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The Best Brunch Recipes for Spring Soirées

Eggs Shakshuka

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An egg dish that’s good for vegetarians and Paleo dieters, this recipe from The Real Paleo Diet Cookbook, by the creator of the Paleo diet, is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 large orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 14.5-ounce cans organic salt-free fire-roasted diced tomatoes
6 large eggs
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup shredded fresh basil

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In an oven-safe large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onion and sweet peppers, and cook, stirring, for 4 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add cumin, paprika, crushed red pepper, and garlic; cook for 2 minutes more.
2. Stir in diced tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until thickened.
3. Crack eggs into skillet over tomato mixture. Transfer skillet to oven and bake, uncovered, for 7 to 10 minutes or until eggs are just set (yolks should still be runny).
4. Remove from oven and sprinkle with black pepper. Garnish with cilantro and basil; serve immediately.

Serves: 4-6
Prep: 8 minutes
Cook: 27 minutes
Total: 35 minutes

Recipe excerpted from THE REAL PALEO DIET COOKBOOK © 2015 by Loren Cordain. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

(Love eggs? Check out these 8 Authentic Breakfast Recipes from Around the World.)

Photo: Waterbury Publications, Inc.

Ginger Carrot Juice Zinger

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The recipes in Chia Quinoa Kale Oh My! are packed with super-healthy foods. This juice is no exception—and will have you (or your guests) feeling great in no time.

5 carrots
1 (1/2-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled
1/2 lemon
1 cucumber
1 grapefruit, peeled and seeded
1 apple, cored

1. Put all ingredients through a juicer and stir juice to mix.
2. Enjoy at room temperature or chill and enjoy cold.

Serves: 1
Total cook time: 5 minutes

Photo: Chia Quinoa Kale Oh My!

A New Eggs Benedict

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Anna Jones gives the classic brunch dish a healthy update in her new book A Modern Way to Eat. Roasted sweet potatoes stand in for English muffins, an avocado-cashew sauce makes an awesome hollandaise, and onions and spinach amp up the veggie factor.

2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed and sliced into ⅜-inch rounds
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
olive or rapeseed oil
2 medium red onions, peeled and finely sliced
a small handful of cashew nuts, soaked in water
1/2 an avocado
a small bunch of fresh tarragon or dill, leaves picked
juice of 1/2 a lime
6 handfuls of spinach, with any big stalks removed
4 organic or free-range eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lay the sweet potato slices on a couple of baking trays, season with salt and pepper, drizzle lightly with oil, and roast for 20 minutes until soft through and crisping at the edges.
2. Put a pan over medium heat, add a little oil, and then add the onions and a pinch of salt. Fry for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the onions are soft and sweet and starting to brown. Transfer to a bowl and set aside, reserving pan to use later.
3. Prepare the hollandaise sauce: Grind the drained cashews in a food processor until you have a crumbly paste. Add the avocado and most of the tarragon or dill with the lime juice and a good pinch of salt and pepper and blend again. If you need to, thin the sauce with a little water until it is thick but pourable.
4. Heat pan you cooked onions in over medium heat. Add spinach and drop of olive oil and cook for a couple of minutes until it starts to wilt but is still vivid green.
5. Poach eggs. Heat pan of water until boiling and turn heat down until water is barely bubbling, then crack in eggs, and leave them to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Scoop them out with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
6. To serve, lay some sweet potatoes in middle of each plate. Top with onions and wilted spinach, then add egg and spoonful of hollandaise. Scatter over rest of tarragon or dill, season with salt and pepper, and dig in.

Serves: 4
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 45 minutes

Recipe reprinted with permission from A Modern Way to Eat: 200+ Satisfying Vegetarian Recipes by Anna Jones, copyright © 2015Brian Ferry. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC.

Photo: Aya Brackett © 2014

Smoked Trout and Grapefruit Toast

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Get in on the toast trend with an open-faced sandwich from Better on Toast. The recipe also includes an easy way to supreme a grapefruit—mess free!

