Spinach Mushroom Breakfast Braid

Breakfast braid

Spinach Mushroom Breakfast Braid

Company is coming. It’s the holidays, company is always coming. Friends, family and loved ones from afar will pass through your doors. Some will stay just the day, some will stay awhile. You’ll stay up late talking, sharing memories and just, well, catching up! Then, morning comes all too early and you drag out of bed, head to the kitchen to get a pot of coffee going. After the first cup clears your cobwebs, you suddenly realize – you have to make breakfast for a dozen people! 12 hungry mouths to feed. OK, maybe you have more or maybe you have less, you still need to feed them! The thought of all those dirty pots and pans makes you want to crawl back into bed. Never fear, friends! The breakfast braid is here to rescue you. You can impress your family and still maintain a relatively clean kitchen.

breakfast sammy

Yummy!

The breakfast bunch –

ingredients

the ingredients

You’ll need a 13 x 18 baking sheet, which is NOT the one you see pictured. That pan is too small. I got out the right pan, later. The rest of the ingredients are eggs, chopped fresh spinach, chopped mushrooms, roasted red peppers, cheese, a refrigerated tube of pizza dough and some sesame seeds to make it pretty. You’ll need some butter to cook the eggs, too.

Cut a sheet of parchment paper to fit the baking sheet. This makes moving the breakfast braid much, much easier.

Preheat the oven to 425º.

Crack the eggs into a medium sized bowl.

eggs

Get crackin’!

If it’s your normal practice to add milk or water to your scrambled eggs, go ahead and do it. Sometimes I do, this time I didn’t. Give them a whisk.

eggs beaten

beaten eggs

Get out a skillet and melt some butter in it.

melt butter

melting butter

When it’s melted, swirl it around to cover. Then, pour in the eggs.

eggs

Add the eggs

As the eggs cook, push the solids towards the center, so they don’t cook all the way through.

push to the middle

push to the middle

You don’t want to cook the eggs all the way. You want them soft set. Runny. Yes, runny. They’ll continue to cook and they have to go into the oven.

soft set scrambled eggs

soft scrambled eggs

While the eggs are cooking, time to get the dough ready. Get your half sheet pan with the parchment paper on it. ( I got out the right pan) Pop the roll of pizza dough and spread it out onto the pan.

dough spread on pan

spread out the dough

Gently stretch it to fit the pan. Pinch together any tears that happen. Get a knife and carefully make diagonal cuts about 2 inches apart, along both sides of the dough, leaving about 4 inches solid in the middle.

cut the dough

cut diagonally towards the center

Time to build the layers. Start with the chopped fresh spinach. Evenly spread the spinach down the center of the dough.

spinach layer

start with the spinach

Add a layer of mushrooms, keeping it all in the center.

layer of mushrooms

mushroom layer

Pile the eggs on next.

egg layer

Add the egg layer

Let me share my latest find with you, a vegetarian cheese. A great tasting, vegetarian cheese.

Red Apple kosher cheese

vegetarian cheese!

 This is Red Apple Naturally Good Kosher Cheese.  It looks like all the cheeses in their Naturally Good Kosher and Screaming Dutchman line are vegetarian. And, look at that easy to read label! Check your markets for this cheese. If they don’t carry it, ask them to!

Back to the recipe. Get your vegetarian cheese out and grate a cup’s worth.

grated gouda

Grate cheese!

Sprinkle the cheese over the eggs.

layer of cheese

cheese layer

Get a couple of red peppers out of the jar, pat dry and dice up.

roasted red pepper

diced roasted red pepper

Spread them over the top of the breakfast braid.

Roast red pepper layer

Roast red pepper layer

Now, fold one end of the dough up and over the filling. The end piece first, then the first piece on either side. Press the dough edges to seal it.

starting the braid

fold one end up and over the filling

Then, fold the next strip up and over the filling. Left, then right. Or right, then left. Just do one side, then the other. Leave gaps for the filling to show through.

braiding the bread

Braiding the bread

When you get to the middle of the breakfast braid, turn it around and start at the other end.

the other end

Fold up the other end

Continue folding one side, then the other until you reach the middle. then seal the dough edges down.

finished dough braid

Finished braiding

We need an egg wash, so separate out an egg white to use, or pour some liquid egg whites into a small dish. Whisk it with a fork. Brush the breakfast braid with the beaten egg wash, then sprinkle the entire top with sesame seeds.

sesame seeds

Brush with beaten egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds

Bake the breakfast braid at 425 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Baked Breakfast Braid

All done

Let cool for 5 minutes, then slice and serve. This makes 6 good sized servings.

