If company is coming to your house over the holidays or you are looking for an easy, delicious lunch or supper try our It’s a Meal Strata. This meal is easy on the pocketbook and the waistline. I like it because it is packed with vegetables, which lowers the calories, and it does not have much bread. I like to serve hot whole wheat bread with it.
You can use any vegetable that you want for the strata. I usually use onions, mushrooms, green or red peppers and zucchini. You can also add leftover corn, peas, and broccoli. I have made it with and without the ham and once substituted cooked turkey.
When I can, I try to sauté the vegetables and cut up the ham and bread ahead of time. Then once I am ready to prepare the meal I stir everything together and bake. While the strata is in the oven I can get a fruit tray cut, the table set, and the milk poured.
PS – Santa might like this on Christmas morning.
- 1 teaspoon vegetable or canola oil
- 3 cups sliced or chopped vegetables
- 1 clove garlic, minced or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 3-ounce package (or 1/2 of 8-ounce package) light cream cheese (also called Neufchatel), softened
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup cubed day-old bread (about 1 slice)
- 1/3 cup cubed cooked ham
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Cut the vegetables so they are about the same size.
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender. Turn off heat and pat the vegetables with paper towels to remove the moisture. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add eggs and beat well.
- Stir in vegetables, bread, cubed ham, and pepper.
- Pour into a greased 8″x 8″ baking dish or small casserole dish.
- Bake, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes or until the egg mixture doesn’t jiggle. Remove from heat, sprinkle on the cheese and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.