It took me a few attempts, but I finally made the strata of my dreams. Strata is an Italian baked egg and bread dish that is perfect for a make-ahead weekend brunch, but we also love it for family dinner with some fruit or sliced vegetables and my homemade ranch dressing.
This recipe can be found in my latest cookbook, The Six O'Clock Scramble Meal Planner: A Year of Quick, Delicious Meals to Help You Prevent and Manage Diabetes, published by the American Diabetes Association.
The cookbook takes the stress and guesswork out of planning healthy and delicious dinners for your family, whether you are cooking for 1, 2, or your whole family, including kids. The book, features color photos for every dish, includes 160 delicious recipes that take 30 minutes or less to prepare, and 32 weekly menu plans complete with main dishes and sides—and an organized grocery list for each week!
Light and Fluffy Spinach and Cheese Strata
Thanks to Renee Comet for the use of the recipe photo.
Marinate Time: 4 hours Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 50 minutes Total Time: 5 hours and 5 minutes
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach
1 1/2 cups nonfat or low fat milk
1 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1 tsp. herbes de Provence or thyme, or other Italian herbs
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 slices bacon, pork, turkey or vegetarian, cooked and diced (optional)
6 slices ciabatta bread, about 1/2-inch thick, cubed, or use any day old bread (about 4 cups)
Defrost the spinach in the microwave or on the stovetop. Spray a 9 x 13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and the milk. Whisk in the cheeses, herbs, garlic powder and salt. Stir in the spinach, bacon (optional) and bread cubes until the bread is completely moistened. Pour the egg mixture into the baking dish, smoothing it with the back of a spoon, if necessary. Refrigerate it, covered, for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
When you are ready to bake it, remove the strata from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake it in the center of the oven, uncovered, for 45 – 50 minutes until it is browned on the edges and cooked through in the center. (While it bakes, prepare the hash browns and cut the cantaloupe.) Cut it into squares to serve it.
Slow Cooker Directions: In the slow cooker, whisk together the eggs and the milk, then whisk in the cheeses, herbs, garlic powder and salt. Stir in the spinach and bread cubes until the bread is completely moistened. Cook on low for 4-5 hours, or on high for 2-3 hours. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)
Do Ahead or Delegate: Defrost the spinach, combine and refrigerate the eggs and the milk, shred the cheese, if necessary, combine the dry seasonings, cut the bread, or fully assemble and refrigerate the strata.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Double the salt and add 1/8 tsp. black pepper. Add 1/2 - 1 cup diced ham or sausage.
Nutritional Information Per Serving based on 8 servings (% based upon daily values)