Celebrate the first day of 2014 with a good breakfast

News-DemocratDecember 30, 2013 

How you celebrated the exit of 2013 may determine how you feel about entering 2014. At least initially.

Many families take the day as an opportunity to relax, watch the Rose Parade and a football game (or two) and share a meal together.

If lazing about includes a great breakfast or brunch, these two recipes from Better Homes & Gardens are hearty and delicious. Note that they are plentiful in the calories and fat categories, so go small on the portions and add a colorful fruit salad in the meal mix.

Chile Verde Breakfast Lasagna

Nonstick cooking spray

1 pound bulk breakfast sausage

3/4 cup finely chopped green sweet pepper (1 medium)

1 fresh jalapeno chile pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped*

5 eggs, lightly beaten

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1/4 cup sliced green onions (2)

1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro and/or parsley

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

9 (6-inch) corn tortillas

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (8 ounces)

16-ounce jar salsa verde

Sour cream (optional)

Snipped fresh cilantro an/or parsley (optional)

1. Lightly coat the inside of a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.

2. In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until brown. Drain off fat.

3. Add sweet pepper and chile pepper to sausage in skillet; cook and stir over medium heat for 1 minute more.4. Transfer cooked sausage and peppers to a large bowl.

4. In the same skillet, cook eggs in hot oil over medium heat just until set, stirring to break up eggs. Transfer cooked eggs to the bowl with the sausage mixture. Stir in green onions, the 1/4 cup cilantro, the salt and cumin.

5.Place three of the tortillas in the bottom of the prepared cooker, overlapping as necessary. Spoon half of the sausage mixture over tortillas in cooker.

Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the cheese.

Pour 2/3 cup of the salsa verde over layers in cooker.

Top with three more tortillas and the remaining sausage mixture.

Sprinkle with another 1/2 cup of the cheese.

Pour another 2/3 cup of the salsa verde over cheese.

Top with the remaining three tortillas. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup cheese. Pour the remaining salsa verde over the cheese.

6. Cover and cook on low 3 to 4 hours. Turn off cooker. If possible, remove crockery liner from cooker. Let stand, covered, for 15 minutes before serving. If desired, serve with sour cream and sprinkle with additional cilantro.

From the Test Kitchen

*Tip: Because chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes, avoid direct contact with them as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your bare hands do touch the peppers, wash your hands and nails well with soap and warm water.

Makes 8 servings, each with 429 calories, 31 grams fat, 181 mg cholesterol, 18 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 2 grams sugar.

Better Homes & Gardens

Loaded Hash Browns

8 ounces uncooked bulk turkey sausage

8 ounces uncooked ground turkey breast

1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)

Disposable slow cooker liner*

5 cups frozen diced hash brown potatoes

1 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican blend cheese (4 ounces)

1 1/4 cups chopped red sweet pepper (1 large)

4-ounce can (drained weight) sliced mushrooms, drained

1 medium fresh poblano pepper,** seeded and chopped

1 can condensed fiesta nacho cheese soup

1/4 cup water

Shredded reduced-fat Mexican blend cheese (optional)

Thinly sliced fresh jalapeno pepper (optional)

Salsa and/or light sour cream (optional)

1. In a large skillet, cook sausage, ground turkey and onion over medium heat until sausage is brown and onion is tender. Drain off fat.

2. Line a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker with a disposable slow cooker liner. (*Or, spray with nonstick cooking spray.) In prepared slow cooker, combine sausage mixture, hash browns, cheese blend, sweet pepper, mushrooms and poblano pepper.

3. In a medium bowl, combine soup and the water. Pour over hash brown mixture in cooker; stir to combine.

4. Cover and cook on low 8 to 9 hours, or on high 4 to 4 1/2 hours.

5. Stir before serving. If desired, top with additional cheese and sliced jalapeno peppers. If desired, serve with salsa and/or sour cream.

Makes 8 servings, each with 371 calories, 12 grams fat, 62 mg cholesterol, 41 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 3 grams sugar, 833 mg sodium.

Better Homes & Gardens

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