I’m pretty bad at all those get fit, over-haul-your-diet kind of New Year’s resolutions. I’ve decided, instead, to end this year on a healthy note. Kind of a tall order considering Christmas cookies and New Year’s drinks, but I’m pretty determined to get a jump on all the healthy promises I make to myself come January 1st. The thing is, I like sweet and yummy. Is that a crime?! I think not. These recipes will have you thinking you’re in the Matrix because they’re so damn good, and so good for you. This is not a dream, Neo, it’s just Christmas brunch. You must try this!
Make Ahead Baked Gingerbread Pecan French Toast
- 1 loaf hearty white bread, sliced
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup brewed gingerbread coffee (see note if you don’t have gingerbread coffee on hand)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Butter a baking dish generously.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, coffee, vanilla and spices.
- Arrange the bread in the baking dish in a staggered (staircase-like) manner.
- Pour the liquid over the top of the bread, fully coating each piece.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Take the plastic wrap off the baking dish and spoon whatever liquid has not been absorbed over the tops of the bread.
- Sprinkle the nuts and brown sugar on top and bake for 35-40 minutes until the liquid is cooked and the tops of the bread are starting to turn golden brown. You can broil for 1-2 minutes at the end for an even more toasted look.
- Remove from the oven, garnish with powdered sugar if desired and serve warm with maple syrup and butter.
Winter Fruit Salad
- 2 large ruby red grapefruit, peeled and segmented
- 2-3 navel oranges, peeled and segmented
- 2-3 medium pears, any variety, cored and sliced
- 2 ripe persimmons, thinly sliced
- Juice of 1 large lemon
- 1 pomegranate
- 1 small bunch fresh mint, cut into thin ribbons, or torn into pieces
- Place the citrus fruit, pears, and persimmons into a serving bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice over the top and set aside.
- Cut the pomegranate in half horizontally. Working over a bowl set in the bottom of the kitchen sink, hold the pomegranate in your hand, cut-side down. Hit the back of the pomegranate with a wooden spoon. The seeds will fall from the membranes into the bowl. Fill the bowl with cool water. Any of the leftover membranes will rise to the top and can easily be separated from the seeds. Drain and sprinkle over the top of the other fruit.
- Sprinkle the fresh mint over the top and serve immediately.
Quinoa Granola With Cranberry and Pistachio
- 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well to remove bitterness and well-drained
- 1/4 cup slivered raw almonds
- 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
- 1/4 cup golden flax seeds
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl combine the quinoa, almonds, pistachios,and flax seeds; stir well. Heat the maple syrup and the coconut oil in a small microwave-safe bowl on high for 20 seconds. Stir in the cinnamon, and salt then pour the wet ingredients over the dry and toss to coat.
- Spread the quinoa mixture in a thin layer overthe prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown, stirring twice during the cook time. Add the chopped cranberries during the last 5 minutes of cook time.
- Cool completely on the baking sheet, as it cools the granola will harden and begin to clump together. When cooled break up any large pieces of granola into small clusters and store for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
- Serve along side yogurt or with milk
Simple Kale Frittata
- 8-10 kale leaves, stems removed
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 6 extra large (or 8 large) eggs
- 2-3 Tablespoons milk (non-dairy, unsweetened is fine)
- a little water
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Wash the kale well, dry and rip into pieces or cut into ribbons.
- Heat olive oil in a large, 10-inch non-stick or cast iron skillet. Add the diced onion and cook until it softens and turns golden brown, about 15 minutes. (You can speed up the process by adding some water to the skillet and letting it evaporate as the onions cook.)
- Add the garlic and kale to the pan along with a little water to keep the kale from sticking to the pan. Continue cooking and season well with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, whisk the eggs with the milk. Add a little more salt and pepper to the eggs. When the kale has wilted and cooked down, remove the pan from the heat and pour the eggs over the kale and rearrange as necessary so everything is evenly distributed in the pan.
- Place pan in the oven and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until eggs are set. Let cool slightly before cutting into wedges.
- Serve with home fries.