Holiday Brunch Recipes

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Often one of my holiday traditions each year is to host a breakfast / brunch on one of the last shopping days before Christmas. Friends can drop in on their way to do last minute Christmas errands, and can share some delicious food and recipes. Each year I try to do something different so they can try before repeating on their own families! This year I am trying to use some “lightened” up recipes for everyone to sample!!

Baked Apple Cinnamon French Toast


  • 3 cups nonfat milk
  • 2 cups liquid egg whites
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 1-pound loaf sliced whole wheat bread
  • 1 cup chopped dried apples, (3 ounces)
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar


  1. Whisk milk, egg whites, honey, vanilla and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Trim crusts off 8 bread slices and set aside. Cut the crusts and the remaining bread into 1-inch pieces. Toss with dried apples, raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg in another large bowl.
  3. Coat a 9 × 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Transfer the bread mixture to the pan. Lay the reserved crustless slices evenly on top, trimming to fit. Whisk the milk mixture one more time, then pour evenly over the bread. Press the bread down with the back of a wooden spoon, making sure it’s evenly moist. Cover with parchment paper, then foil, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake the casserole, covered, for 40 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until puffed, set and lightly browned, about 20 minutes more. Let stand for 10 minutes; dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve.

Serves 12. Each serving contains: 183 calories, 1 g fat, 1 mg cholesterol, 33 g carbohydrate, 10 g protein, 4 g fiber, 344 mg sodium.

Mini Sausage and Mushroom Quiches


  • 8 ounces turkey breakfast sausage, removed from casing and crumbled into small pieces (you can buy turkey sausage crumbles too)
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped onions
  • ¼ cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 5 eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup 1% milk


  1. Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 325°F. Coat a nonstick muffin tin generously with cooking spray.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Add oil to the pan. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to the bowl with the sausage. Let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in scallions, cheese and pepper.
  3. Whisk eggs, egg whites and milk in a medium bowl. Divide the egg mixture evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle a heaping tablespoon of the sausage mixture into each cup.
  4. Bake until the tops are just beginning to brown, 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Place a rack on top of the pan, flip it over and turn the quiches out onto the rack. Turn upright and let cool completely.

Yields 12 mini quiches. Each quiche contains: 90 calories, 5 g fat, 105 mg cholesterol, 3 g carbohydrate, 0 g added sugar, 9 g protein, 0 g fiber, 217 mg sodium.

Cranberry and Ruby Grapefruit Compote


  • 1¾ cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1¼ cup water
  • 2 strips (¾ × 2½-inch) orange zest
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup sugar (I use about half of this)
  • 1 cinnamon stick, (optional)
  • 3 large red grapefruit
  • Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish


  1. Combine cranberries, water, orange zest, orange juice, sugar and cinnamon stick (if using) in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring often, until the cranberries are tender and begin to pop, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Cover loosely and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 2 hours.
  2. An hour or two before serving prepare grapefruit: With a sharp knife, remove the skin and all the white pith from the fruit. Working over a bowl, cut the segments from their surrounding membranes. Squeeze juice from the membranes into the bowl before discarding. Add the segments and juice to the cranberry mixture. To serve, divide the compote among 6 dessert bowls and garnish with mint.

Serves 6. Each serving contains: 140 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g cholesterol, 2 mg sodium, 36 g carbohydrate, 1 g protein.

Garden Veggie Crustless Quiche


  • 1½ cups egg substitute
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ cups (6 ounces) shredded reduced-fat extra sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1½ cups (6 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • ½ cup 1% low-fat milk
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour (about 2¼ ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (16-ounce) carton fat-free cottage cheese
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 cups chopped spinach or sliced zucchini
  • 2 cups diced potato with onion (such as Simply Potatoes)
  • 1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper (about 1)
  • 1 (8-ounce) package presliced mushrooms
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Beat egg substitute and eggs in a large bowl until fluffy. Add ¾ cup cheddar cheese, ¾ cup Jack cheese, milk, flour, baking powder, salt, and cottage cheese. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add zucchini and the next 3 ingredients (through mushrooms); sauté for 5 minutes or until tender. Add the zucchini mixture and parsley to egg mixture.
  3. Pour mixture into a 3-quart casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Top with the remaining ¾ cup cheddar cheese and ¾ cup Jack cheese. Arrange tomato slices over cheese. Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (do not remove dish from oven), and bake for 35 minutes or until lightly browned and set.

Serves 10. Each serving contains: 230 calories, 7.7 g fat, 23 g protein, 18.1 g carbohydrate, 1.9 g fiber, 84 mg cholesterol, 716 mg sodium, 382 mg calcium.