Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition.
TIP Use cottage cheese with pineapples for the kugel or add chopped fruit to the mixture
INDIVIDUAL NOODLE KUGELS
6 ounces medium egg noodles
3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
6 ounces Neufchâtel (reduced- fat cream cheese)
3/4 cup 1-percent cottage cheese
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup raisins
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat the cups of a muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. Cook noodles according to package directions.
3. Blend ricotta, Neufchâtel, and cottage cheese until smooth. Add eggs, sugar and cinnamon and blend until just combined; stir in raisins. Toss with noodles and spoon into 12 muffin cups.
4. Bake until puddings are golden on top and egg is set, 22 to 25 minutes. (A toothpick inserted in center may have some cheese on it, but no liquid).
Makes 12 servings
Nutrition for each serving 168 calories, 8 g protein, 20 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 7 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 144 mg sodium
CHALLAH BREAD PUDDING WITH PRUNES
3 large eggs
3 cups nonfat milk
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
16 ounces challah, torn into 2-inch pieces
6 prunes, chopped into 1 / 2-inch pieces
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 11-by-7-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Lightly beat the eggs in a large bowl; add the milk, 3 / 4 cup of the sugar and vanilla and whisk to combine. Add the challah and toss occasionally until it absorbs much of the liquid, about 5 minutes. Stir in the prunes and transfer to the baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
3. Bake 45 minutes, until pudding is set. Allow it to cool about 5 minutes before cutting.
Makes 8 servings
Nutrition for each serving 312 calories, 12 g protein, 57 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 6 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 238 mg sodium
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 large red bell pepper, diced into 1 / 2-inch pieces
1 (10-ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed
8 large eggs
2 cups nonfat milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
12 ounces sourdough bread, cut into 1 / 2-inch-thick slices
4 ounces reduced-fat Cheddar, shredded
1. Heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the onions, garlic and basil and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 12 minutes. Add the red peppers and cook until tender, about 4 minutes longer. Stir in the spinach and remove from heat.
2. Whisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper together.
3. Coat inside of an 11-by-7- inch baking dish with cooking spray. Line bottom with a single layer of half the bread, cutting to make it fit. Spread vegetables evenly over bread; top with the cheese. Make a final layer with the remaining bread and pour the egg mixture over the entire surface. Cover with plastic wrap and place a plate with cans (or any other heavy objects on top) to help submerge the top layer. Refrigerate 2 to 24 hours.
4. To serve: preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the strata 40 to 50 minutes, until it is golden and puffed. Allow to cool 5 minutes before cutting.
Makes 8 servings.
Nutrition for each serving 289 calories, 18 g protein, 31 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 10 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 486 mg sodium.