Breakfast Braid

Breakfast is ready

This is so easy and so versatile. You can change up the fillings, even make them for lunch or dinner. If there’s a crown at your house, it’s no more trouble to make 2 or 3 at the same time. So, relax, enjoy your coffee. You’ve got this breakfast thing under control!

Spinach Mushroom Breakfast Braid

Spinach Mushroom Breakfast Braid

Spinach Mushroom Breakfast Braid
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
A refreshing change to ordinary breakfast sandwiches.
Ingredients
  • 1 tube refrigerated pizza dough
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups lightly packed chopped spinach
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • ½ cup diced roast red peppers – jarred or fresh made
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten.
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425º.
  2. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit a large baking tray. Unroll dough onto the parchment paper and pat into a 10 x 15 inch rectangle. With a sharp knife, make diagonal cuts about 2 inches apart along both long sides of the dough, leaving about a 4 inch solid center.
  3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the beaten eggs and cook until soft scrambled, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Arrange the chopped spinach down the center of the dough. Add a layer of sliced mushrooms next. Spoon the soft set scrambled eggs evenly over the dough center for the next layer. Top with the shredded cheese. Sprinkle the roasted red peppers down the center, as the last layer.
  5. Bring the end piece of dough, up and over the filling end and bring the top strip of dough over the filling. Press the edges to seal. Braid dough over top of filling by alternating strips from each side. Fold the bottom edge up and over the end, sealing it with the last two edge strips.
  6. Brush the breakfast braid with a beaten egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 425º for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes, slice and serve.

 

Stuffed Portobello Caps

Portobello Caps stuffed

Stuffed Portobello Caps

We like mushrooms. They have a wonderful, earthy flavor and they give you something that you can bite into. Their versatility is neverending. Just think of how many different dishes you’ve made, that start out with a can of cream of mushroom soup! By they way, you can make your own, much more flavorful, mushroom soup. But, that’s a post for another time. One of my favorite breakfasts is a simple sauteed mushroom and egg white omelette. Yum! These stuffed caps are made with easy to find ingredients and are a snap to make. The ingredient list –

ingredients

The fixin’s

portobello mushroom caps, spinach, onion, roma tomato, goat cheese (for creamy yumminess), panko crumbs, red pepper flakes (for a little kick) and some herbes de provence. I like using herbs de provence. It makes me feel swanky. Next thing you know, I’ll be putting truffle oil on everything. If you don’t have herbes de provence, plain old italian seasoning mix will work just fine. You can still feel swanky, too. First thing to do, is to scrape the gills off the mushrooms. You don’t have to, but you can pile in more stuffing if they’re gone, so get them out of there.

removing stems and gills

Snap off the stems and scrape out the gills.

Snap the stems off, too. I don’t use them in the stuffing. Save them for making a vegetable stock. After the caps are clean, set them aside.

cleaned mushrooms

Clean mushrooms.

Now, dice up half an onion. You want about 1/2 a cup.

diced onion

choppity chop chop

Swirl about a tablespoon of olive oil into a large saute pan. Using a medium low heat, cook the onions til tender, about 2 to 3 minutes.

sauteed onion

cooking the onion

Add in the chopped spinach so it can wilt down.

satuee spinach

add the spinach to the pan

It will just take a couple of minutes for it to wilt.

wilted spinach

wilted spinach

Turn the heat off and set the pan to the side. Now, preheat your oven to 375º. Line a baking sheet with foil and set it by the mushroom caps. Time to make the stuffing. Give a roma tomato a rough dice.

roma tomato diced

diced roma tomato

I used a roma, because they are a meatier, less juicy, tomato. If you have to use a regular tomato, dice it, then, blot excess moisture up with a paper towel. Crumble the goat cheese into a medium sized bowl.

goat cheese

crumble with a fork

Combine with the diced tomato, panko crumbs, red pepper flakes and the herbes de provence. Add salt and pepper.

stuffing mix

Stuffing mix

Add in the spinach onion mixture.

stuffing mix

add the spinach onion mix

Mix it well.

mix it up

Combine well

Divide the mixture among the portobello caps.

stuffed caps

Stuff the caps.

Drizzle the caps with a little olive oil. This adds an extra layer of flavor!

oil drizzled caps

Drizzle caps with olive oil.

Bake for about 30 minutes. I roasted some carrots alongside of the mushrooms and served them both with a nice, creamy risotto. A delicious, easy dinner!

