Kale, mushroom and cheese bread pudding

Kale, mushroom and cheese bread pudding

Four more meals. Four more vegetarian meals. And I will have made it 40 days as a part-time vegetarian. Why this was so hard, I do not know. But temptation has been everywhere for me.

Yesterday I almost fell off the meatless bandwagon. Noah is home on Spring Break and was craving lox and cream cheese on a bagel. Me, too. I bought the ingredients and watched him make the sandwich. I actually leaned down to smell that wonderful aroma of smoked salmon. And then I had a glass of wine.

But I have to say I was not tempted by meat last night when I made this bread pudding. It is super simple and super delicious. I had to laugh at King Daddy, though. He had a heaping plate of it with three slices of toasted bread on the side. Bread with your bread pudding?

Usually, I give up hamburgers for Lent. I love hamburgers, Love, love, love them. But it’s not as hard because I’m not giving up a whole huge category of food. But just four more meals and I know what I’m having tomorrow night. I’ve tried to keep it relatively healthy on the vegetarian front but I’m going to indulge in a precious plenty of the blue box, the holy grail of processed food – Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. I do not follow the package instructions. I make it even more unhealthy. After boiling the macaroni I add in way more butter than the instructions call for and then the cheese powder. After I mix it up I add just enough milk to create a thick, cheesy sauce. I’ll snap a photo of it for you. But I won’t share.

Kale, Mushroom and Cheese Bread Pudding

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 bunch kale

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

Salt and freshly ground pepper

8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms

1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced

3 large eggs

1 ½ cups whole milk

8 thin slices ciabatta bread

4 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar

Slice the kale into thin ribbons. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Add the kale, crushed red pepper, and salt and pepper to taste. Saute until the kale begins to turn brown. Remove and reserve.

Add the mushrooms and onions and continue cooking until the mushrooms are browned and have given off all their liquid. Combine with the kale.

Beat the eggs and whisk in the milk. Grease a 9-by-9 inch baking dish with olive oil. Lay down four slices of the bread, cutting if need be to form a single layer. Top the bread with half the kale mixture and half the cheese. Repeat one more layer. Pour the egg mixture in the pan and let it sit for about 15 minutes so the bread is thoroughly soaked.

Cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes.

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