 cup each)

1 6-ounce package long grain and wild rice mix
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup sliced mushroom
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 10 3/4 ounce can 98% fat free condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray.

Prepare rice according to package directions. While rice is cooking, heat a small amount of olive oil in a sauté pan and cook onion, celery, and mushroom until tender. In a large bowl, stir together soup, yogurt, wine, salt, and pepper. Stir in cooked rice, vegetables, and chicken. Pour mixture into casserole dish and bake uncovered for 35 to 40 minutes. Stir before serving.

Servings: 6
Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories: 210
Fat: 2.6g
Carbs: 29g
Sugar: 4g
Fiber: 1.5g
Protein: 15.5g

Baked Blueberry Oatmeal Casserole

It’s about time to live up to the blog’s name, don’t you think?

And thus, I give you–drumroll please–a casserole recipe!!

Why did I choose the name “Kiss My Casserole” for the blog? Two reasons. One: My incredibly creative and remarkably witty little sister came up with it on the spot when I asked her for ideas. It was cute, catchy, and a little bit sassy, and it stuck. Two: I love casseroles. Casseroles are super easy to prepare. A casserole refers to food prepared in a large, deep dish that is used both in the oven and also for serving. One dish = less clean up = happy Hanna.

Casseroles are also a winner in my book, because they are so versatile. You can throw together almost any combination of protein, veggies, fruit, starch, cheese–you name it–and create casseroles for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  Bonus points: casseroles are great for leftovers.

Although casseroles became a popular one-dish meal in the U.S. in the 1950s, their image today is not exactly glamorous. Healthy eaters often snub casseroles, considering them to be heavy comfort food always prepared with cream of mushroom soup. I propose that your favorite casserole recipes can be lightened up and become healthy and tasty additions to even the most sophisticated foodie’s diet.

Allow me to introduce you to my Baked Blueberry Oatmeal Casserole.

 Baked Blueberry Oatmeal Casserole

Bursting with blueberries and sprinkled with chocolate chips, this baked oatmeal casserole straddles the dividing line between breakfast and dessert. There is no more comforting breakfast on a cold winter morning than a piping hot bowl of oatmeal. In a perfect world, I would wake up early and leisurely sip my coffee while preparing my blueberry oatmeal and getting ready for work. The reality is that convincing myself to climb out of my warm, cozy bed on these cold mornings is no easy task, which leaves me running late with no time for oatmeal.  Enter Baked Blueberry Oatmeal Casserole!

Preparing this quick and easy casserole one time leaves you with 12 servings of oatmeal that can be frozen and individually reheated for the frantic mornings when the warm covers win the battle until the very last minute. The memory of the tantalizing blueberry cinnamon concoction in the oven might be all the convincing you need to throw off the covers and jump out of bed to greet the morning.

Baked Blueberry Oatmeal Casserole

I dare anyone who turns up their nose at the thought of a casserole to try a warm piece of my Baked Blueberry Oatmeal Casserole drizzled with sugar-free syrup. Simple, delicious, and nutritious–the casserole saves the morning!

Baked Blueberry Oatmeal Casserole

Baked Blueberry Oatmeal Casserole

Yields: 12 servings

3 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend (Note: If using regular brown sugar, use 1/2 cup.)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
2 1/2 cups almond milk (I use Silk Vanilla Unsweetened)
1/2 cup egg substitute (I use Egg Beaters) OR 2 large eggs
1/4 cup Greek yogurt (I use Fage)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and spray a 9×13 casserole dish with cooking spray.

In a mixing bowl, stir together oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, blueberries, and chocolate chips. Save a few blueberries and chocolate chips for topping. Transfer dry ingredients to baking dish.

In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, yogurt, and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the baking dish over the dry ingredients, and top with remaining blueberries and chocolate.

Bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool before serving.

Servings: 12
Calories: 145
Fat: 3.4g
Carbs: 24.1g
Sugar: 5.2g
Fiber: 2.6g
Protein: 4.3g