Healthy Meal: Holiday Strata and Fresh Winter Fruit with Creamy Poppyseed Dressing

Hope everyone had a merry Christmas! :) I forgot to take pics of my Christmas Eve dinner, but I have some yummy brunch recipes coming up – holiday strata and fresh winter fruit with creamy poppyseed dressing. Both were absolutely delicious, and pretty filling, but still on the lighter side for brunch. Good thing, since I ate quite a few treats the night before!

Strata recipe notes:
First, I cut the recipe in half – it still made 6 decent-sized servings. I used olive oil to saute the mushrooms, just because I didn’t look at the recipe when I started and mixed up the two :) That was fine though. I only used one link of sausage (Trader Joe’s Sweet Bell Pepper & Onion Chicken Sausage, which is awesome), sliced it, and cut each slice in half. I used Trader Joe’s three cheese blend (mozzarella, monterey jack, and cheddar), 1/4 cup for each step just to make a nice thin layer of cheese (1/2 cup total). I used skim milk, and contrary to the instructions, it was just fine – still came out thick and rich. Finally, I used dijon mustard instead of dry mustard, just because I don’t have dry mustard. It took about 15 minutes to put it all together, then in the morning I got up early to pull it out of the fridge, nap for 30 minutes, pop it in the oven, nap for another 30 minutes, and then prep the fruits for the last 15 minutes of cooking. 45 minutes at 300 was absolutely perfect, and it came out golden and beautiful. Surprisingly easy to serve too: it cut nicely.
Fruit recipe notes:
I used one Fuji apple, one pear, one banana, 3/4 cup pineapple, and no grapes. I didn’t put any sugar with the lemon juice just because I never put sugar on fruit – I find it naturally sweet enough. As for the poppyseed dressing, I used more yogurt than mayonnaise, and I used French vanilla yogurt. The whole thing was absolutely DELICIOUS, and pretty healthy.
Nutrition info:
165 calories for the strata (recipe here)
296 calories for the fruit and dressing (recipe here)
Review: 5/5
The fruit was much higher in calories than I was expecting (probably because it was a HUGE serving), and the strata much lower. It all balanced out to be a delicious and good-sized meal though, and I think the calories were definitely worth it (especially when you see how much protein this has!). Very easy, but definitely not something I’d want to make on a weekday because the strata requires a lot of inactive prep/cook time, and I don’t like getting up and going back to bed! I’d say this is the perfect dish if you have company on a weekend and want to impress them for brunch.

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