Tomato & Spinach Dinner Strata
This yummy lasagna-inspired casserole has cheese, vegetables, eggs and marinara sauce but uses sturdy whole-grain bread instead of noodles, which makes it even easier to make. Its hearty look hides the fact that it’s made with all low-fat, healthful ingredients. Of course, it makes a great brunch entree as well—don’t let the name fool you.
From EatingWell: May/June 2011, EatingWell Fast & Flavorful Meatless Meals (2011)
Yield: 8 servings
Active Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 3 3/4 hours
- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 8 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 15-ounce container part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry, or 1 1/2 pounds fresh spinach, cooked, squeezed dry and chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 cups prepared marinara sauce, divided
- 6 slices whole-grain sandwich bread, preferably day-old
- 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Coat a 7-by-11-inch (or similar-size) baking dish with cooking spray.
- Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened but not browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pan; increase heat to medium-high. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until the moisture has evaporated, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the onions, add 1/4 teaspoon pepper and salt and stir to combine.
- Combine ricotta, spinach, nutmeg and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper in another bowl.
- Spoon 1 cup marinara sauce into the prepared baking dish. Break each slice of bread into 4 roughly equal pieces; arrange half the bread on the sauce (the bread doesn’t have to completely cover the sauce). Spoon the ricotta mixture over the bread. Arrange the remaining bread over the ricotta. Scatter the mushroom mixture over the bread. Top with mozzarella. Spoon the remaining marinara sauce over the top. The pan will be very full.
- Whisk eggs and milk in a small bowl. Pour the mixture slowly over the casserole, poking the filling gently with the tip of a knife until the egg mixture is evenly distributed and the bread is saturated. Coat a piece of foil with cooking spray on one side and cover the casserole, sprayed-side down. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake the strata, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan and bake until puffed and golden brown, 10 minutes more. Let stand for 10 minutes. Serve sprinkled with parsley.
Tips & Notes
- Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 5; refrigerate for up to 1 day.
Nutrition Per Serving: 317 calories; 15 g fat (6 g sat, 5 g mono); 99 mg cholesterol; 26 g carbohydrates; 20 g protein; 5 g fiber; 683 mg sodium; 641 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (104% daily value), Calcium (41% dv), Folate (26% dv), Magnesium (20% dv), Potassium & Zinc (18% dv).
1 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1 starch, 2 vegetable, 2 medium-fat meat, 1 fat