Unless you're willing to suffer through a rubbery egg-white omelet, brunch is usually a high-fat nightmare. But you can enjoy rich French toast and even sausages if you use a few healthful cooking techniques and low-fat substitutes.

The French toast is soaked in a custard, which includes low-fat milk, a splash of rum, and applesauce. The applesauce serves as a fruity stand-in for some of the eggs. Instead of being fried, the toast is sprinkled with brown sugar and caramelized in a hot oven. By topping the toast with a sweet-tangy compote of blueberries and mango spiked with candied ginger, you can avoid loading up on the empty calories of maple syrup. Sausage patties--made with ground turkey breast and grated potato and flavored with shiitake mushrooms, a little prosciutto, and fresh herbs-- have a savory flavor with less than half the fat of most pork patties.

And if you like to jazz up brunch with a cocktail, serve tropical fruit mimosas made with Champagne or sparkling wine and pineapple, guava, or papaya juice.

Each serving of French toast, compote, and sausage contains less than 13 grams of fat (20 percent of the recommended daily intake).

    By Mark KurlanskyJulia CalifanoJean AndersonGrace Parisi and Susan McAdams