The Incredible Lightness of Pudding


For me, the arrival of fall stirs the urge for foods with a little more substance then the light crunchy salads and grilled foods of summer.

Keeping these foods on the light side is the challenge. We keep this savory bread pudding light in a couple of ways. First, we use only a small amount of turkey sausage to flavor the mushroom filling. A sprinkling of nonfat mozzarella cheese adds richness to the filling, and the custard is made with nonfat milk and egg substitute. The casserole is baked in a water bath to help prevent curdling.


Butter-flavored non-stick cooking spray

18 (1-inch) slices baguette

1 sweet Italian turkey sausage

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 (8-ounce) carton mushrooms, sliced

1 teaspoon minced rosemary

1 teaspoon minced thyme

1 teaspoon minced sage


1 cup grated nonfat mozzarella cheese

3 cups nonfat milk

1 cup egg substitute (equivalent to 4 eggs)

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Spray jelly roll pan with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange bread slices in single layer in pan. Lightly spray bread with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees until bread is lightly toasted, about 10 minutes. Cool.

Remove turkey sausage from casing. Crumble into skillet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. When sausage begins to cook and juices begin to come out, add onion and continue to cook until meat looses red color. Add mushrooms and continue to cook until mushrooms are tender. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon sage and salt to taste.

Arrange half of bread slices slightly overlapping in 8-inch square baking dish. Spoon over mushroom mixture. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Top with remaining bread slices.

Combine milk, egg substitute, mustard, 1 teaspoon salt and remaining rosemary, thyme and sage. Pour over bread slices, gently pushing bread down to moisten. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Place pan large enough to hold baking dish on bottom rack of oven. Place baking dish in pan and add hot water to come halfway up sides of baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees until knife inserted near center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

Makes 6 servings.

Each serving contains about:

324 calories; 1,167 mg sodium; 34 mg cholesterol; 8 grams fat; 40 grams carbohydrates; 24 grams protein; 0.52 gram fiber.

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