Tuesday, March 6, 2012

sunday brunch

Next time you have the urge to leave your house and wolf down overpriced pancakes, resist the urge and bring brunch into your kitchen. (You don't even have to change out of your pajamas.) Put on some nice music, make some coffee and cook with (or for) the people you love!

Stacks of pancakes, piles of bacon, buttery toast... It's enough to bring on a brunch-induced food coma. Often I find myself sleeping away the rest of my hard earned weekend after a meal of traditional brunch fare: pancakes, waffles, starch and more starch.

This brunch menu has it all- protein, fruit and veg, and a little bit of starch - but it won't leave you sleeping on the couch. A sunny mango smoothie, eggs baked in a bed of spinach with a spicy yogurt topping and crispy potato hash browns. Lay out a table cloth, turn on the radio, and bring a healthy brunch into your kitchen!

sunny mango smoothie
(Buy some sad-looking, overripe mangos for this smoothie. They taste the best, you're saving them from the garbage, and they cost a fraction the price. This makes 4 or 5 cups, and keeps in the fridge for an extra day. Don't leave out the lemon juice and zest - it brightens up the smoothie and adds some extra zing!)

3 over-ripe atulfo mangoes (the smaller, yellow mangoes)
1 over-ripe banana
1/2 cup 3% yogurt
2 cups soy or almond milk
2 tbsp liquid honey
1 tbsp lemon zest
juice of 1/2 a lemon

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher. Blend with an immersion blender. (Or use a traditional blender). Add 1/2 cup - 1 cup water to reach the consistency of smoothie you would like.

skillet baked eggs and spinach 
(adapted from this recipe in Bon Appetite) 

1 tbsp olive oil
1 leek, white and light green parts, sliced thinly
1 green onion, sliced thinly
1 bunch of spinach, washed and roughly chopped
juice from 1 lemon
salt and pepper
4 eggs

1/4 cup 3% yogurt
1 clove of garlic, minced
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp paprika
pinch of cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Heat oil in cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and green onion, turn down heat to low, and cook for 10 minutes, until leeks are soft and starting to brown. Add spinach and lemon juice, and cook for a minute or two. Hold pan over the sink, and tilt to let the excess moisture run out. Give the spinach a press with your wooden spoon to get as much moisture out as possible.

Turn off burner. Make 4 indentations in the spinach, spreading it evenly around the pan. Crack the eggs into the indentations, being careful not to break the yolk. Bake until the egg whites are set, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir together yogurt, salt, paprika, garlic and cayenne pepper. Serve eggs and spinach immediately, with a dollop of yogurt on each egg.

potato hash browns
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut in 1 inch cubes
olive oil
salt, pepper, dried thyme

Preheat broiler. Steam potatoes over boiling water for 10 minutes. Toss potatoes with oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Spread in a pan, and broil for 10-15 minutes, until potatoes are crispy and brown. Serve with this homemade ketchup.

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