Artichoke Blue Cheese Baked Eggs for Holiday Brunch

The holiday season is imminent and busy shoppers are filling their baskets with hams, birds and beef roasts to deck out dinner table.  But, let’s not talk turkey, let’s talk eggs! With Thanksgiving, Christmas and all the other equally celebratory winter holidays that people hold near and dear, many of us will find ourselves hosting guests. And, in my experience, guests are always ready to eat from sun up to sun down.  I’m happy to  all my ravenous revelers, in fact I love cooking for company — I just don”t like to feel rushed in the morning.

Artichoke Blue Cheese EggsMy easy Artichoke and Blue Cheese Egg Bake comes to the rescue on so many levels – it’s simple to make, can be prepped the night before and kept in the fridge until next morning, can be make in individual servings or in one big family-style pan, and . . .most, it just tastes delicious!

Artichoke and Blue Cheese Egg Bake

Artichoke and Blue Cheese Egg Bake makes is a beautiful recipe for brunch or breakfast. Lovely for holiday entertaining.

Who wants a bland, boring breakfast when the flavors of blue cheese and artichokes are ready to add extra AMAZING to the day?! Also, there are tomatoes and a ton of spinach in this recipe, so it’s also kinda like eating a salad for breafast or brunch. This statement makes even more sense when I tell you that blue cheese dressing is one of the secret ingredients!  artichoke blue cheese egg bake prep

I actually posted this egg recipe in January 2104 after developing for Litehouse Foods using their award-wining Simply Artisan Reserve Blue Cheese Crumbles and OPA Blue Cheese Dressing (made with Greek yogurt). Because it has been so popular, I decided to refresh the photos — oh, and also it will be featured in an upcoming 2017 food calendar!   Ooh, I wonder if it will be the centerfold — keep you posted!

This is the perfect breakfast to power up for all that upcoming Black Friday shopping or as a simple, light dinner when you come home from the shop-a-thon and need quality protein and healthy veggies for recovery.

What do you like to serve holiday house guests for breakfast? Are you running in a Turkey Trot this week? What has your best shopping deal been so far (I know it’s early) — please share in the comments, XOXO – Jennifer 

Artichoke Blue Cheese Baked Eggs
Print Recipe
Wake up to bold and beautiful baked eggs featuring artichokes, blue cheese, spinach and tomatoes. Easy to prep night before and then just stick in the oven.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Artichoke Blue Cheese Baked Eggs
Print Recipe
Wake up to bold and beautiful baked eggs featuring artichokes, blue cheese, spinach and tomatoes. Easy to prep night before and then just stick in the oven.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Lightly spray 4 ramekins or small gratin dishes with baking spray. Coarsely chop spinach and divide evenly among dishes.
  3. Drizzle even portions of blue cheese salad dressing over spinach and sprinkle with red onion.
  4. Slice grape tomatoes in half and drain liquid from jar of artichoke hearts. Place tomatoes and artichokes around perimeter of dishes.
  5. Gently crack 2 eggs over top of spinach mixture, taking care not to break yolk. Repeat for remaining 3 personal-sized baking dishes. Sprinkle tops with chives. This may also be made in a 8” to 9” round baking dish with all the ingredients for “family style.”
  6. Place dishes on a rimmed baking sheet and place on center rack of oven. Back for approximately 20 minutes or until egg whites have set and yolk has achieved desired level of doneness.
  7. Remove from oven and sprinkle tops with an even portion of blue cheese crumbles. Let cool for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.
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Blue Cheese Strawberry Salad with Spring Veggies

Strawberry Blue Cheese Cucumber Salad small bowlNot only is it Monday, but it’s raining! I’m going to brighten up my mid-day meal with this Strawberry Blue Cuke Salad (aka Strawberry Blue Cheese Salad with Cucumber and Snap Peas), it’s bursting with fresh flavors and a palette of eye-popping colors.  It’s definitely the super-delicious, super-healthy silver-lining to being stuck-inside over the lunch hour!Blue Cheese Strawberry Salad with Cucumber and Snap Peas makes a fresh, fit and flavorful addition to your spring and summer table.

I originally developed this recipe for the Living Litehouse Blog as a way to feature their insanely delicious Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing.  Head over there to check out my Four Tips for a Sensational Salad. I know all the salad-eating secrets and how to keep the love for lettuce alive – I should, since I gobble up about 365 big salads a year!!

Shrimp sauteed with Cajun spicesMeanwhile, make a bowlful of this beautiful goodness and share family-style with those you love. I’m showing this salad as a side today, but I’ll often turn it into apan sauteed shrimp, grilled chicken breast, or chickpeas to add some sustaining protein for the day.

Strawberry Blue Cuke Salad

Or, bottle up this easy salad in a mason jar to take for lunch on-the-go at the office, school or gym.  Just remember the number one tip with jar salads, put the dressing on the bottom and layer upward according to the durability of the ingredients – heartiest go low, fragile an prone to wilt go higher. Check out more jar salad tips hereStrawberries, Snap Peas and StrawberriesDue to my Kitchenaid Spiralizer Attachment addiction, I processed the cucumbers up into twisty-twirly ribbons. But, feel free to use slices or julienned strips. Enjoy!

