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Cook it light: Hash brown potato casserole gets makeover

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 20 2011 5:47 p.m. MST

Dear Jeanne: Could you revise this for me?

— Betty, Birmingham, Ala.

Dear Betty: This is a very popular recipe, but this version has even more margarine than usual.

Your recipe serves 30 people, but I have made it more reasonable. My version serves 12 people using a 9-by-13-inch pan, which allows you to have a fair-size serving.

The original recipe is very greasy, so you can't eat too much of it. This is a great side dish for any meal — breakfast, brunch or dinner. I like to sprinkle it with some chopped green onions for color and flavor.

HASH BROWN POTATO CASSEROLE

1 bag (2 pounds) hash brown potatoes

1/2 cup onions, chopped

1 package (10 ounces) cheddar cheese, grated

1 carton (16 ounces) sour cream

1 can (15 ounces) cream of chicken soup

1 teaspoon salt

Pepper, to taste

3 sticks margarine, melted, divided use

3 tablespoons breadcrumbs

Mix all ingredients together except 1 stick of the melted margarine, and pour mixture into a greased 3-quart casserole. Cover the top with breadcrumbs, and pour the third stick of margarine over the top. Bake at 350 F for 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Makes 30 servings.

LIGHTENED HASH BROWNPOTATO CASSEROLE

16 ounces (2 cups) light sour cream

1 can (15 ounces) reduced-fat cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

1/2 cup chopped onions

1 1/2 cups reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1 (2-pound) bag hash brown potatoes, thawed if frozen

3 tablespoons breadcrumbs

2 green onions, chopped, for garnish, optional

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9-by-13-inch pan or other 3-quart pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine the sour cream, soup, pepper and garlic, and mix well. Stir in the onions and cheese; then stir in the hash browns. Spread the mixture in the prepared pan.

3. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over the top. Spray the crumbs with nonstick cooking spray and bake for about 1 hour, or until the edges and crumbs are lightly browned.

Makes 12 servings.

Each serving contains approximately: Original Recipe: 198 calories; 16 gm fat; 18 mg cholesterol; 378 mg sodium; 9 gm carbohydrates; 4 gm protein; 1 gm fiber. Revised Recipe: 151 calories; 4 gm fat; 15 mg cholesterol; 283 mg sodium; 20 gm carbohydrates; 7 gm protein; 2 gm fiber.

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