A strata or savoury bread pudding is an easy supper idea that fits all four food groups into one baking dish. Make it the night before, then all you have to do the following evening is plunk it in the oven. Serve with a salad and fresh fruit for dessert for a meal that covers all the nutritional bases.
3 cups broccoli florets
2 tsp olive oil, or canola oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 1/2 cups skim milk, or 1% milk
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded aged cheddar
1/2 cup chopped ham, or leftover chicken
6 slices whole wheat bread, or multigrain bread, sliced into 1-in. cubes
Steam broccoli florets for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender-crisp. Drain. Rinse under cold water. Drain.
Heat a frying pan on medium, add oil and cook onion at medium low until fragrant and soft, about 5 minutes.
In a medium bowl, beat eggs. Whisk in milk, parsley, mustard, salt and pepper.
Grease a 9 in. (23 cm) square baking pan with 2½ in. (6 cm) sides. Arrange half of the bread cubes, all of the broccoli and onions, 1 cup of the cheese and all of the ham in the pan. Pour in two-thirds of the egg and milk mixture. Layer with remaining bread cubes and cheese. Pour in remaining egg mixture. With a spatula, press top layer of bread and cheese down gently to absorb more egg mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Remove wrap and place strata on middle rack of oven to bake 55 minutes or until puffy and golden and a cake tester comes out dry from the middle of the strata. Allow to sit 5 to 10 minutes.
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