Florentine Brunch Casserole


12-16 slices firm white sandwich bread
3 tbsp butter or margarine, divided
1 can (10-3/4oz) condensed cream of celery soup
1/3 cup milk
1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 red bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
4oz deli baked ham, diced (about 1/2 cup)
10 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup (4oz) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 bag (5oz) fresh spinach leaves, washed and stemmed (about 6 cups)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.Cut crusts off bread; cube crusts to measure 2 cups.  Arrange bread slices in an overlapping pattern against sides of oval baker; place bread cubes in bottom of baker.  Microwave 2 tbsp of the butter in small micro-cooker on high 30 seconds or until melted; lightly brush over bread slices.  Bake 15-20 minutes or until edges of bread are golden brown.
  2. Meanwhile, in small batter bowl, whisk soup, milk and black pepper until smooth.  Finely chop onion using Food Chopper.  Dice bell pepper and ham using knife. Melt remaining butter in 12-inch skillet over medium heat; add onion and bell pepper.  Cook 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender; stir in ham.  Whisk eggs in classic batter bowl; add to skillet.  Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until eggs are set but still moist.
  3. Stir in soup mixture; cook 1 minute or until hot.  Grate cheese using cheese grater.  Gently stir 3/4 cup of the cheese into egg mixture; fold in spinch, half at a time.  Cook about 2 minutes, stirring gently until spinach is wilted.
  4. Spoon egg mixture into center of baker, mounding slightly in center.  Top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.

Yield: 8 servings

Nutritional Information: calories 340; total fat 19g; saturated fat 9g; cholesterol 300mg; carbohydrate 25g; protein 18g; sodium 810mg; fiber 1g
Diabetic Exchanges per serving: 2 meat, 1 vegetable, 1 starch, 1-1/2 fat (1 carb)

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