Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition.
1 ready-to-bake piecrust
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced spring onion
12 ounces asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup sweet peas
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup nonfat milk
4 ounces (1 cup) crumbled feta
1 teaspoon fresh marjoram, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place piecrust in pie plate; crimp edges. Bake 15 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft and deeply golden, about 12 minutes. Remove from pan; add asparagus, peas and 1/4 cup of water and cook, stirring, until vegetables are bright green and crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
3. Combine the eggs, milk, feta and marjoram. Stir in onions and asparagus mixture and pour into the partially baked crust. Bake in center of oven until set, about 40 minutes. A toothpick inserted in center should be clean. Let cool at least 5 minutes before cutting into wedges.
Makes 8 servings.
Nutritional analysis per serving 244 calories, 10 g protein, 21 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 15 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 402 mg sodium
2 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting
2 very ripe medium bananas, mashed, 1 cup
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
5 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8-inch-by- 4-inch loaf pan with cooking spray and lightly dust with flour.
2. Combine the banana, eggs, sugar, buttermilk, oil and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and walnuts in a separate bowl. Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture; combine thoroughly and pour into the prepared loaf pan.
3. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
Makes 12 servings.
Nutritional analysis per serving 247 calories, 5 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 11 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 228 mg sodium
SAUSAGE, PEPPER AND BREAD CASSEROLE
10 ounces French bread, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chopped onion
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 1/2 cups 2 percent milk
6 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)
2 ounces sharp provolone, shredded
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees, Place bread on a baking sheet and toast until crisp, about 10 minutes.
2. Prick sausages with a fork and combine with about 1 / 2-inch of water in a skillet. Cook until water is evaporated and sausage browned, about 12 minutes. Remove sausage from
the skillet, pour off the oil from the pan and add the peppers, garlic, onion, thyme and fennel. Cook, stirring, 3 to 4 minutes, until peppers are softened.
Cut the sausage in 1/4-inch thick slices.
3. Coat a 2 1/2-quart soufflé dish (oval baking dish) with cooking spray and layer the bottom of the dish with bread. Top with the onion and pepper mixture, the sausage and a layer of the remaining bread.
4. Whisk together the milk, eggs and cayenne, and pour over the casserole. Top with the shredded cheese; cover and refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.
5. To bake: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake, uncovered, 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until an instant-read meat thermometer registers 160 degrees.
Makes 8 servings.
Nutritional analysis per serving 366 calories, 24 g protein, 40 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 12 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 794 mg sodium