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Healing Kitchen

Asparagus Strata
When Sue Cable of Rochester, New York, first started cooking, Asparagus Strata was a favorite for Sunday brunch. While she fondly remembers those days, she can no longer allow herself to feed family and friends this calorie- and fat-laden old standby. Sue asked for our help, so we made some changes to make a healthier, yet just as satisfying, strata. Low-fat milk stands in for cream and whole milk, egg whites and just 1 whole egg replace 4 eggs, and Parmesan cheese gives flavor without much in the way of fat. Sue's old recipe had 711 calories and 50 grams of fat, while the new, skinny strata has 369 calories and only 12 grams of fat. Although her original didn't have it, we added some chopped red pepper for color-not to mention a good amount of vitamin C and beta-carotene.

PER SERVING
BEFORE
AFTER
Calories
711
264
Dietary fiber (g)
2.2
3.5
Total fat (g)
50
6.1
Saturated fat (g)
29
3.8
Cholesterol (mg)
362
20
Sodium (mg)
831
612
Beta-carotene (mg)
.07
1.3
Vitamin C (mg)
4
81

The Ingredients  6 ounces thin asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut into 3/4" pieces  1 red bell pepper, diced  2 cups low-fat (1%) milk  1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese  5 egg whites  1 egg  1 tablespoon flour  2 teaspoons Dijon mustard  16 slices (1/2 ounce each) day-old French bread  1 ounce Canadian bacon, thinly slivered  2 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup) 1. In a steamer, cook asparagus 3 minutes until crisp-tender. Add bell pepper and cook 1 minute longer.

2. Meanwhile, in blender or food processor, puree milk, Parmesan, egg whites, whole egg, flour, and mustard until smooth, about 1 minute.

3. Lightly grease 9" square baking dish. Arrange 8 bread slices in a single layer in prepared baking dish and sprinkle with half of asparagus mixture. Top with half the bacon, then sprinkle with half the Cheddar. Repeat with remaining bread, asparagus mixture, bacon, and Cheddar. Gradually pour milk mixture over, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or overnight).

4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake strata, uncovered, for 45 minutes, or until top is golden and a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Makes 4 servings

Author: The Healing Kitchen Staff
Date Published: 04/25/2001
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