Stuffed Portobello Caps

Dinner is served!

Stuffed Portobello Caps

Stuffed Portobello Caps

Stuffed Portobello Caps
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Flavorful portobello caps, stuffed with a savory blend of spinach, tomatoes and goat cheese.
Ingredients
  • 4 portobello caps, stems and gills removed
  • 4 cups raw spinach, coarsely chopped and lightly packed
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 2 TBL olive oil - divided
  • 1 diced roma tomato
  • 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • ½ cup panko crumbs
  • 1 tsp herbes de provence
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375º. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Saute the diced onion in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 2 to 3 minutes. Add spinach to wilt, another 2 minutes. Place the goat cheese in a medium bowl. To it, add in the diced tomato, panko crumbs, red pepper flakes and herbes de provence. Pour the spinach and onion mix over the tomato cheese mixture and combine. Divide mixture among 4 portobello caps. Drizzle remaining tablespoon of olive oil.
  3. Place caps on baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.

 

Rolled Omelette with Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper and Cheese

Rolled Omelette with Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper and Cheese2

Rolled Omelette with Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper and Cheese

I’m sure we’ve all had it happen to us. You’ve got the perfect omelette going in the fry pan, you try to fold it over and it tears. You’re trying to slide it onto the plate and half the stuffing stays in the pan. Or, it just sticks, is undercooked or overcooked. GAH! I hate it. So, I got this recipe from the kitchen diva – Martha Stewart and adapted it to fit my needs. Now, you can adapt it to fit your needs, too! It’s a baked omelette. Just whisk up some eggs and milk, pour it into a pan, top with your favorite ingredients and bake. This version has spinach, roasted red peppers and cheese. Give it a try. Kick omelette heartbreak to the curb.

The ingredients –

omelette ingredients

omelette ingredients

First, preheat your oven to 350º. Then, give the spinach a rough chop.

Chop the spinach

Chop the spinach

Take one roasted red pepper from the jar and dry it with paper towels,

dry pepper

Dry the pepper

and cut it into small strips.

red pepper strips

Slice into strips.

Time to get cracking! Get out a medium sized bowl and crack 8 eggs into it.

break eggs

Cracked up.

Add in the milk, dijon mustard, salt and pepper.

add milk, mustard

add milk, dijon mustard, salt & pepper

Then, whisk it all together.

Whisked eggs

Whisked eggs

Measure out one cup of cheese. I grated some gouda cheese for this one.

grated gouda

cheesy

Get your pan ready. You’ll need a 13 X 18 x 1 inch baking sheet. That’s a half sheet pan and most of us have one, or five. If your pan is smaller, it’s ok. Just make sure it has 1 inch sides or you’ll end up with eggs everywhere. Spray the pan with oil. Line the pan with parchment paper, letting it hang over the sides. You can trim it to fit for the long sides, but I don’t. I find that the eggs seep under the paper. Now, spray the paper with oil, too.

spray with oil

Spray with oil

Pour in the eggs. Press down the paper in the corners, so the eggs flow over there.

eggs

Pour in the eggs

Sprinkle evenly with the chopped spinach.

sprinkle spinach

Sprinkle with spinach

Do the same with the roasted red pepper strips.

add peppers

Very colorful

Bake until the edges of the omelette are set, about 10 to 12 minutes. Take it out and top with the shredded cheese.

Top with cheese

Top with cheese

Return to the oven and bake an additional 5 to 8 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the omelette no longer jiggles.

cheese melted

Melty cheese

Let it rest for a minute, then lift the whole shebang out and onto a large cutting board.

Omelette

On top of a cutting board.

You don’t have to do this step. You can roll the omelette up while it still in the pan. You can. Not me. Hot pan, hot omelette, hot cheese equals a burned Ruth. So, I just slide it over to a board. While wearing my Ove Gloves. Now, back to the omelette. Starting with the short side of the pan, lift up and fold over 1 to 2 inches of the omelette, keeping the paper pulled away.

Fold omelette over

Fold it over.

Press the omelette down to seal. Continue to lift and fold the omelette, peeling back the paper until you reach the end.

rolling the omelette

Keep on rolling

Now, before you make that last fold, put everything on the serving platter and flip it off the paper. Garnish with a little chopped parsley and serve. We had ours with home fries, so I just piled them around the omelette. Cut the omelette into 2 or 3 inch slices. Serves 4. Enjoy!

