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Broccoli & Leek Breakfast Casserole

Before I had kids my weekend routine went something like this: Sleep in until 10. Laze about until noon. Change out of PJs at 12:15. Meet friends for brunch around 1pm. Now my weekends are something like this: Wake up at the crack of dawn, change a diaper, pretend to be Hans Solo, play peek-a-boo, eat a cup full of dry cereal, is it really only 8am? Get dressed, have a dance party, empty dishwasher, put in a load of laundry. 11am already?

I may have given up weekend chillaxing, but one thing I’ll never give up is brunch. As far as I’m concerned it is the greatest meal ever invented. A staple of any brunch in our house is some kind of egg-tastic casserole. It allows me to make all kinds of egg puns which are totally embarrassing but I cannot help myself. “This dish is egg-cellent!” or “This is egg-actly the kind of dish I was craving!” or “This totally egg-ceeded my egg-spectations!” (Love that one, two egg puns in the same sentence!)

My kid finds my puns hilarious (Only a few more years until they will be so embarrassing that he’ll be afraid to have anyone over). Every weekend, I thank my lucky stars that my veg-head husband is not vegan. He was a carnivore when I met him and I don’t think I could handle the heart break of a vegan brunch. Now for our latest brunch egg-periment…

Broccoli & Leek Breakfast Casserole

Prep Time: 25 mins  Cooking Time: 45 mins

8 cups Challah bread cubes (1 inch cubes)
2 cups broccoli florets, blanched
1 leek, halved and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 eggs
6 egg whites
1 1/2 cups lowfat or non-fat milk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Saute leeks until tender. Remove from heat and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites and milk. Add broccoli, leeks and cheese, stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste and fold in challah cubes until all pieces are wet. Pour into a greased baking dish and let bread soak for at least 25 minutes. (Can soak overnight in fridge!) Bake covered with foil for 35 minutes then remove cover and bake for 10 more minutes or until top is brown.

Note: I attempt to make everything we eat healthier. If you are having company and want to impress with a really decadent dish use whole milk, 8 whole eggs instead of eggs + egg whites and double the cheese.

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