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Sausage, eggs, and cheese as part of a balanced diet? You better believe it! Try my breakfast casserole recipe with a heart-healthy twist. Just 240 calories per serving with 13 g of protein, 2 g fiber, and 70% of your daily vitamin C!

(Scroll to the bottom of the post for a printable PDF version of the recipe)

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Original Recipe

    • 24 ounces bulk pork breakfast sausage
    • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 3 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
    • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 1 tablespoon canola oil
    • 2 cups milk
    • 1/4 tsp pepper
    • 4 eggs
    Changes Made:
            • 24 ounces bulk pork breakfast sausage: Decreased to 16 ounces; substituted turkey sausage (less fat/calories, retains protein and flavor)
            • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
            • 1 medium onion, chopped
            • 3 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
            • Added 3 1/2 cups broccoli florets (for more nutrients and texture!)
            • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese: Decreased to 1 cup; substituted reduced-fat cheese)
            • 1 cup all-purpose flour
            • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
            • ½ tsp salt
            • 1 tablespoon canola oil
            • 2 cups milk: Specified as low-fat milk
            • 1/4 tsp pepper
            • 4 eggs

                        Nutrition Facts Face-Off!

                        How is this recipe better for your heart? Fewer calories to promote weight management, 5 fewer grams of saturated fat (too much saturated fat raises "bad" cholesterol), and more veggies! A diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps with weight management and can help maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

                        Image removed.


                        Better-for-You Breakfast Casserole (Printable PDF Version)

                        Makes 12 servings


                        Ingredients
                          • 16 ounces bulk turkey breakfast sausage
                          • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped
                          • 1 medium onion, chopped
                          • 3 cups steamed broccoli florets (approximate yield from one head of broccoli)
                          • 3 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
                          • 1 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
                          • 1 cup all-purpose flour
                          • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
                          • ½ tsp salt
                          • 1 tablespoon canola oil
                          • 2 cups 1% milk
                          • 1/4 tsp pepper
                          • 4 eggs
                            Directions
                              1. Heat oven to 400° F. Prepare a 13x9" baking dish with cooking spray. Make sure to spray well to avoid sticking.
                              2. In a large skillet, sauté sausage, bell pepper, and onion over medium heat until sausage is cooked through (no longer pink). Turn off heat.
                              3. Add cooked broccoli, frozen hash brown potatoes, and half of the cheese to skillet; mix until evenly combined. Spread in baking dish.
                              4. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, oil, milk, salt, pepper, and eggs until blended. Pour into the baking dish to cover meat and vegetables.
                              5. Sprinkle remaining cheese evenly over the top. Bake uncovered about 35-40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

                                Recipe Tips

                                • Decrease the fat and calories further by using 1 cup of egg substitute in place of 4 whole eggs
                                • Recipe also makes 24 "muffins" - divide mixture evenly among 2 muffin pans and cut baking time to 20 minutes

                                  Nutrition Facts (1/12 of recipe or 2 "muffins"): Calories 240, Total Fat 13g (Saturated 3g), Cholesterol 110mg, Sodium 490mg, Total Carbohydrate 17g, Dietary Fiber 2g, Protein 13g, Vitamin A 15% DV, Vitamin C 70% DV, Calcium 20% DV, Iron 10% DV

                                   

                                  Today's post was written by Leia Kedem. Leia Kedem, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and Nutrition & Wellness Educator covering Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion Counties. She appears weekly on WCIA-3/WCIX-49 and is a biweekly contributor to the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette. She also maintains Facebook and Twitter accounts where she regularly posts health tips and answers nutrition questions for free.