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LifestyleColumnistsMarge Perry

3 Simple brunch recipes

Layers of bread and cooked bacon are soaked

Layers of bread and cooked bacon are soaked in milk and eggs overnight and baked in the morning. Photo Credit: Marge Perry

OVERNIGHT MAPLE-BACON FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE

8 ounces center-cut bacon

8 large eggs

3 cups skim milk

¼ cup maple syrup

1 pound loaf sourdough or country white bread

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1. Cook the bacon; drain on paper towel.

2. Coat a 13-by-7-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

3. Beat the eggs lightly in a large bowl; add the milk and maple syrup. Cut the bread in ¼-inch thick slices.

4. Place half the bread in a slightly overlapping layer on the bottom of the baking dish; pour in about half the egg-milk mixture. Top with the bacon. Place the remaining bread over the bacon in a single overlapping layer. Pour the remaining egg-milk mixture over the bread. Press gently to slightly compact. Wrap well in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

5. In the morning, take the casserole out of the refrigerator while the oven preheats to 350 degrees. Sprinkle the top of the casserole with the sugar and bake for 45 minutes. Makes 10 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 322 calories, 19 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 12 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 861 mg sodium

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APPLE-WALNUT CREPES

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups nonfat milk

1 cup all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

4 apples, peeled and sliced

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon brown sugar

¼ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

1. Combine eggs and milk in bowl. Combine flour and salt in another bowl. Add wet ingredients into the dry and stir until just smooth. Allow the batter to stand 20 minutes or overnight.

2. Brush an 8-inch nonstick skillet very lightly with some oil and heat over medium. Add a scant ¼ cup of batter and swirl pan so it evenly covers surface. Cook until the crepe is just set, about 1 to 1½ minutes; turn and cook until the underside is set, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining batter and crepes. (Crepes may be stacked, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight.)

3. Make the filling: melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium; add the apples, cinnamon, brown sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender, about 8 to 9 minutes. Stir in the walnuts and remove from heat.

4. To serve, place the filling in a row down each crepe and roll to enclose. Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 292 calories, 10 g protein, 40 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 11 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 181 mg sodium

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INDIVIDUAL BROCCOLI-CHEDDAR STRATAS

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ small red onion, chopped (about ½ cup)

1½ cups chopped broccoli (½-inch florets)

½ red bell pepper, cut in ¼-inch dice

½ teaspoon salt

8 slices whole-wheat bread, cut in ¾-inch pieces

5 eggs

1 cup nonfat milk

1½ cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar (about 4 ounces)

1. Coat 12 muffin cups lightly with cooking spray or oil.

2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high; add the onions and cook, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the broccoli, red pepper and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and toss with the bread.

3. Lightly beat the eggs; stir in the milk and toss with the bread. Stir in the cheese and spoon into the muffin cups. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.

4. Remove stratas from refrigerator while you preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake until stratas are puffed and golden and egg is set, 23 to 26 minutes. Run a butter knife along sides of each muffin cup to loosen and remove from pan. Makes 12 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 147 calories, 10 g protein, 12 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 7 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 343 mg sodium

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