Written by Di Bauer March 1, 2002, Updated by Andrew DiMino March 20, 2023
Low Carb Cooking 101: Low Carb Lesson #17: Low Carb ‘It’s Not Just For Breakfast’ Meal
Tonight’s menu serves a dual purpose because it can be served as either a simple family breakfast or dinner or it can also be expanded slightly to a terrific company brunch that you serve for your family and friends. My husband and I were served a variation of this meal when we were down in Florida visiting friends this January. Not only did I enjoy it, but so did Rod – and he is a high carb Philistine.
It’s a fallacy to think that company meals have to be fancy. Actually, quite the opposite is true. Most people enjoy simple, tasty, filling food, and this menu fills those criteria. Yes, people come for the taste of the food, but they want the pleasure of your company more than anything else. If you serve this meal Easter morning, cut some daffodils or tulips from the garden (or buy a bunch from the grocery), put them in a pretty pitcher or vase, and that’s as fancy as you need to get. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Life’s too short.
I got the original recipe for the Southwestern Breakfast Casserole from Rani Merens, and she got it from someone else, so the origins of the recipes are a little murky. I’ve adapted it to reflect my taste a bit more (more meat!), added an ingredient or two, and juggled a couple of the other ingredients to make it more colorful.
We have had it several times for dinner, and I sometimes make it overnight on Sunday and we eat it for breakfast through the week. I’ve made it with both the green chilies and red jalapeno peppers. My husband, who has rather sedate tastes, likes it better with the green chilies; his eyes crossed when I made it with the jalapenos (he still went back for seconds, though). My 16-year-old son declared that it was much better – but not still quite spicy enough – with the jalapenos, and proceeded to splash some hot sauce on it. My 11-year-old daughter, who hates eggs and hasn’t been told that there are eggs in it, was suspicious, claiming that it “looked” like it had eggs in it. She ate it anyway and came back for seconds, drowning it in a full quarter of a bottle of salsa each time.
When I serve this crockpot casserole for breakfast, we have fresh fruit with it. When I serve it for dinner, we have a salad instead of the fruit. For a company brunch I would serve both, I think.
Although I have included Chunky Fruit on the menu, there really is no specific recipe. I usually cut up half a cantaloupe and half of a honeydew melon into large chunks in mix them together in a large serving bowl. Feel free to change it up with whatever fruits happen to be fresh and seasonal.
While I make “regular” muffins or rolls for the family to round out the meal for them, I do not normally make the low carbohydrate muffins for myself. I do make the muffins when we have guests. I have included the muffin recipes to give an example for how to round out the meal for company.
Here’s This Evening’s Low-Carb Recipes
- Di’s Southwestern Breakfast Casserole
- Simple Caesar Salad
- Cantaloupe and Honeydew Chunks with Blueberries Recipe
- Chocolate Streusel Muffins
- Lemon Blueberry Surprise Muffins
Here’s The Gameplan
There’s several ways to go with this, depending upon whether you are serving it for breakfast or for dinner.
At any time the night before, cut up the cantaloupe and honeydew, combine them, cover the bowl, and stick it in the refrigerator until morning.
Just before you go to bed the night before, brown the sausage for the casserole thoroughly. When it is completely cooked, drain the grease from the sausage. The easiest way to do this is to dump the cooked sausage in a colander placed over a large metal bowl.
While the sausage is cooking, prepare all the vegetables and set aside.
Whisk the eggs together with the water and cream. Set aside.
Open the can of chilies, and take out the cheese.
Butter the crockpot.
Assemble the recipe according to the directions, set the crockpot on low, and go to bed.
In the morning, simply set out the salsa, sour cream, and serving spoons next to the crockpot, put the fruit on the table (or directly on the plates), and call your family for the meal.
If you do decide to serve the muffins, you can make them up to two days ahead of time. You can warm them up in the morning by putting them back in the muffin tins and reheating them in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes or so.
The night before, brown the sausage for the casserole thoroughly. When it is completely cooked, drain the grease from the sausage. The easiest way to this is to dump the cooked sausage in a colander placed over a large metal bowl. Put the cooked sausage in a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and stick it in the refrigerator overnight.
While the sausage is cooking, prepare all the vegetables, put them in small containers and stick them in the refrigerator overnight.
Whisk the eggs together with the water and cream. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator overnight.
In the morning, butter the crockpot. Take the refrigerated ingredients, including the cheese, out of the refrigerator. Open the can of chilies.
Construct the casserole according to the recipe directions, set to cook on low, and go on about your day.
Just before it is time to serve the meal, reheat the muffins if you are serving them. While the muffins are reheating, set the table and make the salad.
Take the muffins out of the oven, put them in a nice basket, and put them on the table.
Take out the sour cream and salsa and put them next to the crockpot along with serving spoons, and call your family to dinner.
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