Cookbook serves up low-calorie comfort food



Christmas is over and it’s time when many of us will start our New Year’s resolutions and take on a healthier lifestyle.

Just in time, Betty Crocker is out with a new cookbook, “300 Calorie Comfort Food” ($19.99, softcover, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), which takes all of the traditional favorites and lightens them up so they are 300 calories or less per serving.

The book includes 300 recipes, including breakfast dishes such as this Healthified Italian Sausage Egg Bake, which would work nicely for a brunch.

Healthified Italian Sausage Egg Bake

Makes 12 servings.

3/4 pound lean Italian turkey sausage, casings removed

1 medium onion, chopped ( 1/2 cup)

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 box (9 ounce) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained

4 cups frozen country-style shredded hash brown potatoes (from a 30-ounce bag), thawed

2 cups shredded reduced-fat Italian cheese blend (8 ounces)

2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

12 eggs

3/4 cups fat-free (skim) milk

1 teaspoon dried basil leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, cook sausage over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking up sausage with spoon, until no longer pink; drain if necessary. Add onion and bell pepper, cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, cook 1 to 2 minutes longer until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in spinach.

Spray a 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish with nonstick spray. In baking dish, mix the sausage mixture, potatoes and cheeses. In a medium bowl, beat eggs, milk, basil, salt and pepper. Pour over mixture in baking dish. Cover; refrigerate 8 hours or overnight but no longer than 24 hours. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake covered 1 hour. Uncover, bake 15 to 20 minutes longer or until center is set. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.