Ham & Cheese Breakfast Casserole

When you are craving a hearty, savory breakfast to feed the masses—but want something easy to prepare—this make-ahead breakfast casserole is worth a try. It can be prepared the night before and popped in the oven in the morning.  And it’s a good source of protein, Vitamin A and calcium.

4 large eggs
4 large egg whites
1 cup nonfat milk
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
5 cups chopped spinach, wilted (see Tip)
4 cups whole-grain bread, crusts removed if desired, cut into 1-inch cubes (about ½ pound, 4-6 slices)
1 cup diced ham steak, (5 ounces)
½ cup chopped jarred roasted red peppers
¾ cup shredded Gruyère or Swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 7-by-11-inch glass baking dish or a 2-quart casserole with cooking spray. Whisk eggs, egg whites and milk in a medium bowl. Add mustard, rosemary and pepper; whisk to combine. Toss spinach, bread, ham and roasted red peppers in a large bowl. Add the egg mixture and toss well to coat. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and push down to compact. Cover with foil.

Bake until the custard has set, 40 to 45 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese and continue baking until the pudding is puffed and golden on top, 15 to 20 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Tip: To wilt spinach, rinse thoroughly with cool water. Transfer to a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and punch several holes in it. Microwave on High until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Squeeze out excess moisture before adding the spinach to the recipe.

Make ahead tip: Prepare casserole, but do not bake; refrigerate overnight. Let casserole stand while oven preheats and then bake as directed above.

Nutrition information (per 1 piece): Per serving: 286 calories; 10 g fat(4 g sat); 4 g fiber; 23 g carbohydrates; 23 g protein; 114 mcg folate; 150 mg cholesterol; 5 g sugars; 2 g added sugars; 3,707 IU vitamin A; 18 mg vitamin C; 286 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 845 mg sodium; 507 mg potassium

Recipe available at: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/252274/ham-cheese-breakfast-casserole/

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