Whenever I make a recipe that provides enough for leftovers, my appreciation for the recipe doubles. Why, you may ask? Because it gives me either a delicious option for lunch the next day, or even better, a night off in the kitchen! A lot of recipes I make suggest that they are at least 4 servings, but I rarely find myself with leftovers (between the two of us in the house). So, whenever there’s a huge casserole or Dutch oven meal on the week’s menu, I can count on that providing me some type of leftover; whether it’s enough for one or two people is another story.
As always, I try to make sure that my meals are as balanced as possible; vegetables, protein, healthy fats… you know the drill. Since I take medication daily, my gastroenterologist likes for me to have blood work every so often just to make sure the medicine isn’t affecting anything negatively. I actually just had some routine blood work last week, and they mailed me a copy of the results. I’m happy to report that pretty much everything was within the “normal” range! I’ve got plenty of blood protein, calcium, and all the other goodies that people often swear vegetarians don’t get enough of. So even though my gut doesn’t work properly, my blood is in good shape! At least I know I’m doing something right.
But now that we’ve talked about my blood, let’s get back to food… I’m currently trying to ramp up my mileage (only a little) and intensity (a little more) for a half marathon in April. I’m actually running two half marathons in April – the RU Unite Half Marathon that I’ve run the last 3 years (and was my first!), and then a week later the Nike Women’s Half. I’m hoping to PR at the first, and then enjoy the second. I would love to run a 1:45 (or faster, of course), and I think it’s possible since I had to walk a few minutes due to a side cramp last year and finished in 1:47. As always, running has seriously increased my appetite, which is huge to begin with. So, when I found a big ‘ole strata recipe on Martha Stewart’s website, I knew I had to make it.
I had to make some changes to the recipe, most notably because one of the main ingredients was sausage. I’ve been completely obsessed with soy chorizo the past few months, so I knew that would be a perfect replacement. I’ve had the soy chorizo from both Trader Joe’s and Stop & Shop, and they are both equally delicious, and easy to use in anything from a burrito to an omelet. This particular recipe includes things I love; spicy chorizo, eggs, bread (yay carbs!), cheese, and a solid dose of leafy greens. It’s perfect to whip together before work and then cook when you get home, make the night before having brunch, or do all at once (since it really doesn’t take that long). I love the versatility of stratas, and this recipe is no different!
Vegetarian Chorizo & Chard Strata adapted from Martha Stewart
– Serves 4 –
1 package of Soy Chorizo (or 1lb. of regular chorizo)
1 tbsp olive oil*
1 small onion, diced (can be yellow, white, Spanish)
1 bunch of Chard (Swiss or red), roughly chopped
1 baguette (day old is best), sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup of smoked Gruyere or Gouda cheese
2 1/2 cups of milk (any dairy or non-flavored and unsweetened non-dairy kind will do)
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a medium sauté pan, cook the chorizo and set aside.
3. In the same pan, add the olive oil and sauté the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. *If you are using real chorizo, you do not need to add the oil – you can use the fat from the meat.
4. Next add in the chard, salt, and pepper, and cook until just beginning to wilt, about 5 minutes.
5. In a 9×11 greased baking dish, layer half the chorizo, followed by the chard and onion mixture, then sliced baguette. Follow with another layer of chorizo and then chard.
6. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs and milk. Pour over the casserole dish, doing your best to distribute evenly. Top with cheese. Let sit for at least 30 minutes, but can go up to overnight.
7. Bake covered with foil for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Let sit for at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving!
Do you have any favorite dishes you make that always give you leftovers?