Desiring Zen Chili Breakfast Strata

Each of us spends vast swaths of time chasing down our desires. Perhaps this inevitability perpetually feeds the motivation (for some) to distance run. The cynic will contend that this drive is aimed at running faster and longer in order to more efficiently pursue and capture that which is craved. I’ll take a more charitable view. Running seems to de-convolute my thoughts and abate my desires leaving only a vaguely sated feeling and stepping me nebulously closer to Zen. Today was an exception, of course. After pounding out 20 miles over hills and through forests, I passionately longed for some breakfast chili strata. I was damn hungry.


¾ lb of ground beef
½ C tomato sauce
1 T chili powder
1 t paprika
1 t garlic powder
¼ C chopped onion
2 ½ hard rolls, torn into smallish pieces
1 1/5 C shredded cheese
5 eggs
1 ½ C milk
¼ t ground black pepper


The chili part:

1) Brown ground beef and drain the fat.
2) Add tomato sauce, chili powder, paprika, and garlic powder.
3) Simmer for 10 minutes.
4) Turn off heat and add onion, mixing well.

The Strata part:
1) In a 9 inch pie plate, layer hard roll pieces, chili, cheese
2) In a mixing bowl blend the eggs, milk and black pepper.
3) Pour the egg mix over the contents of the pie plate.
4) Cover with foil and refrigerate for at least one hour.
5) Bake at 350F- covered for 45 minutes and then uncovered for 15 additional minutes.

Desiring Zen Chili Breakfast Strata

Desiring Zen Chili Breakfast Strata

Tasting Notes:

Nothing says “good morning my little sunshine” like chili. A breakfast strata is puffy fun. Put the two together in a hot oven and what comes out is puffy, sunshiney, chili fun. Well at least The Pirate, Pre, and I thought so. We enjoyed this chili, while Mrs. Chili 365 and Chili Jr demurred. Seems that, for them, there was too much puffy and not enough chili (no word on their impressions of the level of “sunshiney-ness”). Their strong desire of a more heavy-handed chili gave me some pause. It seems we have evolved over the course of 152 days. Still, I think that we remain a single unit, as I’m not quite yet ready to steal Piggy’s glasses and set the island ablaze. That aside, I think the chili itself could have used some sriracha sauce but was otherwise good enough to desire another serving.

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