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Lower Fat At Breakfast By Using Turkey Sausage

By Charlotte Balcomb Lane Knight-Ridder/Tribune

Breakfast casseroles concocted from bread, eggs, cheese and sausage often appear at breakfast potlucks and brunches. Dubbed “breakfast bakes” or “stratas,’ the substantial casseroles are quick, easy, delicious - and high in fat.

By using lower-fat turkey breakfast sausage, fat-free egg substitutes, skim milk instead of half-and-half and olive oil in place of butter or margarine, the fat and calories can be reduced substantially.

Lighter Breakfast Sausage Casserole still gets a substantial portion of its calories from fat - 44 percent - because it contains few high-carbohydrate ingredients to offset the high-fat ones. But it is relatively low in saturated fat, the type of fat most linked to clogged arteries and heart disease.

You could lower the fat further in this recipe by using fat-free or low-fat cheese and eliminating the olive oil. You could also substitute spinach for the sausage.

Lighter Breakfast Sausage Casserole

8 slices bread

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 (12-ounce) roll turkey breakfast sausage

1 cup shredded longhorn or cheddar cheese

1-1/2 cups fat-free liquid egg substitutes

2 cups skim milk or 2 percent milk

1 teaspoon salt

Coat a 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Cut the crusts off the bread and layer in the pan. Drizzle with the olive oil.

Cook the sausage until brown, stirring to break into small lumps. Drain well. Spoon the sausage over the bread. Sprinkle with the cheese.

Combine the egg substitutes, milk and salt, stirring well to dissolve salt. Pour over the bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight or until ready to bake.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until set. Cool slightly before cutting.

Yield: 12 servings.

Nutrition information per serving (with skim milk): 182 calories, 8.9 grams fat (44 percent fat calories), 3 grams saturated fat, 14 grams protein, 12 grams carbohydrate, 35 milligrams cholesterol, 612 milligrams sodium.

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN, RECIPE - On the Light Side

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