Rolled Omelette with Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper and Cheese

Rolled Omelette with Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper and Cheese

Rolled Omelette with Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper and Cheese
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: French
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
A baked omelette, rolled up over delicious spinach, roasted red peppers and cheese.
Ingredients
  • 8 large eggs
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 roasted red pepper from a jar, pat dry and chop
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, I used gouda
  • Chopped parsley for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Spray a 13 x 18 x 1 inch baking sheet or similar sized pan with oil. Line bottom of pan with parchment, leaving a 1-inch overhang on the two shorter sides. Spray parchment with oil.
  2. Crack the eggs into a medium size bowl. Add in the milk, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Pour into pan. Evenly sprinkle the surface with chopped spinach and roasted red pepper pieces.
  3. Bake until the edges of omelette are set, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle shredded cheese over the top. Return to oven and bake and additional 5 to 8 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the omelette no longer jiggles. Let rest for 1 minute. Starting on one short side of the pan, lift up the parchment paper and fold over a 1 to 2 inch section. Press down to seal. Continue to lift and fold the omelette, peeling back the paper, until you reach the end. On the last fold, place entire omelette on serving platter and remove paper. Garnish with chopped parsley. Cut into 2 to 3 inch slices and serve.

 

Rolled omelette

Breakfast is served!

 

 

 

 

Cheese. Betrayed by the cheese. And rennet.

I made a recipe that I got from Giada. It was listed as a vegetarian dish. Mine didn’t turn out quite like hers, so I went back to the site to read the reviews and see what I did wrong. A couple of reviews down, I saw this – “You do realise that parmesan cheese is not veggie-friendly in that it contains rennet! I suggest that you use a veggie alternative hard cheese if you really want to make it veggie-friendly.

Whoosh! Just like that, all the air went out of my lungs. Rennet. Cow’s stomach. That certainly isn’t vegetarian. I have messed up. Messed up big time. See, I use parmesan cheese. A lot. I’ve used it in my recipes that I have shared with you. My vegetarian recipes.

Please accept my apologies. I am still learning. I shall endeavor to do better in the future.

I have gone back over the recipes and changed the forbidden cheeses to vegetarian approved varieties. There is a rainbow. There are many cheeses that are made with microbial or vegetable rennets. I’ll list some, that are taken right from the manufacturer’s websites. You can also look for the kosher label. If it’s kosher, it’s good for us veg heads, too.

What kind of rennet is used to make Cabot cheeses?
Cabot uses a microbial-based enzyme to manufacture all of our award-winning cheeses with the exception of our Processed American Cheese slices. The microbial-based enzyme coagulates the milk into curds and whey. It is approved for vegetarians and also allows our cheeses to pass kosher certification. Our Processed American Cheese slices are sourced from plants that Cabot does not own, so we cannot guarantee that they are made with microbial enzymes. Cabot Cheese

Is Tillamook Cheese vegetarian-friendly? Most of our cheeses are made with a vegetable-based rennet that’s kosher-certified, halal-certified, and vegetarian-friendly. Three of our cheeses – Vintage White Medium Cheddar, Vintage White Sharp Cheddar, and Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar – are made with a traditional animal-based rennet . The traditional rennet helps develop the unique flavor in these three cheeses. Tillamook cheese

Is Organic Valley cheese made with animal or vegetarian rennet/enzymes?

Most cheese production uses the enzyme rennet to coagulate milk into curd. Organic Valley uses “microbial enzymes” for most all of their cheeses instead of animal rennet. Using microbial enzymes allows us to serve the strict needs of vegetarians. Microbial enzymes are produced by a controlled fermentation process.

We do use a lipase enzyme derived from animals in creating the flavor profile for our Blue Cheese Crumbles, Kickapoo Blue Cheese Wheel/Wedges and the Romano in our Italian Blend Shredded Cheese; and we use animal rennet in our 3 Vermont Cheddar cheeses for coagulation. Use of these enzymes derived from animals makes Blue Cheese Crumbles, Kickapoo Blue Cheese Wheel/Wedges, Italian Blend Shredded Cheese, and Medium, Sharp, and Extra-Sharp Vermont Cheddar our six non-vegetarian cheeses.                      Organic Valley Cheese

What is the source of the enzymes in your cheeses?

Rennets (enzymes) are added when making cheese to thicken the mixture to form the curds. These milk-clotting enzymes originate in microbial (synthetic) and animal sources. The manufacturing process of most varieties of cheese (all cured or ripened cheeses) involves enzyme coagulation.

