Stratas are basically savory, layered French toast. Slices of bread (toasted for extra flavor) are layered with other ingredients—here it’s asparagus and cheese—and then soaked with a custard. When the strata bakes, the cheese melts and the bread layer puffs up and browns. Best of all, the strata is designed to be assembled way ahead of baking. You could put it together in the morning and then refrigerate it until an hour or so before dinner.


8 slices (1 ounce each) 7-grain or whole-wheat bread, toasted

1 can (10 1/2 ounces) cut asparagus spears, drained

1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

2 cups fat-free milk

1 cup (8 ounces) egg substitute or 8 large egg whites

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon oregano


1. Spray a 9-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange 4 of the bread slices in a single layer in the dish. Scatter the asparagus over the bread. Sprinkle the Cheddar and Parmesan over the asparagus. Place the remaining 4 slices of bread on top.

2. In a large bowl, stir together the milk, egg substitute, salt, and oregano. Pour the egg mixture over the bread. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, and up to overnight.

3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the strata, uncovered, for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Makes 4 servings

Mexican Corn & Pepper Strata Substitute a can of Mexican corn for the asparagus. Substitute jack cheese for the Cheddar. Add 1 tablespoon chili powder to the milk mixture in step 2.

Nutrition Facts

per serving
calories 274
total fat 6.3g
saturated fat 3g
cholesterol 13mg
dietary fiber 5g
carbohydrate 34g
protein 22g
sodium 822mg

Good source of: riboflavin, selenium, vitamin B12

Many of the recipes in this book contain off-the-shelf foods to help keep recipe prep effort to a minimum – a benefit for your arthritic hands. However, some foods – like canned beans – can hike up sodium levels. If you are carefully watching your sodium, be sure to read this before preparing this recipe: Sodium Intake and Salt in Recipes

From The Johns Hopkins Cookbook Library: Recipes for Arthritis Health, edited by John A. Flynn, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.R. and Lora Brown Wilder, Sc.D., M.S., R.D.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 01 Nov 2011

Last Modified: 07 Apr 2015