It’s easy to scoff at every Sunday morning Instagram caption under an eggs Benedict calling brunch a “way of life” as you scroll from under the covers, but the moment you, yourself, are the one donning the oversized button up shirt, leggings, and sunglasses (to shield your eyes from the sun made painful by a late night out), sitting at a table ready to gossip over pancakes and mimosas, the cult that is brunch is one that you are ready to subscribe to—signed, sealed, and delivered. Brunch is a meal, a social activity, and a conversation topic all in one bacon-wrapped package—but the recipes for it don’t have to be complicated.
The brunch menu marries sweet, savory, and bottomless options perfectly, and it is perfectly timed to accommodate for an extra hour of sleep, but still get you going in time to have a full weekend day. That said, the classic brunch recipes can get repetitive and, in a time where restaurants are still in the lift off stages of opening up, a unique twist on brunch from the comfort of your own home is a way to make a weekend morning an event to share with yourself (and a Netflix marathon), your S.O., roomie, or quarantine pod (even if it’s just steps away from your duvet).
Easy, unique brunch recipes to make this weekend
1. One Pan Roasted Vegetable Hash
This one pan recipe is a versatile and easy way to use last night’s veggie leftovers and any seasonal produce you have in the fridge all at once. It’s nutritious, flavorful, and, since you’re only using one pan, requires barely any clean up. What’s brunch without a hash?
2 cups squash, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 large fresh beet, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 cup French lentils, cooked
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
2 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp water
1/2 tsp caraway
1. Preheat the oven to 400℉.
2. Toss the cut squash and beets with melted coconut oil, garlic, ginger and season with salt.
3. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until vegetables are golden, about 25 to 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
4. Add tomatoes and cooked lentils, continue to cook about 10 minutes.
5. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
2. Wild Rice Porridge
This easy porridge recipe is a great high-fiber way to start your day. It’s an elevated, healthier, and antioxidant packed take on the classic oats that mom used to make before school, but there will be no protestations (a la: “But I wanted a PopTart) here.
1 cup uncooked wild rice
4 ½ cups water
½ cup dried cranberries
Maple syrup to taste
1. Combine wild rice, water, and dried cranberries in a medium saucepan or a rice cooker and simmer until water is gone. Rice should be overcooked and extremely soft.
2. Pour entire contents into a blender and blend.
3. Serve with pepitas, maple syrup, and dried fruit.
3. Easy Chicken Tostadas
Chicken tostadas are great for any time of day, but this totally customizable recipe means that you can make them as they are or spiff them up to look a little more like breakfast too! The recipe itself is gluten-free and high in protein, but for an extra boost, try topping them with an egg.
1/2 small cabbage
1 carrot, grated
1 handful cilantro, coarsely chopped (leaves and stems)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 peeled garlic clove
1/4 small white or yellow onion
1 (11.4 oz) package tostadas
1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 to 3/4 tsp ground cumin
1 lime, quartered
Hot sauce of choice
1 (14-ounce) container Mexican crema
1. Preheat the oven to 425°
2. Cut cabbage in half and slice thinly.
3. Place in a bowl with the grated carrot and chopped cilantro.
4. Salt everything generously and toss to combine.
5. In a small cup or bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon olive oil and the apple cider vinegar. Pour over the slaw and toss again to combine. Cover the slaw with an airtight lid and chill in the refrigerator while you finish the remaining items.
6. Place the chicken thighs in a medium bowl and add 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and the ground black pepper, and mix until the meat is evenly coated
7. Arrange the meat on the baking sheet and bake until tender and browned at the edges, about 20 minutes.
8. While the meat cooks, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium frying pan, over medium heat. When hot, add the peeled garlic clove and onion wedge and cook until blistered and golden brown, about four minutes.
9. Add the drained beans in one quick pour, along with a 1/2 cup of water.
10. Mash the beans until they’re half smooth, half lumpy, adding more water if the beans look too pasty or dry.
11. Stir in the cumin and salt to taste and reduce heat to low.
12. Cover and cook for five minutes, stirring once or twice to make sure they don’t stick.
13. Once the chicken is done, let it cool for a few minutes, then chop it into small, bite-size pieces.
14. To prepare tostadas, place one tostada on a plate and add a slather of refried beans. Top with chicken and a hefty serving of the chilled slaw. Garnish with dollops of crema, a spritz of lime and a drizzle of hot sauce.
4. Simple Coconut Smoothie Bowl
Going out and paying $16 for a smoothie bowl sometimes feels blasphemous. Nutritionist, Maya Feller, is to the rescue here with this vitamin, mineral, antioxidant, and healthy fat packed option that you can make for yourself at home. The toppings are interchangeable so it’s also easy to use whatever you have on hand to spruce up your bowl.
1 can full-fat coconut milk, frozen
1 can coconut cream, chilled
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
2 Tbsp chocolate chips
2 Tbsp toasted coconut flakes
1. Freeze coconut milk in an ice cube tray.
2. Remove frozen coconut cubes and set aside.
3. Place frozen cubes, coconut cream and maple syrup into a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth.
4. Top with walnuts, chocolate chips, coconut flakes and blueberries.
5. Quick and Savory Radish Pancakes
Who said pancakes have to be sweet? This savory iteration on the fan fave is similar to a scallion pancake and great for any time of day.
500g daikon radish (grated)
6 green onions (chopped)
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp toasted white sesame seeds
1½ tsp salt
½ cups plain flour
2 Tbsp potato starch
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp white pepper
Neutral vegetable oil for frying
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp water
½ tsp sesame oil
½ tsp sesame seeds
1. Grate the radish into a mixing bowl and combine with the remaining ingredients. Adjust the consistency with additional flour or water as necessary. It should be a thick pancake batter.
2. Test the batter by making one small pancake. Season to taste.
3. Heat a generous amount of oil in a nonstick pan over medium-high heat and spoon batter into rounds or make one big pancake. When the underside is golden brown, flip and cook the other side for a few minutes. Cook on both sides one more time to crisp the pancake.
4. Serve immediately with dipping sauce.
6. Pumpkin Pie Squash Breakfast Bowl
It’s hard to say no to pie for breakfast. This 4 ingredient masterpiece is quick and easy to make, looks beautiful, is majorly anti-inflammatory, and tastes just like your Thanksgiving fave.
2 small acorn squash or pumpkin
⅓ cup maple syrup
2 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 cup nut butter
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup coconut milk or plant milk
1⅓ tsp pumpkin spice
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp maple syrup
Pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1. Stir all chia pudding ingredients together and either stirring every few minutes until the pudding starts to thicken—the seeds will sink to the bottom unless you keep stirring. Once it starts to thicken, pour into a covered glass container and chill overnight.
2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Slice the acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place the squash on a parchment-lined baking sheet flesh side up.
3. Combine nut butter, maple syrup, and cinnamon in a glass, and pour some into each squash half equally, and rub it into the sides and on the top using your fingers. Roast the squash in the oven for 25 minutes until it starts to turn brown.
4. Get your toppings ready, slice the dates, banana, fruits, granola, and dried fruit. Remove from the oven and let them cool slightly for about 5 minutes. Fill with chia pudding, your desired toppings and then finish with a drizzle of honey and sprinkled cinnamon.
7. Anti-Inflammatory Carrot Cake Smoothie
Smoothies are a breakfast staple. This carrot cake inspired drink takes less than 5 minutes to make and only requires 7 ingredients. It’s a refreshing, energizing, and delicious add on to any meal.
1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
1 small carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground nutmeg
1 cup oatmilk
1. Place all of the ingredients together in a blender and puree until smooth.
2. Pour into a glass. Enjoy immediately!
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