Super Strata

mmm….the smell of gingerbread in the morning!
Gingerbread Oats, that is!
Thinking about a gigantic bakery gingersnap cookie my mom brought home with her the other day, yet left me with just a tease of a taste, I decided I could make my own gingersnap cookie this morning! I love how I always make my favorite desserts into breakfast, haha. And I think I may just like them better – because oats are involved!
To make this yourself, just replace your water with brewed coffee (if I was really on-the-ball, I would have brewed some of the Green Mountain Gingerbread coffee I have. I didn’t think of it ’til after!), whip in half a banana (more for sweetness and volume – you can’t much taste it)lots of cinnamon, ginger, and ground clove, splash of vanilla extract, and 1 tsp dark molasses. Top with crystalized ginger, raisins, chopped walnuts, banana, and Chia-Seed Yogurt “icing”. I added a teaspoon of organic light brown sugar, as well…I thought it would need the added sweetness, but it turned out being unnecessary, lol. 
Another winning bowl! Next time I’m adding even more ginger, though 🙂
After getting ready for work (Involving packing an amazing lunch involving a sundried tomato & feta turkey meatball wrap, an orange, carrot sticks, oat bran pretzels, and a kashi bar) I was so on the ball that I prepared tonight’s dinner! 
Any guesses what I made? Anyone? Anyone?
Turkey Meatball and Apple Strata!
If you’ve never had strata before…you’re seriously missing out. Seriously
It’s funny, because up until now, Strata has always been a once-a-year occasion: Christmas morning. In my mind, Strata=Christmas Brunch. Nothing else! My mom has always made up a huge, cheesy, sausage breakfast strata. This year was the first year I joined the fun, and made up a healthified version to go along with hers! Our “showdown” was tons of fun, but none of us could choose between the two. The traditional was, of course, delicious (be it greasy!) and mine was healthy and delicious. 
It’s funny because it’s not necessarily as much as a holiday meal as my mind has ingrained it to be. And after seeing Brandie make it so many times recently (re: not a holiday, Jess!) I realized I, too, should be enjoying this delicious dish during the week! Preferably multiple times 🙂
My favorite thing about strata is how versatile it is. You could make it differently every time, but my favorite – which I just discovered this past Christmas, during my mom and I’s strata showdown – incorporates sausage and apples, and feta! Another awesome thing about strata is that while it easily can be a “guilt” meal, it doesn’t need to be. It’d be great to bring to a get-together. No one would be any the wiser! (Okay, that, and – how cool is it that I could throw this together in 15 minutes before work, refrigerate for the day so the bread soaks up the egg, and just call home when I left work for mom to pop it in the oven? Pretty cool…)
Sausage and Apple Strata for One or Two

-2 slices Spelt bread, lightly toasted and cubed (or whole wheat, day old french, etc. Use what you’ve got!)
4-5 Sundried Tomato and Feta Turkey Meatballs, crumbled (alternatively, it’s very good with chicken sausage)
-1 apple, chopped
-1/4 c. scallions, diced
-1/8 c. red onion, diced
-1/8 c. red pepper, diced
-crumbled feta or shredded mozzarella
-2 eggs or 1/2 c. egg beaters
-1/3 c. almond milk/soy milk/milk
-salt and pepper
-garlic powder
-1-2 c. baby spinach leaves
-raspberry dijon mustard, 1 tsp or so, to drizzle on top
In a large liquid measuring cup, combine milk, eggs, cubed bread, scallions, red onion, red pepper, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and spinach.
Pour this mixture into a greased mini-casserole dish.
Over this, crumble your meatballs or other pre-cooked sausage, followed by the chopped apple, and then the feta/cheese of choice.
Garnish with a few dices of scallion and drizzle with some raspberry dijon mustard.
Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight/over”work”.
When ready to bake, bake at 350* for 30m covered, then uncover and bake at 425* for an additional 10m.
Oh. mah. gaw. So good! Just like Christmas morning 🙂 haha.
I had half with a biiiig salad. Tomorrow’s my late night at school, so this will be the perfect leftovers! It reheats quite well – might just get better with age!
If you don’t care for feta, it would be really good with provolone or mozzarella, I bet. Some nutmeg in there with the spinach might have been nice, too.
And I am now enjoying a delicious bowl of pumpkin yogurt chia pudding. Greek yogurt + pumpkin + chia seeds + cinn & nutmeg + almond milk + cheesecake pudding mix = amazing. The end.
In addition: It’s been awhile since I’ve done a Fun Flickr Photo Feature!

Check out Rowena R. on flickr!
Amazing use of lighting, and I love the color and post-processing. Subtle but effective – sometimes “over photoshopped” images run rampant these days, but it’s all in how it’s handled! 
She is undeniably talented…definitely something to strive for – amazing motivation in her stream. So, take a look-see!
Alright bloggies. That is all from this end of the world…but not before I thank you all for another FoodBuzz Top 9! Too cool…I hope everyone makes that French toast now 😛
Question? Do you have any meals that remind you of certain occasions or holidays, yet aren’t necessarily widely received as such when you really think about it?


Filed under apple, brunch, foodblog, gingerbread, health food, healthy living, meatballs, oatmeal, recipe, sausage, strata, vermont

7 responses to “Super Strata

  1. Karla

    I've never had strata before! It sounds delicious, kind of like an eggier thanksgiving dressing/bread stuffing?Your recipe looks amazing! It's definitely on my list of things to try!

  2. Jess - Healthy Exposures

    Thank you! It's definitely worth a try, I think 🙂 It'd be just as great without the meat, too. As long as you've got the eggs, milk, and bread, it's a clean slate recipe. I'm sure many variations will be making their way on here now that I've broken the "Strata=Christmas brunch" meaning, haha.And yeah; it's sort of like a bread stuffing/pudding. I actually saw a savory bread pudding, and that also triggered me to go ahead and have this as an "any-day" meal, haha. I'm not quite sure if there's a difference between strata and bread pudding…or if it's the same as potato vs. potahto. lol

  3. Stella

    Hi Jess, this looks great! And thanks for visiting my blog. I just read your full bio, and it got me to thinking. Do you garden? I would think rural Vermont would mean good, clean soil. I just planted my first garden last spring for my mother, and within two months we had organic white eggplant, tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, and yellow squash draping out of the garden! We also grew herbs and pole beans. It was amazing, and the food is so much better than store bought-more minerals I think. Anyway, I would imagine your'e in the perfect situation to do such a thing if your'e interested and it would make a great garden to table account on your blog! Plus, healthful food like you seem to want…

  4. Jessie

    ohhhh I love the idea of this so savory and delicious!

  5. The Real Dish

    Sausage and apple strata looks just amazing. Thanks for sharing the recipe. So I have to ask a totally unrelated question. I think you might be able help. 🙂 I bought some Kefir, and I don't really know what to do with it! I tried drinking it, it's pretty strong. Any idea?Thanks!C

  6. Pingback: Laugh a Little « Healthy Exposures

  7. Pingback: It’s Tasty, It’s Just Not Pretty–Eggless Strata « Healthy Exposures

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s