Pining for the days when Sunday mornings were spent over brunch, coffee, and catching up with friends? Upgrade your stay-at-home brunch with these tasty recipes from Friedman’s Zoe Gregorace.
Brunch. It’s the ultimate “treat yourself” meal, and an excuse to enjoy a few mimosas on a Sunday afternoon. Since we’re currently unable to lounge at our favorite eatery, it’s the perfect opportunity to revamp the brunch experience we all know and love! I like to call it: “Brunch: Quarantine Edition”. While it’s fun to taste test different menu items and explore new eateries, brunch cuisine can easily be replicated from the comfort of your own kitchen. Instead of dining on overpriced avocado toast, why not make it yourself and save the money? With a few staple grocery items and a spark of creativity, any home chef can transform the mundane weekend breakfast situation into a delectable array of dishes worthy of a 5-star Yelp rating.
Without further ado, here are some of my favorite ways to prepare brunch at home!
Chocolate Chip Banana Oat Pancakes
A healthy spin on a classic brunch staple!
- 1 ripe banana
- ⅓ cup rolled oats
- 2 eggs
- Dash of cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Chocolate chips
- Optional toppings: creamy peanut butter, banana slices, more chocolate chips
- Heat skillet to low-medium heat and spray with cooking oil.
- Blend ingredients together or mash together using a fork.
- Pour batter onto skillet. Flip when bubbles form along edges.
- Once pancakes are golden brown on both sides, top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
For some, brunch is merely an excuse to have dessert for breakfast… and I’m totally on board with that! Whereas pancakes might not be the healthiest thing to order on the menu, this recipe is a healthier spin on the classic brunch order. Instead of using boxed pancake mix, these pancakes only require three main ingredients—banana, oats, and eggs. Compared to flour-based mix, this oat-based recipe is more nutrient dense and contains more fiber, which will help keep you full and regulate your blood sugar. The 1/3c of oats contributes 3g of dietary fiber whereas the typical pancake-mix offers 1g per serving. Depending on how much texture you want, you can either blend the ingredients together or work on your forearm strength by mashing them together using a fork. Personally, I prefer popping everything into my magic bullet and blending away, as it saves time and energy. But if you don’t have a blender, I promise that thicker pancakes taste just as good, if not better! After you combine the banana, oats, eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla, heat up a greased skillet and pour in the batter. With pancakes, it’s important to cook them low and slow to avoid charring. Before flipping, sprinkle some chocolate chips, or any fruit of your choice, on top of the batter and wait for tiny bubbles to form along the edges of your pancake. Bubble formation is a sure sign that it’s time to flip! Once you’ve cooked all of the batter, you can spread some peanut butter between pancakes like a sandwich or just add a generous spoonful on top of the stack. Finish it off with some more chocolate chips and banana slices.
Pesto Avocado Toast
Step up your avocado toast game with this delectable combo!
- 2 slices of whole grain bread
- 2 eggs
- ½ avocado
- 2 tbsp pesto
- Sprinkle of dill
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Optional: fresh greens
- Toast your bread and mash the avocado on top of the crispy surface.
- Cook two eggs, any style.
- Add fresh greens, like spinach or arugula, on top of the avocado mash.
- Season the mashed avocado with salt, pepper, and dill, and drizzle on your pesto.
- Layer the eggs over the pesto-covered avocado mash and enjoy!
This isn’t your average avocado toast. And if you’ve never had eggs and pesto before, I am happy to take full credit for introducing you to this iconic combination! Over the past few years, avocado toast has exploded in popularity! Not only does the fruit provide a creamy spread for perfectly crisp bread, but it contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and fiber. The oleic acid found in avocado can reduce inflammation and LDL cholesterol levels. As with any avocado toast recipe, you’re going to first toast your bread and mash the avocado on top of the crispy surface. If you want to multitask, you can fry up two eggs while the bread is toasting—either sunny-side up or over easy. If you want to increase your daily serving of vegetables, you can add fresh greens, like spinach or arugula, to top the avocado mash. You may also customize this dish by adding sliced cherry tomatoes or sautéed onions to the mash. Next, season the mashed avocado with salt, pepper, and dill, and drizzle on your pesto. Lastly, layer the eggs over the pesto-covered avocado mash and enjoy!
Ginger Spice French Toast
Ginger, spice, and everything nice!
- 2 Slices of bread (I used Food For Life Ezekiel Bread)
- 2 eggs⠀
- Splash of unsweetened almond milk⠀
- Sprinkle of cinnamon⠀
- 1 tsp vanilla ⠀
- 1 tsp almond extract⠀
- 1/2 tsp ginger powder
- Optional toppings: 2 tbsp creamy peanut butter, handful of blueberries
- Heat skillet to low-medium heat and spray with cooking oil.
- Add eggs, almond milk, vanilla, almond extract, cinnamon, and ginger powder into a bowl. Whisk together.
- Place slices of bread in the bowl, letting the bread soak up the liquid mixture for about 2 minutes on each side.
- Place bread slices on the skillet.
- Once slices are golden brown on both sides, top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
French toast is the star of the show when it comes to brunch. To start, get a bowl or a rectangular Tupperware container. Crack in the eggs, add the almond milk, vanilla, almond extract, cinnamon, and ginger powder. For this recipe, I use almond milk because I enjoy the taste but, you can use dairy or other types of non-dairy milk based on your personal preference. Whisk together with a fork and place a slice of bread in the bowl, letting the bread soak up the liquid mixture for about 2 minutes on each side. Once the bread is saturated, place it in a heated pan. While one piece of bread is cooking, repeat the same steps with your second slice of bread. This multi-tasking will speed up the cooking process. If you want your French toast to be “stuffed,” you can create a layer of peanut butter and blueberries on top of the first cooked piece of bread. Not only is this flavor combination delicious, but the peanut butter adds a nice source of fats and plant-based protein. The warm bread will melt the peanut butter and once the second piece has cooked, you can sandwich the two slices together for extra melty PB goodness! I would suggest using a natural peanut butter that contains one ingredient: peanuts. Other nut butters, like almond butter and cashew butter, are also great alternatives.
While we’re all stuck sheltering in place and left to our own devices to satisfy that brunch craving, why not take advantage of this time to sharpen up those kitchen skills. Who knows, you might even impress yourself and convince your friends never to dish out $14 for avocado toast again!
Zoe Gregorace is a second-year Food and Nutrition Policy and Programs student at Friedman, interested in nutrition communication and increasing industry transparency. In her free time, she enjoys writing recipe articles, photographing her culinary creations and sharing them on her Instagram page @whatzoeeeats.