Dear Jeanne:I love this casserole, but it is very high in fat and sodium. I have tried lightening it with fat-free sour cream and fat-free yogurt, but I'm not sure what else I can do. Can you help? Thanks for any help. — Jennifer Wong, San Diego
Dear Jennifer: This was a different version of a broccoli-and-cheese casserole, and it was very good, but it wasn't worth all that fat!
Luckily, you can make this just as yummy without all the fat. I omitted the noodles and seasoning pack entirely; it seems like maybe they were added to soak up some of the puddles of fat that collected while it cooked. They were barely detectable, and since they are fried, they come with added fat.
The seasoning pack also increased the amount of sodium. When I made it with fat-free yogurt, it had a pronounced tang.
I substituted fat-free sour cream, and it was more mild, like the original. I found that 6 cups is about 1 pound of broccoli, so a bag of frozen broccoli is perfect.
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup blue cheese dressing
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Flavor pack from ramen noodles
6 cups broccoli, peeled stems and heads, chopped and blanched in salted water
12 ounces sliced mushrooms, sauteed in 1 tablespoon butter
1 package chicken-flavored ramen noodles, broken up
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a bowl, combine mayonnaise, yogurt, cheddar cheese, blue cheese dressing, eggs, salt, pepper and flavor pack from the noodles. In a separate bowl, combine broccoli, mushrooms and broken noodles, then toss together wet mixture and vegetables to evenly coat. Place in an 8-by-8-inch baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, and cook for 45 minutes, covered. Then remove cover and bake for an additional 15 minutes to brown. Cool for 15 minutes before serving. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
LOW-FAT BROCCOLI CASSEROLE
1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1 cup reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/3 cup fat-free blue cheese dressing
1/2 cup liquid egg substitute, or egg whites
1 teaspoon salt-free seasoning
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 cups broccoli, chopped and steamed, or 1 pound frozen broccoli, thawed
12 ounces sliced mushrooms
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 2-quart casserole or an 8-by-8-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, cheddar cheese, blue cheese dressing, egg substitute, seasoning and pepper. Add the broccoli and mushrooms, and stir to combine thoroughly. Place in the prepared pan and bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10 minutes. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Each of 6 servings contains approximately: Original Recipe: 445 calories; 37 gm fat; 109 mg cholesterol; 950 mg sodium; 18 gm carbohydrates; 14 gm protein; 4 gm fiber. Revised Recipe: 129 calories; 2 gm fat; 6 mg cholesterol; 596 mg sodium; 19 gm carbohydrates; 11 gm protein; 3 gm fiber.
Jeanne Jones is the author of 33 cookbooks, most recently "Cooking From the Cupboard" (Rodale Press). For more information, you can go to her Web site, jeannejones.com. Send your recipe for revision to: Cook It Light, Deseret Morning News, P.O. Box 1212, La Jolla, CA 92038. Please include a stamped (60 cents), self-addressed envelope. © King Features Syndicate Inc.