Brunch is, by far, the best meal in the universe. For one, you can pop open a bottle of champagne at 10 a.m. without any judgment. Secondly, you can order a hamburger with a fried egg on it and a side order of cinnamon rolls without the waiter giving you an “um, we don’t do that.” And third, you can trick your friends into thinking you are a) famous or b) trendy because brunch is the new happy hour.
Skinny Brunch on a skinny budget
As awesome and totally fabulous as brunch is, broke ladies like myself can’t responsibly drop 45 buckaroos on a meal and one mimosa without having my lights turned off at home. In addition to being pricy, most of the options on the brunch menu are very high in fat, carbohydrates and calories, which lead to bloat, gas and general discomfort for the rest of the day. My favorite choice, eggs Benedict, can contain up to 1,000 calories and 50 grams of fat when prepared in a restaurant. To put that in perspective, that is 1/2 the amount of calories you are supposed to have a day if you are trying to maintain your weight (much less lose it). Instead of falling for the calorie trap, I decided to lighten up this favorite by serving the eggs on artichoke bottoms and whipping up my own version of hollandaise with non fat yogurt and lemon juice.
The end result was very different, but still very good. Plus, I shaved off 400 calories and 35 grams of fat preparing it my own way. Why waste your day’s calories on just one meal? I’d rather have some calories left over for a bowl of ice cream or an extra mimosa. That is what we, as foodies, like to call having our cake and eating it too.
In addition to being lighter and better for your body, these skinny benes are great for your wallet! For less than $15 dollars, I had a bottle of champagne, a jug of orange juice, 3 mini skinny benes, 2 pieces of turkey bacon and a fresh fruit bowl. Now that, friends, is a brunch worth bragging about!
Recipe adapted from Eating Well.
Recipe makes 2 servings of 3.
- 6 canned artichoke bottoms (about 1 can) rinsed out
- 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 3 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano, divided, plus extra for garnish
- 4 pieces of turkey bacon
- 2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon water
- 4 large eggs
- 2 large egg whites
- 2 tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Grease bottom of a cookie sheet with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Place artichoke bottoms, top-side down, on sheet. Sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of oregano until artichokes are seasoned. Roast until the artichokes are just beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. If you want your artichokes a bit crispier, roast for 2-4 additional minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice and water in a small bowl until smooth. Beat eggs and egg whites in a large bowl.
- On medium heat, cook bacon on a frying pan until crispy. Set aside.
- Heat the remaining 3 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the eggs and cook, being sure to move around & scramble on pan. Remove from the heat and mix in cream cheese, additional oregano and salt and pepper.
- To serve, spoon eggs into the artichoke bottoms. Top eggs with crumbled bacon and a spoonful of yogurt sauce. Garnish with additional oregano and enjoy!