A sophisticated start
Mozzarella and nectarine skewers with pesto
Juicy nectarines make a sweet complement to the rich mozzarella cheese and savory pesto. The combination of textures and tastes makes a great starter to put out as guests arrive. The calcium and protein in the cheese will fill them up without ruining their appetites for the delicious courses to come. And using fruit on the skewers, instead of bread, saves calories.
Try this recipe: Mozzarella and Nectarine Skewers With Pesto
Almond ciabatta French toast
This slightly sweet version of French toast will win over breakfast enthusiasts everywhere. A dash of vanilla and almond extracts gives a hint of sweetness to the ciabatta bread, while maintaining its hearty taste. Using egg whites and low-fat milk keeps saturated fat low, while heart-healthy almonds add a boost of protein.
Try this recipe: Almond Ciabatta French Toast
Asparagus with poached eggs and Parmesan
This unique blend of eggs and asparagus is reminiscent of your favorite eggs Benedict recipe: You get the poached eggs and a hollandaise flavor from the sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, without the added calories. Asparagus, a seasonal spring veggie, is full of vitamin K and folic acid, which keeps your cardiovascular system healthy. Plus, with 18 grams of protein, you'll have plenty of energy for the rest of the day.
Try this recipe: Asparagus With Poached Eggs and Parmesan
Crunchy zucchini rounds with sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese
These bite-size snacks are little bursts of flavor for less than 30 calories per round. Zucchini is rich in fiber and provides a crisp base for the savory sun-dried tomatoes and tangy goat cheese. Fresh chives and a dab of extra-virgin olive oil add a rich quality to this light side dish.
Try this recipe: Crunchy Zucchini Rounds With Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese
Though there's nothing healthy about butter, adding strawberries to the mix adds cancer-fighting antioxidants. Plus, with such a rich, sweet flavor, you'll only need a light swipe on top of your toast.
Try this recipe: Strawberry Butter
By making your own lemon juice, as opposed to buying the packaged variety, you avoid unwanted additives. Not only does lemon juice contain plenty of vitamin C, but it is also a powerful antibiotic. The citrus flavor adds gives a tart kick to the other sweet and savory brunch courses.
Try this recipe: Raspberry Lemonade
(Recipes reprinted from GALE GAND’S BRUNCH! Copyright © 2009 by Gale’s Bread and Butter, Inc. Photographs copyright © 2009 by Ben Fink. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc)