Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hot Breakfast Month

Do you regularly eat breakfast? I wasn't always a great breakfast eater and I went through a phase (okay, my twenties) where a strong coffee and pastry was a typical breakfast. But now, it's very rare for me to skip breakfast and I usually try to incorporate protein (hard boiled or scrambled egg, nuts, yogurt, cottage cheese). We've all heard it before: skipping breakfast makes you gain weight, eat more the rest of the day, slows your metabolism, diminishes your ability to concentrate, and decreases your overall energy level throughout the day.

Even if you struggle to eat breakfast, if you have children, make sure they get a good breakfast. My daughter eats better and is less picky in the morning when she's hungry and I try to get more nutrients in her system early in the day. For school-aged children, poor school performance and a hungry stomach are often correlated. If your kids are resistant to breakfast, a glass of milk, a smoothie, a granola bar or some small amount protein is better than nothing.

In honor of National Hot Breakfast Month (February), I wanted to share an easy recipe for an egg casserole. The only hard thing about this recipe is remembering to put it together and in the refrigerator the night before. A few months ago, I was making breakfast for a group of friends who were staying in a cabin together, and my Aunt Sue suggested this recipe. Aunt Sue always has just the thing that you need - the right recipe, a tip for organizing or saving money or cleaning your house, a magazine - and this egg casserole was perfect.

It's a versatile base recipe and you can add whatever else you want to it. For instance, I added about a half cup of diced red bell peppers and a few tablespoons of diced green chiles. I bet green onions, mushrooms, and roasted red peppers would also be great. I halved the ingredients and made it in a smaller casserole dish - for an 8x8, half the recipe and it will serve 4-6.

Sue's Egg Casserole (9x13 pan)

10-12 slices of bread (I use French bread from the grocery store bakery)
1-2 cups shredded cheese
1 cup of cooked meat (optional) - bacon, ham, turkey, sausage
12 slightly beaten eggs
2 3/4 c. milk
2 tsp. mustard
1/2 t. salt (if desired)
any other veggies or spices that you want

Grease the pan. Break up the bread in the pan. Spread the meat, cheese, and veggies (if using) on top of the bread. Beat eggs in a bowl, add milk, mustard, other seasonings. Mix it all together and pour over the bread. Cover it and put it in the refrigerator overnight. Bake uncovered for 45-55 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

If you want some other ideas for hot breakfast dishes, try these:
Baked Oatmeal
Waffles or waffles
Puffed Baked Eggs
Oatmeal Pancakes


  1. I'm also a breakfast reformist. For years, I'd just grab and go with coffee and whatever I could wolf down in the car. Now I wake up hungry and almost always include protein.

    I love egg casseroles.

  2. Happy National Hot Breakfast Month to you, Professor of Culinary Studies!

    I think September is National Breakfast Month.

  3. I'm big on breakfast protein too, but, in the morning, I tend to lean towards nuts.