Breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day, but research shows that 18 percent of Americans regularly miss their morning meal. Skipping breakfast might seem like a convenient way to save time and calories, but the results can wreak havoc on your body, leading to unhealthy dietary choices such as consuming more high-calorie beverages or sweets, increased fatigue, slower metabolism and weight gain. If time is of the essence, a breakfast casserole dish could be your saving grace. Casserole dishes are easy to make, packed with flavor and nutrients, and can feed the whole family. Professional chef Ana Granucci has some perfect recipes to end your breakfast blues.
Ana Granucci
400 Beach Seafood & Tap House
400 Beach Drive N.E.
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 896-2400
www.400beachseafood.com

Ms. Granucci is a graduate of the Art Institute of Tampa and possesses an AA in culinary arts. She is currently the head chef at 400 Beach, but this comes after years of experience and working her way up. In the past, she put her culinary skills to work for an Italian restaurant called Bella Brava, Raymond James Stadium and various local catering companies. She is passionate about creating dishes that are not only delicious, but also fresh and healthy. Because of this, she uses only high-quality, local ingredients, including sustainable seafood, and sources produce from local farmers. Granucci highly recommends — even to amateur chefs — locally sourced, high-quality ingredients for optimal nutrition and flavor.

Banana Bread Pudding

  • 1.5 pounds bread (1.5-inch cubed – the older the better!)
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 stick of butter (4 oz) plus 1 stick of butter melted (4 oz)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1.5 cups white sugar
  • 1.5 cups plus 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 very ripe bananas

Soak the milk and bread for at least an hour. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9x9x2-inch pan with pan spray or butter the pan so the bread pudding will not stick. In a mixer with a paddle, cream one stick of butter, 1.5 cups of brown sugar, 1.5 cups of white sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and vanilla until completely combined and smooth. Add eggs and bananas; mix on low until combined. Fold the mixture into soaked bread. Place the bread mixture evenly into pan. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes, then take the foil off and bake for 15 more minutes. Remove from oven and brush melted butter over the top, then sprinkle two cups of brown sugar. Place back in oven and bake for 10-15 minutes more or until sugar is crusted on top.

Related: Ask A Tampa Bay Expert: Compiling The Perfect Holiday Menu

Breakfast Frittata

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup diced green bell peppers
  • 1 cup red potatoes peeled and diced into 1/2-inch chunks 
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a 9-inch sauté pan, heat oil. Add the onions, garlic and peppers and sauté until the onions are translucent. Add salt and pepper to taste, then add potatoes. Whisk the eggs and milk together, then pour into the sauté pan. Add the cheese. Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until the eggs are cooked and not runny. Remove from the oven let cool for 5 minutes. Carefully flip the pan over onto a plate. The frittata can be served hot or at room temperature.

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Amanda Mole has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil and cooking since she was tall enough to reach the stove. She believes that food provides more than just vital nutrients: it is an irreplaceable part of countless cultural and social activities. As a Tampa Bay resident for the past 21 years, she is well acquainted with the incredibly diverse range of restaurants, bars, and food festivals that the area has to offer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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