A Low-Fat Brunch
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A Low-Fat Brunch

Entertain your guests with a lighter version of brunch. Read on for a menu, recipes, and tips for choosing lower-fat ingredients.

The Menu

You can do your friends two favors -- invite them to brunch and make the brunch satisfying but not stuffing. Of course, you can apply the suggestions for substitute ingredients to other meals, too.

Spiced Tomato Juice

Breakfast Casserole (recipe on next page)

Strawberry-Spinach Salad

Carrot-Raisin Muffins (recipe on page 3)

Strawberries in Champagne

Hazelnut-Flavored Coffee

Breakfast Casserole

A darling of the brunch menu has had its fat scaled back -- with no sacrifice of flavor. Another plus: You can assemble this dish up to a day ahead.

  • 6 slices whole wheat bread
  • Nonstick spray coating
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey sausage
  • 1 medium red or green sweet pepper, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 4 ounces shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese (1 cup)
  • 1 10-3/4 ounces can reduced-sodium condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 8-ounce carton frozen egg product (1 cup), thawed
  • 1 cup evaporated skim milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

1. Cut bread into cubes; place in a large shallow pan. Bake in a 350 F oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted, stirring once. Spray a 2-quart rectangular baking dish with nonstick coating. Place half of the bread cubes in the baking dish; set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook sausage, sweet pepper, and mushrooms over medium-high heat until sausage is brown. Drain off fat. Pat vegetable mixture with a paper towel to remove excess fat. Spoon mixture atop bread cubes in dish. Sprinkle with half of the shredded cheese. Top with remaining bread.

3. In a medium mixing bowl combine soup, egg product, evaporated milk, mustard, and pepper. Pour over bread, pressing down cubes with back of spoon to moisten. Cover; chill for at least 2 hours or for up to 24 hours.

4. Bake in a 350 F oven for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 2 to 3 minutes more. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Nutrition facts per serving: 322 cal., 14 g total fat, 32 mg chol., 932 mg sodium, 23 g carbo., 3 g fiber, 25 g pro.

Carrot-Raisin Muffins

The fat has been replaced by light corn syrup, with the muffins' tenderness and moistness left intact.

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 8-ounce can crushed pineapple (juice pack)
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded carrot
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 teaspoon light-color corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Nonstick spray coating
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1. In a large mixing bowl stir together flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and ginger. Make a well in the center; set aside.

2. In a small mixing bowl stir together eggs, undrained pineapple, carrot, raisins, corn syrup, and vanilla; add all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened.

3. Spray 12 muffin cups with nonstick coating or line cups with paper bake cups. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle with nuts.

4. Bake in a 400 F oven for about 20 minutes or until golden. Serve warm. Makes 12 muffins.

Nutrition facts per muffin: 162 cal., 3 g total fat, 36 mg chol., 63 mg sodium, 31 g carbo., 1 g fiber, 4 g pro.

Turn to Lower-Fat Products

Here are some lower-fat products to substitute for their richer cousins in brunch and other recipes.

Refrigerated or frozen egg product, 0 grams of fat

Reduced-fat cheese (1 ounce), 5 grams of fat

Light cream cheese (1 ounce), 7 grams of fat

Low-fat yogurt (1 ounce, about 2 tablespoons), 0.4 grams of fat

Nonfat yogurt (1 ounce), 0.1 grams of fat

Skim milk (1 cup), 0.4 grams of fat

Lean ground beef, 90 percent lean (1 ounce), 2.7 grams of fat

Evaporated skim milk (1 cup), 0.8 grams of fat

Ground turkey sausage (1 ounce), 4.2 grams of fat

Turkey bacon (1 ounce), 2.4 grams of fat

1 percent low-fat cottage cheese (1 cup), 2.3 grams of fat

Reduced-calorie dairy sour cream (1 ounce, about 2 tablespoons), 2.0 grams of fat