We are all about traditions in my house around the holidays. Whether it’s baking Christmas cookies, searching for the perfect gift, trimming the tree, making crafts, or visiting holiday light displays, we aspire to fill our family time with as many festivities as possible. Undoubtedly this leads to happy children, beautiful, Instagram-worthy photos, and so many memories.
Unfortunately, it also often leads to one tired mama.
It’s for this reason a few years ago I started a tradition in our house on Christmas Day that enables me to relax! I’m Italian and cooking is in my blood. So, I will always want the extra mouthwatering meals on the holidays. To me, it adds to the memories. But, with the food comes the labor.
Until now . . .
I absolutely love my crock pot. I couldn’t live without it. Being able to accomplish my daily tasks knowing that a delicious, healthy meal is slowly cooking for my family is amazing. Not only does it save us time, but also money. If you truly think about the times where your family has eaten out or ordered food, it is almost always about convenience. Christmas morning is no different. No amount of shiny new gifts under the tree is going to appease a hungry child with a rumbling tummy. So, for years, as everyone else would plop down on the floor to play with their new gifts, off I would trudge to the kitchen to make breakfast. When, truthfully, all I wanted to do was crumple on the couch and fall back to sleep. On this went, every year, until about five years back when I found a tasty, healthy breakfast casserole that you can–tears welling in my eyes–cook in a crockpot!
For the most part any crockpot breakfasts that I had come across were pretty delicious unhealthy. To be more health conscious, I have truly been trying to seek out more nutritious recipes that my whole family will enjoy.
Take a peek at this easy breakfast casserole . . . with a healthy spin!
Christmas Breakfast Casserole with Hash Browns
4 egg whites
1 bag of frozen shredded hash browns
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp garlic salt
½ tsp stone ground mustard
¾ cup milk
½ onion, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
1 small head of broccoli (roughly 1 ½ cups), chopped
6-8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese
*Optional: add a few strips of cooked bacon (crumbled) or cooked sausage (crumbled)
1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, salt, pepper, mustard, and milk.
2. Chop onion, bell peppers, and broccoli and crumble bacon.
3. Cook on low temperature in the slow cooker for approximately 4-5 hours.
Conventional Oven: Grease the bottom of a glass (13 x 9) pan with cooking spray. Place half of the hash browns on the bottom of the pan. Layer with half of the chopped vegetables, crumbled bacon, and shredded cheese. Add on the remaining half of the frozen hash browns, followed by the remaining chopped vegetables. Top with the leftover crumbled bacon and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Pour entire egg mixture on top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake on 375° for about 60 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. Serve warm.
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The beauty of this casserole is its simplicity as well as the fact that it can be adapted to your family’s preferences. There have been times when I added fresh spinach or zucchini. The options are endless in terms of vegetables. Paired with a small bowl of fresh fruit and a cup of coffee, it’s the perfect start to a wonderful day! And with all the extra time, you can take a nap! I know I do.
Wishing you and yours a blessed and non-stressed holiday season!
Samantha Lee is a homeschooling mom and blogger in the Pittsburgh area. As a wife, homeschooling parent, and freelancer, she aspires to grow academically, faithfully, and wholly everyday. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
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