Most Sargento shredded and sliced cheeses and all of our refrigerated natural cheese snacks are made with non-animal rennets. The only Sargento natural cheeses that may contain animal enzymes are those that contain Romano, Asiago, or Jarlsberg cheeses. Those include: Artisan Blends Shredded Parmesan & Romano Cheese, Shredded 6 Cheese Italian Cheese, Shredded Reduced Fat 4 Cheese Italian Cheese, and Deli Style Sliced Jarlsberg Cheese. The cheese dip in our non-refrigerated MooTown Snacks, Cheese Dip & Cracker Sticks, Cheese Dip & Pretzel Sticks, and Cheese Dip & Crackers, is made with beef rennet.  Sargento cheese

Organic Valley says that many of their cheeses contain no animal rennet. You have to look at each variety to be sure. http://www.organicvalley.coop/

A cheesy website with tons of rennet free cheeses listed!                  http://cheese.joyousliving.com/Default.aspx

My lesson has been learned. I thought I was a conscientious  label reader. Turns out, I wasn’t. You can bet that I will be flipping over all my packages and reading the labels from now on!

Mac and Pimento Cheese

 

Mac and Pimento Cheese

mac and pimento cheese close up

Yummy

 

I’m pretty sure that every southern woman worth her salt, has a pimento cheese recipe or two or three. We like to shake it up and add in some unexpected ingredients. Some horseradish in this one or some cream cheese in that one. Well, I really shook up my pimento cheese recipe. I added macaroni to it. Why not? It seemed like a natural thing to do. Mac & cheese is a perfect combination. Pimento cheese is a perfect combination of peppers and cheese. Why not combine all three? So, I did and it’s done and it tastes great. It’s a natural combination.  Like chocolate and peanut butter, milk and cookies, potato chips and ketchup. OK, maybe not the potato chips and ketchup. That’s just some freaky thing my sister did. But, macaroni and pimento cheese is a good combination. Give it a try.

The cast for this evenings dish.

m & c ingredients

Getting it together.

Cook the box of macaroni according to the box directions. Drain and set aside.

cooked macaroni

Use your noodle!

Shred the cheese, saving ¾ cup to top the casserole. Open and drain the can of pimentos. Pat them dry and open them to lay flat. Give them rough chop.

chopping pimentos

Chopping the pimentos

Save out two thin strips so that you can decorate the casserole dish, nice and purty.

While the pasta is cooking, put 4 tablespoons of butter in a large pot.

melting butter

Mmmm, melty.

Melt it over medium heat. Then, whisk in 4 tablespoons of flour and let that cook for 2 to 3 minutes. I used whole wheat flour, so mine is browner than if I used white flour.

making a roux

Bubbly flour

Pour in the milk and add the salt, pepper and dry mustard and stir to combine.

adding in spices

Add in the spices

Whisk while cooking until it thickens, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the shredded cheese, chopped pimentos and mayonnaise.

Adding the cheese, mayo & pimentos.

Add the cheese, mayo & pimentos.

Fold in the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour it all out into the greased casserole dish and sprinkle with ¾ cup of that shredded cheddar. Then, artfully arrange those pimento strips.

ready to cook

Ready for the oven

Bake. Eat. Enjoy.

ready to eat

Let’s eat!

Recipe time!

Mac and Pimento Cheese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
A new twist to a creamy, cheesy favorite, mac & cheese.
Ingredients
  • 1 - 16 oz box of macaroni
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 Tablespoons AP flour. I used whole white wheat.
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 cups milk. I used Almond milk
  • 1 – can of pimento peppers 4 to 7 ounce size.
  • 2 – 8 oz packages of cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
Instructions
  1. Prepare macaroni noodles according to package directions. When done, drain and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350º. Coat a 2 quart casserole dish with spray oil.
  3. Drain and pat dry the pimentos. Give them a rough chop. Reserve two long strips for garnish, if desired.
  4. Shred cheese and reserve ¾ cup to top casserole before baking.
  5. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add in the flour and whisk until smooth. Continue whisking for 2 to 3 minutes to cook the flour. Pour in the milk and add the salt, ground pepper and dry mustard. Raise heat to medium high and continue whisking until it thickens, around 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add in the shredded cheese, chopped pimentos and mayonnaise. Whisk until the cheese is mostly melted and the ingredients are fully combined. Fold in the cooked macaroni and mix well.
  6. Pour the cheesy macaroni into the prepared baking dish. Top with the remaining cheese and arrange the two pimento strips on the center of the dish.
  7. Bake at 350º for 20 to 30 minutes or until the cheese top and melted and started to brown. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.