Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Danny's Breakfast Casserole

If there is one thing that has remained true for as long as I have been able to cook for myself, it would be that waking up extra early to make sure I have time to cook my own breakfast in the morning is something I loathe! I'm sure I'm not alone in this, because there are big food companies making tons of money off people who buy easy "on the go" food items: eggo waffles, pop-tarts, cereal bars, etc. What do they all have in common? They are all loaded with sugar and processed carbohydrates that will help you feel full for a short time before you have that morning crash after your insulin spikes, because your body is trying to process the garbage you just gave it. Sugar man, it's a monster of an addiction! I know. I lived that life, day in and day out for a good majority of my life. Cereal was usually my go-to breakfast item. I could crush a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Apple Jacks, Lucky Charms, or Reece's Peanut Butter Puffs in just a few days. As I got older, I knew those things weren't exactly good for me, so I switched to try and include more "healthy" cereals, Multi-grain Cherrios, Raisin Bran, Frosted Mini Wheats, and Honey Bunches of Oats. Haha! What a joke. 

When I finally started to realize a high carb breakfast was doing more harm than good, finding ways to get a healthy breakfast became a struggle. Whenever I participated in nutritional challenges with our gym, I made it a point to wake up and make eggs for breakfast (my competitive nature wouldn't allow me to lose points for my team by skipping breakfast), but as soon as the challenge was over, extra sleep in the morning always won out. It wasn't until this past year that I started cooking breakfast casseroles for my husband and I on Sunday nights so we could just pop them in the microwave in the morning before work. 

This particular breakfast casserole I dub as "Danny's" because it's got most of his favorite ingredients. He's a fan of cheese in his casserole, so I add shredded sharp cheddar and mozzarella, but for anyone with an issue processing dairy, you could definitely leave it out. 

Danny's Breakfast Casserole

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes 
Serves: 8

Special Tools:
Food processor w/ shredder attachment
Medium saute pan
9x13 glass baking dish
1 large bowl

1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 medium sweet potato, washed, peeled, and shredded
1 small green pepper, diced
1 small sweet onion, diced
3 strips of nitrate free bacon, chopped (I like Trader Joe's Uncured Applewood Smoked)
1 cup of diced ham or pancetta
12 eggs
1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
a handful of fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1.Prep your veggies and meats by washings, chopping, dicing, and/or shredding. 
2. Preheat your oven to 375. 
3. Place the saute pan over medium heat and add the bacon. Allow to cook for about 3 minutes.
4. Add the onion, pepper, and ham or pancetta. Saute for about 7 minutes to allow the savory flavors to meld. 
5. While that's cooking, crack you eggs into a bowl and whisk. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Place the melted coconut oil in the baking dish and spread it over the bottom and up the sides. *This will be the difference of the egg sticking to the dish or not!
7. Put the shredded sweet potato down first. Pour half the eggs overtop and make sure it gets down into the bottom of the dish.
8. Spread the meat and veggies on top. Add the remaining eggs. 
9. Sprinkle on the top with cheese (if you can have dairy) and the parsley.
10. Put in the oven and bake for about 30-35 minutes. The center should be set before removing it from the oven. 

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