Monday, March 31, 2014

Easter Breakfast Casserole with Asparagus and Artichoke Hearts (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free)

Breakfast Casserole with Asparagus and Artichoke Hearts
This Breakfast Casserole with Asparagus and Artichoke Hearts is perfect for Easter brunch.

Easter is so late this year that some people might think I'm jumping the gun with a recipe called Easter Breakfast Casserole with Asparagus and Artichoke Hearts.  But every store I visit lately seems to have asparagus on sale, and you really don't have to wait until it's Easter to make this, I promise.  Besides the lovely combination of asparagus and artichoke hearts, this breakfast casserole also has crumbled goat cheese and low-fat Mozzarella.  I loved everything about this; hope you enjoy!

Eggs are such a versatile ingredient, and this meatless breakfast casserole is my Meatless Monday post for this week.  (To see more meatless recipes, click on the label Meatless Monday or Meatless or browse Vegetarian Recipes in the recipe index.  For Meatless Monday ideas from other bloggers, follow our Meatless Monday board on Pinterest or check out my weekly post for Meatless Monday at BlogHer.)

I confess it was probably these amazing whole artichoke hearts that I discovered at Costco that inspired me to make a breakfast casserole using them.  I used the whole jar, but if that's a strain on the budget you can certainly use less.

Dump the artichokes into a colander placed in the sink and let them drain well while you cook the asparagus.

Trim the woody ends of the asparagus; then cut the asparagus into diagonal pieces just over an inch long.

You'll have quite a pile of asparagus.  Bring a pot of water to a boil, add salt, and blanch the asparagus just 2 minutes.  (Don't overcook, it will cook more in the casserole.)

Put the artichoke hearts on your cutting board and use the same colander to drain the asparagus well.

Cut artichoke hearts in half (or smaller pieces are fine if you prefer.)

Spray a 10 inch x 14 inch (or similar size) glass or crockery casserole dish with non-stick spray and layer the artichokes in the bottom.

Top with the drained asparagus.

Then sprinkle over the grated low-fat Mozzarella and crumbled goat cheese.

Pour over the beaten eggs.  (I used 14 eggs for 8 servings, but next time I might use only 12 eggs for a casserole where the ingredients were peeking up out of the egg a bit more.  Your choice.)

Use a fork to gently "stir" the mixture so you can see some of the asparagus and artichoke and all ingredients are well-distributed.

Bake at 375F/190C for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is firm and starting to brown.  Serve hot.  This will keep in the refrigerator for days, and can be reheated in the microwave or in a toaster oven.


Easter Breakfast Casserole with Asparagus and Artichoke Hearts
(Makes 8 generous servings; recipe created by Kalyn when she got infatuated with whole artichoke hearts she found at Costco!)

Ingredients:
1 large jar (19 oz.) whole artichoke hearts (I used the whole artichoke hearts from Costco; you can use less artichokes if they're not available where you live.)
1 lb. fresh asparagus
4 oz. crumbled goat cheese (the type that comes in a log)
4 oz. grated low-fat Mozzarella
1 teaspoon Spike Seasoning (Or use any all-purpose seasoning blend that's good with eggs.)
fresh ground black pepper and salt to taste
12-14 eggs (More eggs will make a thicker, more eggy casserole; less eggs will make a casserole where the other ingredients are peeking through the egg.)
low-fat sour cream for serving, optional but good

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375F/190C.  Spray a 10 inch X 14 inch (or similar size) glass or crockery casserole with with non-stick spray.  Dump artichoke hearts into a colander placed in the sink and let them drain while you prep and cook the asparagus.

Bring a medium-sized pot of salted water to a boil.  Cut away the woody ends of the asparagus and cut asparagus spears into diagonal pieces just over an inch long.  Cook asparagus in the boiling water for barely 2 minutes.  Put the artichoke hearts onto a cutting board; then drain asparagus in the same colander.

Cut artichoke hearts in half (or small pieces if you prefer) and make a layer of artichokes in the bottom of the casserole dish.  Layer the drained asparagus pieces over artichokes, followed by both types of cheese.  Season with Spike Seasoning (if using), fresh ground black pepper, and salt.  (I didn't use much salt since I salted the water to cook the asparagus.)  

Beat eggs and pour over the vegetable/cheese mixture; then use a fork to gently "stir" so that all ingredients are well-distributed and there are some pieces of asparagus and artichoke poking up out of the egg.  Bake about 35-40 minutes, or until the top is firm and starting to brown.  (If you use the smaller amount of eggs, baking time might be a little less; I would start checking after 30 minutes.)  Serve hot, with a dollop of low-fat sour cream if desired.

This will keep in the refrigerator for quite a few days and can be reheated in the microwave or wrapped in foil and heated in a toaster oven.

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South Beach Suggestions:
This low-glycemic breakfast casserole with a good amount of vegetables would be a good choice for any phase of the South Beach Diet.  South Beach recommends low-fat dairy, and most goat cheese is lower in fat than similar cheese made from cow's milk. 

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Breakfast Ideas with Asparagus or Artichoke Hearts:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Breakfast Casserole with Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Goat Cheese ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Asparagus, Egg, and Cheese Casserole ~ The Perfect Pantry
Artichoke, Kale, and Ricotta Pie with Eggs and Parmesan ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Asparagus with Poached Egg and Pancetta ~ Stone Soup
Asparagus and Fresh Mozzarella Frittata with Parmesan and Chives ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Asparagus with Fried Egg and Parmesan ~ Steamy Kitchen
Artichoke Rosemary Frittata ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Baked Artichoke Squares ~ ShutterBean
Slow Cooker Frittata with Artichoke Hearts, Roasted Red Peppers, and Feta ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Mediterranean Mini-Frittatas ~ FoodieCrush    
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
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16 comments:

  1. I love the idea of Easter breakfast being healthy, but still a little special and this fits the bill!

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  2. I usually buy the frozen artichoke hearts from Trader Joe's - haven't seen the jarred ones at Costco's. Breakfast casseroles are such a great idea for feeding a crowd - loving the Spring theme to this one Kalyn!

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  3. Thanks for the reminder that I don't cook with artichoke hearts often enough, and they are one of the "convenience" foods I keep in my pantry. (Thanks, too, for linking to one of my recipes.)

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  4. Thanks Joanne, Jeffrey, and Lydia. I am really wowed by those whole big artichokes. Already thinking about how to use them next!

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  5. Trader Joe's also has whole artichoke hearts in a can at a very reasonable price. Not sure how many ounces, but I know it's not 19, like Costco.

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  6. We love this type of meal for Easter brunch. Might add some red pepper flakes for a bit of zip. Kalyn your timing is perfect as always.

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  7. Thanks Barb, and I think red pepper flakes sounds brilliant!

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  8. This sounds amazing, but we don't care for goat cheese. Any suggestions for an alternative?

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  9. If you like Feta that would be good, or just use more Mozzarella.

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  10. Can you put this together the night before and cook it the next morning?

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  11. I've never tried that with this type of casserole so I'm honestly not sure.

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  12. I'm going to try it so I'll let you know how it goes :)

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  13. And Jen never did let us know how it goes -- presumably, she died from the poisons that were created when it sat overnight. I usually enjoy your blog, Kalyn, but you should put a warning message up for this one.

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  14. Hopefully I don't have to warn people about things I haven't recommended?

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