Christmas morning sets the stage for all sorts of brunch favorites. Crispy bacon, warm cinnamon rolls, smoked salmon & fixins’ platter, plus a hearty egg bake get passed around the table, everyone nice and cozy in their pajamas. It’s part of a week when we’re able to enjoy time with our family and friends, a feeling of joy and gratitude.
It’s moments like these that I think to myself, “How has another year already gone by? Preceded by “Wow, I am so fortunate for everything and everyone that has come into my life.”
This weekend we’ll head to my dad’s new house to celebrate Christmas and I’ll be serving brunch, something I’m excited about since no dining room table in our place = little entertaining. One of my favorite parts about cooking for my family is introducing them to real food versions of classics, like this Layered Vegetarian Egg Bake.
Now don’t get me wrong – a cheesy breakfast casserole with sausage and hashbrowns has comfort food written all over it. But after a few bites it starts to get pretty rich and there aren’t many layers of flavor. And in the nutrition department, it’s not looking so hot.
With the goal of making an egg bake that was a little healthier, yet just as satisfying, I teamed up with Cascadian Farm and their frozen vegetables. I’m a locavore at heart, but in December, green powerhouses like kale and swiss chard are definitely not at peak of season.
When you see them in the produce section, their leaves are often scraggly and a little brown – exactly why I love having the flash frozen option. They cook up beautifully and taste just as fresh as the day they were picked.
And no egg bake is complete without potatoes. But…. as one of the dirty dozen, potatoes have more pesticides by weight than any other vegetable. Yikes. I can’t afford to eat completely organic, but those 12 fruits and vegetables are a top priority for me. The shredded hashbrowns Cascadian Farm makes are a time saver and my fingers are spared from the usual knicks of the grater.
Not only is this brunch dish easy to make, but it’s stacked high with layers of flavors. You’ll begin by mixing the hashbrowns with an Italian cheese blend (which is nice & bold so you can get away with using half of what you normally would), sundried tomatoes and a touch of sour cream.
Half of that is spread in the bottom of the casserole dish, then the middle layer is packed with chopped artichokes, kale and garlic. Sound familiar? I had spinach artichoke dip on the brain. The remaining potato mixture sandwiches the vegetables, then lightly beaten eggs are poured over to soak into all the nooks and crannies.
Topped with a little extra cheese, it’s ready for the oven. And in about 40 minutes, out comes a golden brown, healthier egg bake that I think your family will love. A little departure from the classic, but in this case, it’s a delicious one.
Many thanks to Cascadian Farm for sponsoring this post, a company I regularly use in my kitchen. I’m so grateful they provide all of us with accessible, organic fruits and vegetables. And thank you for understanding that I carefully choose the brands I work with that help make this site possible. All opinions are 100% my own.
1/3 cup + 2 T sour cream
1 1/4 cup shredded Italian cheese blend, divided (I use this one from Organic Valley)
1 (16 ounce) bag frozen Cascadian Farm organic hashbrowns
1/3 cup marinated sun dried tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped (you can also use plain sun dried tomatoes, but you will need to rehydrate them in water before chopping)
1/3 cup minced onion
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 small cloves garlic, minced
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped
1 10 ounce bag of Cascadian Farm organic kale
3/4 cup milk
8 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt + pinch of black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray baking dish with nonstick spray. In a large bowl, mix together 1/3 cup sour cream, 3/4 cup cheese, hashbrowns, sun dried tomatoes, onion, black pepper and garlic powder. Spread half of this mixture on the bottom of the pan.
Put the kale and chopped artichokes in the middle of a towel and roll up, then wring all of the water out. (This is a crucial step so that the egg bake doesn’t become soggy. Over a cup of water came out the vegetables for me!) Add these vegetables to a bowl and stir in minced garlic. Distribute over the top of the first layer. Top with remaining potato mixture, pushing down lightly.
Whisk remaining 2 tablespoons sour cream and milk together in a bowl, then add in eggs, salt and pepper. Whisk until lightly beaten, so all yolks are broken up. Pour over the top of layered mixture, then top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake for about 35 minutes, until middle is not runny (test with a toothpick). Let sit for 5 minutes, then cut and serve.
Leftovers will last for 3 days in refrigerator.