pen rainbow

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday's Cupboard—Easy Summertime Suppers

I use double-fiber wheat bread
This month, I will be featuring my favorite meals for days that are long on sunshine and short on time in the kitchen!

Zucchini & Red Bell Pepper Strata (can be made a day ahead) — Makes 8 servings
227 cal, 8g fat, 3g sat fat, 0g trans fat, 115 mg chol, 407 mg sod, 24g carbs, 6g fiber, 17g protein, 383 mg calcium
Adapted from Weight Watchers Super-Foods Cookbook, ©2006

Preheat the oven to 350°F
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded & diced
  • 2 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 medium Roma tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (or 2 tsp. jarred chopped garlic in water)
  • 8 oz. wheat bread torn into 1-inch pieces (about 7 slices of Oroweat Whole Wheat Double-Fiber) **
  • 1 c. Sargento's Artisan Shredded Swiss Cheese
  • 1/4 c. shredded or shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 1 (12 oz.) can of evaporated nonfat milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 c. egg substitute (or 2 egg whites)
  • 2 T. classic Dijon mustard  
Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add the bell pepper, zucchini, onion & salt.  Sauté until the pepper is tender, about 7 minutes.

Sweat the veggies
Stir in the tomatoes & garlic; cook until the tomatoes are soft, about 3 minutes.

Spray a 9"x 13" baking dish with nonstick olive oil spray.  Spread the bread pieces evenly over the bottom; top with the zucchini mixture.  Evenly distribute the shredded Swiss cheese & shaved Parmesan cheese over the top of the veggies.  

Whisk together the evaporated milk, whole eggs, egg substitute & mustard.  Pour over the bread, veggies & cheese, making sure that all of the bread is soaked.  If desired, cover & refrigerate for a few hours or overnight before baking.  

Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper & paprika
before baking
**  It's okay to use day-old bread &/or artisan wheat bread in this recipe.  Let the bread soak longer if you use stale or denser bread.  The original recipe recommends letting it sit for at least 4 hours in the fridge to combine all of the flavors and to let the day-old bread soak up the eggs.  If you're using fresh bread like I do, it's just fine to put it right into the oven without refrigerating beforehand.

Bake until the casserole begins to bubble & cheese is browning on top, about 50 minutes.  Let sit for about 10 minutes to cool.  This is super-hot when it comes out of the oven!

Toasty, cheesy & delicious
Serve with a handful of fresh spring greens on the side.  That's right, just plain greens are a fine simple accompaniment to a flavorful casserole like this!

Monday—Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

May blizzard in the Sierras
What I did over Memorial Day this year...

Drove to Northstar in a blizzard

Bridge May Be Icy

Beautiful snowy Tahoe National Forest

Big Pines
30 mph for all vehicles
Martis Creek meadow (Northstar's mountains were obscured by the storm)

This bear and his friend camped out next to our deck

Live dot racing (the red dot won)