A typical weekday morning involves me making a mad dash to get ready and out the door in time. I typically try to squeeze in a morning run, pushing my timeframe and running out the door with barely my hair fixed and DEFINITELY nothing ironed and praying that I thought ahead the night before to pack something for breakfast to eat on the road or in the office.
Most people suffer from the dash and go morning routine. Whether it is because you try to cram a morning workout in or get your kids ready or are just hitting that snoozypooze buttom one too many times, a healthy breakfast is likely the last on your list. I find that if I don’t eat a good solid, protein rich breakfast, the rest of my day has me STARVING AND EATING MY ARMS. Try going the rest of your day with only bloody nubs….not good. Gross, I know. I used to toast whole grain bread and slather almond butter on it for a quick breakfast, but lately I’ve been trying to eliminate gluten and grains from my diet. Finding quick make-ahead gluten and grain free breakfast alternatives has been the hardest challenge. Until now….
As a fabulous solution to the gluten and grain free breakfast conundrum (and to preserving my poor arms from being eaten), I present to you the great make ahead breakfast casserole! (Imagine glitter flying around right now and echoing god-like voices because this thing is awesome…like you just-won-a-trip-to-Bali awesome or you are-smaller-than-your-favorite-skinny-jeans awesome or you have-a-years-supply-of-ketchup awesome….or is that just me? fine…just me…well it would be friggin awesome.)
I call it “make ahead” for two reasons:
(1) All of the ingredients can be combined the evening or day before, refridgerated, and then baked the morning you plan to serve, and/or
(2) the casserole can be baked ahead of time and the leftovers taste just as delish as if it were fresh baked.
Whip one of these casseroles up on a Sunday evening…go ahead, eat B for D (breakfast for dinner)… and then eat the leftovers for breakfast throughout the week. Brilliant! This gluten-free casserole serves a crowd (10 at least) or it can feed 2 peeps for a full week. It is also a great way to use up excess ground beef!
This recipe is really just a building block. Any meat or veggies could be interchanged. I shredded a sweet potato as the starch. But if you have picky eaters in your house and they are not down with the sweet potato, then go tell them to make their own breakfast…OR you could be nice and use a shredded potato instead. This casserole is not too spicy but could be amped up by adding an additional jalapeño and chili powder, or using chorizo sausage instead of the ground beef.
Make Ahead Mexican Breakfast Casserole (Gluten Free, Grain Free, Dairy Free, Paleo-Friendly)
Serves 8 to 10
- 12 eggs, whisked
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 sweet potato*, shredded with skin on
- 1 jalapeno, deseeded and chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups diced fresh tomatoes (or 1 can of diced tomatoes, drained)
- 2 cups fresh spinach (or chard or any leafy green you choose)
*Note – if you have picky eaters in your house, you can substitute regular potatoes for the sweet potato. And if you are _really_ in a pinch, you can substitute frozen hashbrowns.
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray a 9″X13″ baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
- Whisk eggs in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Shred sweet potato using a food processor with shredding attachment or by hand. Set aside.
- Cook ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat until no pink remains. Break into crumbly pieces using a spatula. Drain off extra grease. Add onion, shredded sweet potato, garlic, jalapeño, chili powder, salt, and paprika into skillet. Cook until onions are translucent (about 5 to 7 minutes). Add tomatoes and spinach into skillet and cook for about 2 minutes or until spinach begins to wilt.
- Pour beef and sweet potato mixture into the prepared 9″X13″ pan and spread evenly along the bottom. Pour whisked eggs over the top, making sure to mix the eggs into the sweet potato mixture with a spoon or spatula. (The casserole can be made ahead 1 day in advance up to this point and covered and refrigerated. Remove from fridge 15 minutes before cooking.)
- Place in preheated oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until middle of casserole is set (not jiggly) and edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Feeds a crowd of 8 to 10 or it feeds 2 people over the course of a week!!!!