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What's for Dinner

By Beverly Glaze

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As the demands of the busy holiday season pick up, it's easy to take a pass on dinner preparations and choose fast food. Get out of the takeout rut and serve breakfast for dinner. Always popular with kids, breakfast for dinner usually involves minimal prep time, especially for casseroles that can be assembled the day before.

Serve with fresh fruit and 100 percent fruit juice for a fast, complete meal.

Make-Ahead Breakfast Casserole

From allrecipes.com. Makes 10 servings.

     2 1/2     cups seasoned croutons

     1     pound spicy pork sausage

     4    eggs

     2 1/4     cups 2 percent milk

     1     10.75-ounce can condensed cream of mushroom soup

     1    10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry

     1    4.5-ounce can mushrooms, drained and chopped

     1    cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

     1    cup shredded Monterey jack cheese

     1/4     teaspoon dry mustard (optional)

SPREAD croutons on the bottom of greased 9- by 13-inch pan.

CRUMBLE sausage into medium skillet. Cook over medium heat until browned, stirring occasionally. Drain off any drippings. Spread sausage over croutons.

WHISK together in a large bowl the eggs and milk until well blended. Stir in soup, spinach, mushrooms, cheeses and mustard (if desired).

POUR egg mixture over sausage and croutons. Refrigerate overnight.

BAKE at 325° for 50 to 55 minutes or until set and lightly browned on top. Serve hot.

Nutrition information: Per serving: 419 calories, 32 grams total fat, 142 milligrams cholesterol, 14 grams total carbohydrates, 2 grams dietary fiber, 18 grams protein, 882 milligrams sodium.

Hash Brown and Egg Casserole

From allrecipes.com. Makes 6 servings.

     1    2-pound package frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed

     1     pound pork sausage

     1     small onion, diced

     5    eggs

     1/2  cup milk

     1/2     teaspoon onion powder

     1/8     teaspoon garlic powder

     Salt and ground black pepper to taste

     12     ounces shredded cheddar cheese

HEAT oven to 350°. Grease a 2-quart baking dish.

PLACE the hash brown potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish.

COOK and stir sausage and onion in a skillet over medium heat until the sausage is crumbly, evenly browned and no longer pink; drain.

WHISK together the eggs, milk, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper; pour over the potatoes.

LAYER with half the cheddar cheese, the sausage mixture and the remaining cheddar cheese. Cover with aluminum foil.

BAKE in heated oven for 1 hour. Remove cover, return casserole to oven and bake until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 10 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition information: Per serving: 616 calories, 48 grams total fat, 281 milligrams cholesterol, 30 grams total carbohydrates, 2 grams dietary fiber, 34 grams protein, 1,206 milligrams sodium.

French Toast Casserole

From allrecipes.com. Makes 6 servings.

     5    cups bread cubes

     4    eggs

     1 1/2     cups milk

     1/4  cup white sugar, divided

     1/4     teaspoon salt

     1     teaspoon vanilla extract

     1     tablespoon margarine, softened

     1     teaspoon ground cinnamon

HEAT oven to 350°. Lightly butter an 8- by 8-inch baking pan. Line bottom of pan with bread cubes.

BEAT together in a large bowl eggs, milk, 2 tablespoons sugar, salt and vanilla.

POUR egg mixture over bread. Dot with margarine, let stand for 10 minutes.

COMBINE remaining 2 tablespoons with 1 teaspoon cinnamon and sprinkle over the top.

BAKE for about 45 to 50 minutes, until top is golden brown.

Nutrition information: Per serving: 207 calories, 7 grams total fat, 146 milligrams cholesterol, 27 grams total carbohydrates, 1 gram dietary fiber, 9 grams protein, 388 milligrams sodium.

Christmas Brunch Casserole

From allrecipes.com. Makes 5 servings.

     1     pound bacon

     2     onions, chopped

     2    cups fresh sliced mushrooms

     1     tablespoon butter

     4    cups frozen, hash brown potatoes, thawed

     1     teaspoon salt

     1/4     teaspoon garlic salt

     1/2     teaspoon ground black pepper

     4    eggs

     1 1/2     cups milk

     1     pinch dried parsley

     1    cup shredded cheddar cheese

COOK bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain and set aside.

ADD the mushrooms and onion to the skillet, cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent and the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes.

GREASE a 9- by 13-inch casserole dish with the 1 tablespoon butter. Place potatoes in bottom of prepared dish. Sprinkle with salt, garlic salt and pepper. Top with crumbled bacon, add the mushrooms and onions.

BEAT in a mixing bowl the eggs with the milk and parsley. Pour the beaten eggs over the casserole and top with grated cheese.

COVER and refrigerate overnight.

HEAT oven to 400°. Bake in heated oven for 1 hour or until set.

Nutrition information: Per serving: 494 calories, 28 grams total fat, 238 milligrams cholesterol, 32 grams total carbohydrates, 3 grams dietary fiber, 28 grams protein, 1,518 milligrams sodium.

Cheesy Ham and Hash Brown Casserole

From allrecipes.com. Makes 12 servings.

     1    32-ounce package frozen hash brown potatoes

     8     ounces cooked, diced ham

     1     10.75-ounce cans cream of potato soup

     1    16-ounce container sour cream

     2    cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

     1 1/2     cups grated Parmesan cheese

HEAT oven to 375°. Lightly grease 9- by 13-inch baking pan.

MIX in a large bowl the hash browns, ham, cream of potato soup, sour cream and cheddar cheese.

SPREAD evenly in prepared dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

BAKE 1 hour in heated oven or until bubbly and lightly brown. Serve immediately.

Nutrition information: Per serving: 399 calories, 26 grams total fat, 47 milligrams cholesterol, 29 grams total carbohydrates, 2 grams dietary fiber, 13 grams protein, 639 milligrams sodium.

Programs and activities offered by the West Virginia University Extension Service are available to all persons without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, veteran status, political beliefs, sexual orientation, national origin, and marital or family status. This material was funded, in part, by the USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides nutrition assistance to people with limited income. To find out more, contact your local Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Beverly Glaze has a master's degree in human nutrition and food science and is a WVU Extension specialist in the FNP adult program. Reach her at Beverly.Glaze@mail.wvu.edu or 304-634-8449.


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