There's no better day to kick off a healthy new year than Jan. 1, at least in my book. However, that doesn't mean I'll give up my New Year's brunches or sparkling mimosas. Instead of high-calorie waffles or fat-laden hollandaise, I'm going to kick off 2015 with a brunch that's not only delicious but super healthy too.
From whole-wheat pancakes made with Champagne to the best bacon jam, you won't miss the calories when you're indulging in these dishes. Sticking to your New Year's resolutions has never been so fun, chic or tasty.
Overnight vegetarian strata recipe
Adapted from Southern Living
Strata is huge with my family, especially on the holidays. Except with our stratas, they're loaded with cheese, sausage and tons of bacon. This lightened-up version is completely vegetarian but still packed with great flavor from the addition of fresh herbs. If you'd rather use just one kind of wheat bread, feel free to substitute either type in for 5 cups total.
Prep time: 22 minutes | Inactive time: 8 hours | Cook time: 30 minutes | Total time: 9 hours
- 3 cups chopped whole-wheat baguette
- 2 cups sliced and chopped whole-wheat, low-calorie bread
- 2 cups part-skim cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup (about 1 large) chopped onion
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups low-sodium, low-calorie vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
- 8 large eggs, beaten
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped thyme
- 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- Place the bread in a large 9 x 13-inch baking dish, and make sure it covers the bottom. Sprinkle the top with cheese.
- Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Add the onions, and cook until just softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the flour until coated. Add the broth 1/2 cup at a time, whisking well after each addition. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for about 6 to 8 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat, and mix in the Greek yogurt.
- Place the eggs into another bowl.
- Add 1/4 of the yogurt mixture to the eggs, and whisk well. Add the remaining yogurt mixture, and pour over the egg casserole. Stir in the fresh herbs, salt and pepper.
- Cover tightly with foil or saran wrap, and chill for at least 6 to 8 hours. Once chilled, remove from the fridge, and bring up to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the foil and saran wrap, and bake for about 30 minutes. Serve with additional fresh herbs.
Whole-wheat blueberry pancakes with fresh berries recipe
These light-as-air pancakes are made with a very special ingredient — Champagne! This makes every pancake even fluffier than before. And even when they're topped with low-sugar cranberry sauce and homemade whipped cream, you'll be shocked at just how light these hotcakes are.
Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes | Total time: 25 minutes
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1 cup skim milk
- 4 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 cup Champagne
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup chopped cranberries
For the topping
- 2 cups cranberries
- 2 cups sugar-free orange juice
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- Whipped cream (optional)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, milk and applesauce. Set aside.
- In another bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder and sugar. Mix the flour mixture into the milk mixture, alternating with the Champagne. Gently fold in the blueberries and cranberries. Let sit for about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Scoop the pancake batter (in 1/4-cup portions) onto the hot skillet. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side.
- To make the sauce, mix together the cranberries, juice and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Reduce to low, and let cook until the sauce has thickened, about 8 minutes. Press the cranberries with the back of a spoon to smash.
- Serve the pancakes stacked with fresh whipped cream (optional) and cranberry sauce.
Bacon bloody mary jam recipe
Adapted from Martha Stewart
If you can't start a brunch without a bloody mary, then this jam is for you. Every bite tastes like your favorite morning cocktail, only with the addition of bacon! The best part about this jam is that it's very low in sugar but high in protein, making it a healthy start to your day.
Prep time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 3 hours | Total time: 3 hours 30 minutes
- 1-1/2 pounds bacon
- 4 shallots, peeled and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2-1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 cup bloody mary mix
- Salt and pepper
- Toast, for spreading
- Spray a skillet over medium heat with nonstick cooking spray. Add the shallots and garlic, and cook until softened, about 6 to 8 minutes. In the basin of a slow cooker, mix together the chopped bacon, shallots, garlic, apple cider vinegar, honey, brown sugar, maple syrup and bloody mary mix. Stir in salt and pepper.
- Let cook for about 3 hours on low until thickened, stirring after every 45 minutes or so.
- Serve over toast, and enjoy.
Perfect low-sugar sherbet and sparkling cranberry and blueberry cocktail recipe
Forget juice — add some homemade sherbet to your morning cocktail. These elegant cocktails are made with low-sugar, low-calorie raspberry sherbet and are topped with our favorite brut Champagne. If you're not a fan of raspberries, then sub in other fresh berries, like blueberries, blackberries or strawberries.
Prep time: 20 minutes | Inactive time: 4 hours | Total time: 4 hours 20 minutes
For the sherbet
- 1-1/2 cups frozen raspberries
- 1/2 cup low-fat milk
- 1/4 cup light cream
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cocktail
- 1 bottle Champagne or sparkling wine
- Fresh raspberries, cranberries and blueberries, for garnish
- To make the sherbet, add the raspberries, milk, cream, sugar and vanilla extract to a blender, and blend until smooth.
- In the frozen canister of an ice cream maker, mix the sherbet for about 15 to 20 minutes or until thick and creamy. Freeze for about 4 hours or until it reaches your desired consistency.
- To serve, use an ice cream scoop to add 1 scoop each to 8 Champagne glasses. Top with Champagne and mixed berries.
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