With the exception of two d-word mishaps (Doritos and donuts), I've been on the four-letter-d-word wagon for a good while now. I'm down nine pounds and my stomach is starting to look ever-so-slightly less like a popped can of biscuits. Except now I want a biscuit. Oh! I want a biscuit slathered with butter and a drizzle of honey. I really love biscuits.
This is how my mind works. I think about food more than teenage boys think about...you know. So the four-letter-d-word has never worked for me because I approached it as a means of sacrifice. Of going without. Of being unsatisfied and hungry, and therefore cranky. I was setting myself up for failure. This time around, I'm eating the occasional donut and still losing weight. I'm good most of the time so I can splurge when I want. One of the biggest struggles is the social aspect of eating and drinking. I don't want to give that up, and I don't want my modified approach to food to keep me from enjoying food and drink with family and friends. It's a splurge I'm not compromising.
Enter brunch. I love brunch. Doesn't everyone? Brunch is typically a leisurely, social occasion. It's more than just a meal. Cocktails are often involved. However, brunch foods are typically laden with ingredients that result in the popped can of biscuits waistline (mmm...biscuits).
I recently challenged myself to create a brunch menu that tasted and looked decadent while keeping me on track. A visit from my mom provided the ideal opportunity. I created a menu that provided a healthy balance of sweet and savory, which totaled at less than 500 calories* - mimosa included!
The peach, oatmeal & yogurt muffins were, in my opinion, a slam dunk. Though they do include sugar, they're chock full of healthy stuff and almost fat free. I was happily eating leftover muffins for breakfast three days later.
Peach, Oatmeal & Yogurt Muffins
makes 12 large or 18 small muffins
1 cup oats
3/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup applesauce
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup dark brown sugar (loosely packed)
2 large peaches, peeled and diced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin pan using nonstick spray.
In a medium bowl, stir together oats, yogurt and vinegar until fully combined. Set aside. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. Beat eggs lightly in a large bowl. Add applesauce, vanilla and brown sugar until fully blended. Slowly add dry ingredients until fully incorporated. Stir in oat mixture. Stir in peaches. Scoop batter into muffin cups and bake 20-25 minutes, until tops of muffins are lightly browned and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool before serving.
One muffin has approximately 170 calories and 1.5 fat grams.*
I believe in making quiche only when I have time to make homemade crust, which is never. A frittata is, in my opinion, a much simpler way to enjoy eggs for brunch, and it's certainly healthier. I love using a cast iron skillet for this recipe because it creates a crispy edge to complement the fluffy eggs inside. Any variety of vegetables can be substituted in this recipe.
makes eight servings
8 large eggs
1/4 cup skim milk
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
1 tsp spicy mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup diced onion
1 tbs olive oil
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
2 cups fresh spinach, stems removed & chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut into thirds
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, hot pepper sauce, mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk lightly until fully combined. Set aside. Heat an 8" cast iron skillet over medium heat on the stovetop. Add onion & olive oil, cooking until onions become translucent. Add corn and cook until heated throughout, about two minutes. Add spinach, stirring until it becomes slightly wilted. Pour egg mixture over vegetables and continue to cook over medium heat about 5-7 minutes, or until eggs begin to pull away from the edge of the skillet. About two minutes into this process, top with tomatoes and cheese. Place the entire skillet into the oven and bake about 20 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the eggs are set. Allow to rest five minutes before serving.
When cut into eight pieces, this frittata has approximately 145 calories and 9.5 fat grams per serving.*
I rounded out the menu with fresh fruit and blood orange mimosas. One five-ounce mimosa has approximately 130 calories, which totals less than 500 calories and about 10 fat grams for the entire meal*. Cheers! Now someone hand me a donut.
*I calculated fat and calories by adding totals from individual ingredients used and dividing them by number of servings. You should know that I'm not great at math. This is probably all correct though. Your results may vary based on serving sizes, ingredients used, etc.