1 grapefruit
1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives
2 teaspoons agave nectar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons crème fraîche
4 1/4-inch-thick slices whole wheat, rye, or spelt bread, toasted
1/4 cup small-diced peeled cucumber
4 ounces smoked trout
1 teaspoon lemon zest

1. To supreme the grapefruit, slice off both ends and then rest of peel, removing all the pith. Slice in half, top to bottom. Then slice into half-moons and pull segments apart. (You’ll use half the grapefruit.)
2. In a food processor or with an immersion blender, mix olives, agave nectar, oil, and lemon juice until smooth. Transfer to bowl and mix in the crème fraiche.
3. Spread olive crème on toasts. Lay on grapefruit sections. Top with pieces of cucumber dice and smoked trout. Sprinkle with lemon zest.

Serves: 4
Total cook time: 5 minutes

Recipe provided by From Better on Toast by Jill Donenfeld. Copyright © 2015 by Jill A. Donenfeld. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

(Like this recipe? Then you'll love 10 Twists on Toast (That Don't Involve Avocado).)

Photo: John Von Pamer

Simple Spanish Tortilla

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A classic Spanish tortilla has potato and onion; this low carb version from Low Carb Revolution is just as comforting—and can be dressed up with ham, olives, or other tasty add-ins.

extra virgin olive oil
1 pound celeriac, skin cut off, cut downwards into wedges and sliced 1/4-inch thick
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 onions, peeled, halved and sliced
6 large eggs
1 heaping tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (preferably lemon thyme)

1. In a 9-inch nonstick pan with a heatproof handle, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add celeriac and cook for about 5 minutes, turning it now and then until coated in oil. Season with salt, drizzle 2 tablespoons water over celeriac, cover the pan with a large lid, and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes until just tender. Drain off any excess water and carefully transfer the celeriac to a large bowl.
2. Wipe out pan with paper towels, return it to medium heat, add another couple of tablespoons of oil, and cook onions for 7–12 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden, seasoning them at end. Mix them into the celeriac.
3. In bowl, whisk eggs, salt, and pepper. Pour them onto the celeriac and onions, and gently stir to combine.
4. Preheat broiler to high, and return the frying pan in which you cooked the vegetables to medium heat (add a tablespoon of oil if needed). Pour in egg and celeriac mixture, level the surface, and cook for 4 minutes.
5. Sprinkle thyme leaves over top of omelette, drizzle on another tablespoon oil, and place under broiler for about 3 minutes until golden and sizzling, keeping a careful eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn. When done, it will be slightly moist in center, without being overly runny, but will firm up and cook with the heat of the pan as it cools.

Serves: 4
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes

Recipe reprinted with permission from Low Carb Revolution: Comfort Eating for Good Health by Annie Bell. (Kyle Books, 2015)

Photo: Dan Jones

Chorizo and Avocado Zucchini Frittata with Manchego–Pea Shoot Salad

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Leftover pasta adds heft to a frittata. In Inspiralized, Ali Maffucci uses zoodles instead!

cooking spray
2 spicy chorizo links, casings removed, meat crumbled
1 avocado, cubed
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 medium zucchini, spiralized with BLADE C
3 large eggs plus 9 egg whites, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
6 cups diced pea shoots
1/4 cup diced manchego cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium. Add chorizo, avocado, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or until the chorizo crumbles begin to brown. Add zucchini noodles and toss to combine. Spread ingredients in an even layer.
2. Pour eggs over noodles and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes or until eggs are set on the bottom, then transfer skillet to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until eggs have completely set and begin to brown on the edges.
3. Make the salad. Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, sherry, honey, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Toss with pea shoots and manchego.
4. Slice frittata into 4 or 8 pieces. Serve with pea shoot salad.

