WE EAT | Artichoke & Spinach Strata

I often find inspiration for recipes and meals that I put on my table for my family in a variety of places.  A favorite and most commonly I use Pinterest (duh), but I also absolutely love magazine mail days. Cooking Light is easily my favorite magazine, ever.  I have been reading and cooking out of it for 10 years or more, and you better believe that I have 10 years worth of magazines, perfectly doggie-eared and filed away for safe keeping when I might need it.  Sure I can easily search for what I need, thanks to the internet, but for some reason I can’t bring myself to toss, recycle, or sell any of them. 
When this month’s magazine came in the mail, I went straight to flipping the pages after one of the magazine’s cover features (practically) screamed at me.
 Easy Weeknight Solutions: One Dish Dinners.
Totally read my pregnant mind.
Plus, it was easily made ahead earlier in the day (I bet it would even be fine to sit over night) 
Plus, plus, I could eat it the next day for leftovers.
Artichoke & Spinach Strata with Chicken
1 (10 ounce) package of frozen spinach
3 green onions, chopped (white and light green parts only)
1 (14.5 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed, and chopped
1- 1 1/2 cups shredded chicken breast**
8 ounces whole wheat sourdough bread, cubed (about 5 cups)
4 ounces Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
Cooking Spray
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 3/4 cups skim milk
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (I used Grey Poupon)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 large eggs 
Preheat oven to 375°.  Cook spinach in microwave ­according to package directions; cool slightly. Place spinach in a clean kitchen towel. Squeeze dry (I make Jordan do this!  He is so much stronger than me and can really get all the water out).  Combine spinach and next 5 ingredients (through Monterey Jack cheese) in a large bowl; toss. Arrange bread mixture in a broiler-safe 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top.
Combine milk, Dijon, pepper, salt, and eggs in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Pour egg mixture evenly over bread mixture. Bake at 375° for 38-45 minutes or until set. Turn broiler to high (do not remove pan from oven). Broil 4 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
**For the shredded chicken breast: I have often used then breast meat (without skin) of a store bought rotisserie chicken, but usually I throw a couple breasts in my crock pot with 1 cup of water or chicken broth, salt & pepper and cook on LOW for 6 hours.  It shreds up perfectly!
Casseroles have been a really easy fix to our dinner ruts and my lack of (pregnancy-blamed) motivation for cooking these last couple months.  This was something really different to serve at our dinner table – and we all really enjoyed it!  Jordan decided, after hearing what I was making that morning, that he wanted me to put some kind of meat in it.. so, chicken breast it is! I tweaked and changed this recipe based on the ingredients that I already had on hand and what I could find.  I went to two different stores in attempt to find the frozen artichokes, and I couldn’t find them, so I subbed those for the regular (and more common) canned option.  I have used them before in cooking, but it wasn’t going to happen for this recipe.
Snap peas closely resemble edemame (the way to this child’s heart), so she spent the entire dinner, in between bites, attempting to remove the peas from the pod.  We tried over and over to tell her just to eat the entire thing, but sweet girl was so confused because we tell her over and over NOT to eat the edemame pod.  

 Casseroles are probably a favorite for these two as well.

 Air-Fives all around the table for taking that first bite.  

bibs c/o snap bibs
forks c/o nuby
plates // target
 Dinner isn’t always so successful in this house. When I get get them to take 3-5 bites of a new food, I call that a win for dinner.  I wouldn’t say that these two are overly picky, they just don’t have a love, desire, or dire need for food in general. 
But a clean toddler plate means that this will be on our menu rotation again in the future! 


March 5, 2015

  1. Tiffany says:

    That looks so yummy! I wonder if I could get Sydney to eat that! Lol

  2. Yum! I have been on such a kick for artichokes lately. This looks delish. Can't wait to try soon!

  3. Lindsey says:

    So if the girls won't eat the new menu item, what do they eat instead? I'm struggling with this with my boys…

  4. amber says:

    Lindsey –
    I usually offer a smoothie or cheese, deli meat, and crackers. But they literally have to be refusing the entire meal. We aren't HUGE eaters and he girls really eat like birds. So, if they don't eat, I know they'll have sometime small before bed (banana/peanut butter).