Healthy Brunch | foodsciencenerd.com

I apologize for the 2 month blog starvation– but here are TWO recipes for the best brunch ever!

Posted on Posted in Nutrition Information, Recipes

The good news is, I’m one semester and one personal statement closer to becoming a real dietitian!  The other good news is:

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE!!!

With that, I’ll be posting a few of my favorite recipes today that may or may not have been inspired by the fact that they’re part of our family’s Christmas present this year (no peeking!).  The first recipe of today is for Crustless Zucchini Feta Quiche.  It’s actually my favorite breakfast food ever.  Conveniently enough, I already had this recipe written down because I used it as the “feature recipe” for my Applied Foodservice Management project, a hypothetical restaurant called Victus & Vino that we all wish wasn’t actually hypothetical.  The second recipe is being pulled out of the back of my mind and it may not actually work, but it’s worth a shot– Whole Wheat Cinnamon Ricotta Pancakes.

These recipes were inspired on a day last summer when I woke up craving one of Panera’s 500 calorie souffles (ironic, considering I’m sitting at Panera writing this).  I didn’t feel like leaving home, nor did I feel like sitting around all fat, guilty, and still hungry after.  Instead, I scrounged around our fridge and came up with this:

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Quiche, pancakes, cinnamon applesauce, and plain yogurt with granola. Served with coffee here, but it would also go well with a mimosa…

Crustless Zucchini, Spinach, and Feta Quiche
Makes 6 individual 4-inch quiches (I used muffin tins and made about 8)

  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium zucchini, diced small
  • 2 c cooked, drained spinach
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups cold low-fat (1%) milk
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 ounces feta, crumbled
  • ½ c grated romano or parmesan
  1. Turn the oven temperature to 350°F.  Spray 6 4-inch tart pans with nonstick spray.
  2. To make the filling, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pan and heat. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring twice, until they have begun to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the spinach and stir in the salt, black pepper, mustard, thyme, and oregano. Take off the heat.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and flour until the flour is dissolved. Add the eggs and egg whites and whisk until well combined.
  4. Mix the feta and romano into the veggies and pour into individual 4-inch tart shells.  Pour the egg mixture on top. Bake until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, 20 to 30  minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the tart pans and serving.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Ricotta Pancakes
(Makes a lot… depending on how big you make them!)

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh ricotta
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk (or 1 1/4 c skim with 1 1/2 T vinegar whisked in)
  • Lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch cream of tartar
  1. Mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the ricotta, oil, buttermilk, lemon zest and vanilla extract.
  2. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid mixture. Mix together until flour is just incorporated.
  3. In a small bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer (I used a whisk and elbow grease), beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter just until incorporated.
  4. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
  5. Heat a nonstick pan or cast iron griddle over medium heat. Add a pat of butter (or cooking spray) and heat until the butter just begins to sizzle. Scoop a scant 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan or onto the griddle and cook until bubbles appear on the top surface and the bottom is golden brown, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Flip over and cook until the bottom is lightly golden brown, about 45 seconds. Remove to a baking sheet and keep warm in a low oven. Repeat with remaining batter.

The best thing about this brunch is that all of it together is only about 500 calories. Now which would you rather have– one measly souffle or this entire overflowing plate of food??

Whole Wheat Ricotta Pancakes and Crustless Spinach Quiche

Whole Wheat Ricotta Pancakes and Crustless Spinach Quiche

Ingredients

    For the pancakes:
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh ricotta
  • Cinnamon to taste
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk (or 1 1/4 c skim with 1 1/2 T vinegar whisked in)
  • Lemon zest
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch cream of tartar
  • For the quiche:
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium zucchini, diced small
  • 2 cups cooked, drained spinach
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups cold low-fat (1%) milk
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 oz feta, crumbled
  • ½ cup grated romano or parmesan

Directions

    For the quiche:
  1. Turn the oven temperature to 350°F. Spray 6 4-inch tart pans with nonstick spray.
  2. To make the filling, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pan and heat. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring twice, until they have begun to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the spinach and stir in the salt, black pepper, mustard, thyme, and oregano. Take off the heat.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and flour until the flour is dissolved. Add the eggs and egg whites and whisk until well combined.
  4. Mix the feta and romano into the veggies and pour into individual 4-inch tart shells. Pour the egg mixture on top. Bake until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean, 20 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the tart pans and serving.
  5. For the pancakes:
  6. Mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the ricotta, oil, buttermilk, lemon zest and vanilla extract.
  7. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid mixture. Mix together until flour is just incorporated.
  8. In a small bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer (I used a whisk and elbow grease), beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter just until incorporated.
  9. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
  10. Heat a nonstick pan or cast iron griddle over medium heat. Add a pat of butter (or cooking spray) and heat until the butter just begins to sizzle. Scoop a scant 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan or onto the griddle and cook until bubbles appear on the top surface and the bottom is golden brown, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Flip over and cook until the bottom is lightly golden brown, about 45 seconds. Remove to a baking sheet and keep warm in a low oven. Repeat with remaining batter.
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I'd love to hear your thoughts!