Serves: 4
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 45 minutes

“Reprinted from Inspiralized: Turn Vegetables into Healthy, Creative, Satisfying Meals. Copyright © 2015 by Ali Maffucci. Photos by Evan Sung. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.”

(Check out more of The Best Spiralizer Recipes to Crush Your Pasta Cravings.)

Photo: Evan Sung

Mel’s Banana Muffins

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Your BFFs are often the best source for tasty recipes—and Trisha Yearwood knows that too! Her friend Melissa’s power muffins, below, are shared in her new cookbook Trisha’s Table.

1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup mashed bananas (about 2 medium)
1/3 cup 2% milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, wheat germ, baking soda, and salt. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. In a separate bowl, mash bananas with a fork. Stir in milk and vanilla. With mixer on low, alternately add 1/3 flour mixture and 1/2 banana mixture to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Fold in blueberries.
4. Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake for 20 to 24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Serves: 12
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes

Photo: Trisha’s Table

Smoky Tempeh Bacon

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Vegans—your bacon dreams have been realized, thanks to Happy Healthy Vegan. Made from tempeh, maple syrup, and more, you’ll get the smoke-y taste that carnivores drool over.

8 ounces tempeh
1 tablespoon grade B maple syrup
1 teaspoon tamari
1/2 to 1 teaspoon vegan liquid smoke
Pinch of cumin, cayenne, and/or 2 to 3 teaspoons safflower or virgin coconut oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Sea salt (optional)

1. Slice tempeh as thin as you can into short slices or long, skinny slices; either way works, depending on what you will be using tempeh for.
2. In a shallow dish, combine maple syrup, tamari, liquid smoke, and spices of your choice. Add tempeh and let soak in marinade for at least 30 minutes; overnight is best.
3. Set a sauté pan over high heat and add enough oil to coat the pan. Lay tempeh flat in skillet in a single layer with no overlapping pieces. Cook for 2 minutes, then flip tempeh and add drizzle of marinade. Cook until tempeh is thoroughly blackened, 1 to 2 minutes more. You want both sides to become browned and crispy or blackened on the edges.
4. Lay cooked tempeh on parchment paper or a plate to cool. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper to taste. Tamari should be enough to salt tempeh, but add a few pinches of salt if needed.

Serves: 3
Prep: 40 minutes (includes half hour marinating)
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 45 minutes (includes half hour marinating)

Text excerpted from HEALTHY HAPPY VEGAN KITCHEN, © 2015 by Kathy Patalsky. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Photo: Kathy Patalsky

Tenderest Cardamom Pancakes

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Yogurt isn’t just a breakfast staple when topped with fruit and granola. It’s also the star ingredient in these pancakes from Yogurt Culture—making them extra fluffy and tender.

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt (not Greek) or whey
1 1/2 cups milk, preferably whole or 2%
4 large eggs
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly, plus additional butter for the griddle
Maple syrup and/or additional yogurt, for serving (optional)

1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk yogurt and milk until smooth. Then whisk in eggs, followed by butter. Scrape wet ingredients into dry. Switch to a large silicone spatula and combine thoroughly, sweeping sides and bottom of the bowl; do not overmix. Batter will be a bit lumpy but should have no powdery pockets. Set aside to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Heat a cast-iron griddle or skillet over medium-high heat. When a drop of water on the griddle sizzles and evaporates, coat griddle with butter. Dragging your spoon or scoop in a round (this creates thinner pancakes), distribute about 3 tablespoons batter per pancake onto griddle. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side, until deep golden. Work in batches, slicking the griddle with more butter as you go. Serve with maple syrup and additional yogurt, if desired.

Serves: 30 to 40 pancakes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes

Text excerpted from YOGURT CULTURE, © 2015 by Cheryl Sternman Rule. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

(Find more delicious pancakes in 15 Brilliant Brunch Recipes for Your Best Weekend Ever.)

Photo: Photo © Ellen Silverman


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