Summer Sweet Pepper and Portabella Mushroom Strata

1-1 pound loaf crusty French or Italian sourdough bread cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound low fat spicy or sweet Italian chicken or turkey sausage
(95 to 99% fat free)
2 cups thinly sliced Portabella mushrooms
1 medium onion chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic
2 roasted sweet bell peppers, red, yellow or orange sliced into thin strips*
2 eggs plus
1 ½ cups fat free egg substitute
2 cups fat free half and half or skim milk preferably one of the brands that tastes like 1% milk
1 cup shredded low fat mozzarella cheese 2.5 to 3 grams per 1-oz serving
1/2 cup fresh grated Asiago or parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon rosemary
¼ teaspoon thyme
½ to ¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
olive oil cooking spray
1/3 cup chopped, fresh basil

Remove casings from sausage if necessary. Heat a non-stick or stick resistant skillet over medium-high heat; add sausage to pan and cook, turning often and crumbling in smaller pieces. Remove sausage from pan and drain on paper towels if necessary. Return pan to heat add garlic and onions and sauté until tender, 5 minutes. If vegetables begin to dry out add a little wine or water. Remove from heat and set aside.

Spray a 9- by 13-inch baking dish lightly with cooking spray and spread half of the bread cubes evenly over bottom of dish. Top evenly with sausage and onions.

Spread remaining bread cubes level over the top, followed, mushrooms and roasted peppers.

In large bowl whisk eggs and egg substitute together with fat free half and half dried herbs, salt and pepper. Pour evenly over layered ingredients, cover and chill for 1 hour or up to 1 day.

Heat oven to 325 degrees remove cover and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until center of Strata is set and lightly browned on top. Remove from oven and top with mozzarella and Asiago /Parmesan cheeses. Return to oven for 2 to 4 minutes until cheese has melted.

Top with fresh basil and allow to cool 10 minutes then cut into 8 squares. Serve Strata warm or at room temperature.

Yield 8 servings each at approximately 352 calories; 8.5 grams total fat; 3.5 grams saturated fat; 83 milligrams cholesterol; 40 grams total carbohydrate; 2.9 grams dietary fiber; 25 grams protein; 1003 milligrams sodium

Traditional recipe; 650 calories and 39 grams fat vs. 350 calories and 8.5 grams fat

*Roasted red peppers can be found bottled in most Italian markets. To roast bell peppers any color cut in half and place skin side up on a foil lined baking sheet and place under broiler. Leaving oven door ajar, roast peppers until skins have blackened, about 10 to 15 minutes, remove from oven and place in an airtight container or bag for 20 minutes. Remove from container. Under a gentle stream of cold water peel blackened skin from pepper and set pepper halves aside to drain on paper towels before chopping.