Brunch. What other meal offers such diversity with both breakfast and lunch foods, vegetable and fruit salads and decadent desserts? No need to be as elaborate as a restaurant brunch buffet, though, when planning at-home brunch recipes for a special celebration or a fun weekend with your family or friends. Just serve a few simple dishes that also highlight the best of seasonal fruits and vegetables.
- Serve in-season vegetables such as sugar snap peas steamed or microwaved with a little butter and lemon zest or Swiss chard sautéed in olive oil with garlic and crushed red pepper.
- Consider a new addition to all the baby carrots, cauliflower and broccoli on that ubiquitous “veggie and dip” tray and add strips of jicama, a traditional Mexican root vegetable. Jicama has a firm, crunchy and slightly juicy texture.
- Instead of a plain tossed iceberg lettuce salad, serve fresh spinach salad made with mandarin oranges, red onion and honey-roasted almonds.
- Rhubarb, a spring favorite, has unlimited possibilities on a brunch menu, including rhubarb jam, to serve with those whole-grain English muffins and bagels; rhubarb compote made with sugar, ginger and orange; homemade rhubarb cinnamon muffins; and rhubarb cobbler, crisp or pie for the dessert table
- Combine in-season chopped mango with diced jicama, sliced oranges, red onion, cilantro and chili powder, and mix in lime juice and vegetable oil vinaigrette for a zesty salsa or side salad.
- Strawberry season arrives at the end of spring, and a big bowl of fresh berries is a hit at any party. If you have the time, make chocolate-covered strawberries by dipping in melted dark chocolate.
Brunch Meats and Seafood
- Consider serving at least one lean, lower-fat breakfast meat along with decadent bacon and sausage. Choose Canadian bacon, ham, reduced-fat pork sausage patties or links, turkey bacon, turkey sausage or soy sausage-like patties and links.
- Fresh peeled and deveined shrimp is so simple and an extremely low-fat, high-protein choice.
- Slices of smoked salmon are such an easy way to offer heart-healthy omega-3 fats at brunch. Simply open the package and arrange slices on a plate or tray.
- Serve whole-grain or whole-wheat versions of English muffins, bagels, cinnamon-raisin bread and hearty multigrain breads for toasting.
- Offer homemade muffins or quick breads that have been baked with one-half whole wheat flour.