EATING FOR LIFE

Eating for Life | Overnight Breakfast Casserole is a lighter way to wake up

Replace traditional, calorie-laden breakfast casseroles without sacrificing flavor.

Updated: 2012-12-25T23:37:27Z

By JILL WENDHOLT SILVA

The Kansas City Star

Make-ahead breakfast casseroles are popular fare when it comes to feeding a crowd.

But a Google search of typical breakfast casseroles is an eye-opener.

Paula Deen’s version calls for a pound of sausage and 3 cups of cheese. A recipe posted at Food.com called for no fewer than a dozen eggs. Other recipes went a step further, adding random sticks of butter, or a can of soup an d a pint of sour cream.

Ouch!

Wake up instead to The Star’s Overnight Breakfast Casserole.

For our remake, we replaced the sausage or ham with a combination of turkey bacon and fresh broccoli, red pepper and mushrooms. Then we swapped whole eggs for fat-free, cholesterol-free egg substitute. Nonfat cottage cheese gives enough moisture to eliminate the soup or other binder. Finally, we topped the casserole sparingly with reduced-fat cheese.

•  Shopping tip: Look for refrigerated hash browns near the egg case.

Overnight Breakfast Casserole

Makes 8 servings

1 cup chopped button mushrooms

1 cup chopped broccoli

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1 green onion, chopped

1 (20-ounce) package refrigerated shredded hash brown potatoes

2 slices turkey bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled

1/3 cup nonfat cottage cheese

2/3 cup egg substitute

3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat Colby-Monterey Jack cheese, divided

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Spray a skillet with nonstick spray. Cook mushrooms, broccoli, red pepper and onion in the skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender and any liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and allow to cool 5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together hash brown potatoes, crumbled bacon and cottage cheese. Stir in cooked vegetables, egg substitute, 1/4 cup Colby-Monterey Jack cheese and pepper.

Spray a 2 quart (11- by 7-inch) rectangular dish with nonstick spray. Spoon potato mixture into dish. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.

To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake, covered, for 35 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 5 minutes or until cheese is melted, casserole is softly set and a knife inserted off center comes out clean. Allow to stand 5 minutes before serving.

Per serving: 189 calories (24 percent from fat), 7 grams total fat (2 grams saturated), 89 milligrams cholesterol, 18 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams protein, 279 milligrams sodium, 4 grams dietary fiber.

To reach Jill Wendholt Silva, The Star’s food editor and restaurant critic, call 816-234-4347, send email to jsilva@kcstar.com or follow her on Facebook.

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