This blog... a compilation of my favorite recipes. They have been collected over several years found in various places: the internet, magazines, and cookbooks to name a few. These recipes are meals that I consider to "feed more than your body". These are meals that I hope nurish the heart and soul of those who eat them. I hope that when you have cleaned your plate, you feel like you have taken part in more than just a meal-that you have taken part in something bigger than yourself and food. Whether it is culture, your local place of living, or the life of the plant or those who share this planet, I hope these meals help your family-and mine-to appreciate that we are more than just beings consuming food; we are all connected. And more than that, I hope that these meals help you remember how fortunate you are and that "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.".

Friday, December 18, 2009

Spinach, Veggie and Cheese Strata

1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 box (9 oz) frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain
2 medium red bell peppers, cut into strips (or any color besides green pepper)
1 cup sliced leeks
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 loaf (9 oz) ciabatta or French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)**
7 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In 10-inch skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add spinach, bell peppers and leeks; cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender. Remove from heat. In baking dish, spinach mixture, 1 cup of the Cheddar cheese and the bread. In large bowl, beat eggs, milk, mustard and pepper with wire whisk until blended; pour over bread. Sprinkle with remaining Cheddar cheese. Cover with foil; refrigerate at least 4 hours but no longer than 24 hours.

Oven at 325°F. Bake loosely covered 40 minutes. Uncover; bake about 30 minutes longer or until top is golden brown and knife inserted in center comes out clean.

**Note-In my family we save the bread ends in the freezer to use later for french toast. They also make a great substitution for the french bread loaf in this recipe.
**Note-You may also add several cups of chopped ham to the spinach mixture for a yummy addition.

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