Check out these blogs I’m linking up with today: The Fit Foodie MamaHello to FitFairy BurgerChocolate Runner GirlConfessions of a Mother Runner, , Running on Happy

Win a $25 Visa Gift Card at TheFitFork.comAlso, don’t forget to check out 4 Ways to Eat a Bean Burger and enter my giveaway for $25 Visa Gift Card

 

What is your favorite fruit topping for a salad? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer

Blue Cheese Strawberry Salad with Cucumbers and Snap Peas
Print Recipe
Blue cheese and strawberries make a bold and delicious combination -- add to crunch cucumber spirals and sugar snap peas for a crunch and colorful addition to your spring and summer table.
Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 10 minutes
Blue Cheese Strawberry Salad with Cucumbers and Snap Peas
Print Recipe
Blue cheese and strawberries make a bold and delicious combination -- add to crunch cucumber spirals and sugar snap peas for a crunch and colorful addition to your spring and summer table.
Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 Servings 10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: Servings
Instructions
  1. Prepare cucumbers with spiralizer or use vegetable peeler to make long ribbons by swiping end to end. Place prepped cucumber in colander and rinse away any seeds (even “seedless” have some) and let drain for 5 minutes.
  2. Hull and quarter strawberries.
  3. Cut sugar snap peas in half crosswise or larger ones in thirds. Slice a few open lengthwise at the seam to show off peas inside.
  4. Layer in jar in this order: dressing, cucumbers, strawberries, snap peas, and blue cheese. Or, toss with dressing and serve in bowl or on platter.
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Willpower Rest Day – Bacon & Blue Cheese Mac

Bacon & Blue Cheese MacI try to eat green and eat clean, but sometimes I need to give it a rest! And, now I have the science to prove that it’s okay to indulge in my Bacon & Blue Cheese Mac recipe every once in a while. A recent study says that our willpower is like a muscle, after use it becomes fatigued and is no longer able to perform at peak levels. After a lot of use, your needs to take a break, just like you need to recover after a hard run or workout!  The scientists studying decision making called it “self-regulation failure,” and people in the food and fitness world call it a “cheat day” when these decisions come to food – I don’t like those terms and am rebranding the idea a Willpower Rest Day!

 sauce for blue cheese mac

This pot of cheesy goodness is about to be poured onto noodles.

I first developed this rich and creamy recipe for macaroni and cheese for Litehouse Foods using blue cheese crumbles from their Simply Artisan Reserve line of cheese. It’s become famous with friends, family and readers of the Living Litehouse Blog. And, also beloved by the thousands of people who have sampled it at Fresh Summit in Atlanta and recently the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. I’m not trying to brag (oh, who am I kidding?!), but I’m heard exclamations like, “OMG, this is the BEST macaroni and cheese I’ve EVER eaten.”

BAco

Smoky, salty bacon complement bold blue cheese – there is a lot of umami action going on with this fancy mac and cheese. However, the flavors aren’t so over the top that the kids will be freaked out. However, maybe you WANT to keep them out of it (more for you) so just double up on the blue cheese! Have I convinced you to give your willpower a rest day and make up a batch of this delicious baked macaroni and cheese recipe?  This baked pasta recipe can even be made ahead and then popped into the oven an hour before serving.

Bacon and Blue Cheese Mac

 

Also, check out these macaroni and cheese making tips from from Cooking Light — everything you need to know to satisfy your mac madness!

What is your favorite comfort food? Do you rest your willpower every now and then? Fan of blue cheese? Please share in the comments below, XOXO — Jennifer 

Bacon & Blue Cheese Mac
Willp
Print Recipe
Treat yourself to this rich and creamy baked macaroni and cheese made with blue cheese and bacon -- delicious as a side dish to steak, a casserole for your pot luck or just straight out of the dish.
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Bacon & Blue Cheese Mac
Willp
Print Recipe
Treat yourself to this rich and creamy baked macaroni and cheese made with blue cheese and bacon -- delicious as a side dish to steak, a casserole for your pot luck or just straight out of the dish.
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees. Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray.
  2. Bring water to a boil and prepare pasta according to directions, but shaving 1-2 minutes off of the cooking time to keep al dente.
  3. Meanwhile, heat butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. When butter begins to sizzle, quickly add flour and whisk constantly until roux is golden, about 2 minutes.
  4. Pour in milk and whisk constantly, stirring until the mixture slightly thickens.
  5. Reduce heat to low and add in white cheddar and blue cheese a couple handfuls at a time until cheese melts and sauce is thickened.
  6. Stir in Blue Cheese Dressing. Stir in Instantly Fresh chives and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Add cooked pasta to baking dish. Pour cheese sauce over top, tossing to coat all the noodles.
  8. Cover top in panko bread crumb mixture.
  9. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until top is golden and crunchy and sauce is bubbling. Top with crumbled bacon
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