New Year’s Brunch

If good luck and prosperity are on your list for 2019, you are likely planning to indulge in a plate of collard greens and black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. Because brunch is one of my favorite meals and I love to embrace southern food traditions, I created this New Year’s Brunch dish that will leave you with a happy belly and hopefully a prosperous year ahead. If you prefer to eat your greens and peas like your grandmother prepared them, leftovers would be delicious in this brunch recipe the next day. Cheers to a healthy, happy and successful year ahead.

Ingredients for Gouda Grits:
2 cups water
½ cup grits
½ cup gouda cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon half and half
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Ingredients for Sautéed Greens and Peas:
2 cups water
1 bunch collard greens
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 ounce) can of black-eyed peas, no salt added
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons cider vinegar

Ingredients for New Year’s Brunch:
¼ serving of Gouda Grits
¼ serving of Sautéed Greens and Peas
4 eggs, fried to preference

Directions:

  1. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add grits, stir and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add gouda, half and half, salt and pepper. Stir until cheese melts and set aside on low heat to keep warm.
  2. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Meanwhile, wash the collard greens and remove the stems. Add greens to the boiling water, reduce to low heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain greens in a colander and use the back of a wooden spoon to gently press out any excess water.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add collard greens and sauté for 5 minutes, until tender. Add peas to the skillet of greens and stir to combine. Continue cooking for a couple of minutes until peas are warm. Add, salt, pepper and vinegar, and sauté for another minute, stirring to evenly coat.
  4. Add Gouda Grits to the center of four plates and top with Sautéed Greens and Peas. Top each plate with a fried egg and serve.

Servings: 4

Green Eggs Benedict with Hoecakes

Served over hoecakes, made from fresh ground cornmeal, this is a southern version of Dr. Suess’ breakfast, minus the ham. Sautéed kale and a light avocado sauce give this traditional egg dish two shades of green and a healthy makeover. Add ham for Sam or smoked salmon for a seafood take. Create a make-your-own Eggs Benedict station for brunch guests, along with a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar.

Hoecake Ingredients:
¾ cup cornmeal
¼ cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
canola oil, for greasing the griddle

Green Eggs Benedict Ingredients:
1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled
Juice of 1 small lemon
4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
¾ cup water
a couple pinches of salt and pepper
1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves chopped, or 5 ounces baby kale
8 eggs, poached or over-easy

Directions:

  1. Prepare a griddle over medium heat. In a large bowl, make the hoecake batter by stirring together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. Add the egg and buttermilk and whisk to combine.
  2. Lightly brush griddle with canola oil. Ladle the batter onto the griddle, working in batches to create 8 hoecakes. Cook until bubbles start to form on the top and the bottom is golden brown. Flip and cook until the other side is golden brown and the center is cooked through. Place cooked hoecakes on a serving platter and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Repeat with the rest of the batter, adding remaining oil to the griddle as needed.
  3. Place avocado in a blender or food processor. Add lemon juice, 2 teaspoons canola oil, water and a pinch of salt and pepper. Puree until smooth, adding more water as needed to reach desired consistency.
  4. Heat remaining oil in a medium skillet and add kale leaves. Sauté until wilted, for about 3 to 4 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  5. Top each hoecake with sautéed kale and an egg. Drizzle with avocado sauce and serve.

Servings: 8

Acorn Squash and Swiss Chard Mini Frittatas

There is no better way to spend Thanksgiving morning than with a breakfast that tastes like fall. Loaded with acorn squash and Swiss chard, these mini frittatas are a healthy way to fuel up for a day of holiday cooking. This is also an excellent dish to serve for brunch with whole wheat toast, bacon and a Bloody Mary. If you are lucky enough to have leftovers, they are delicious reheated on a busy workday morning.

Ingredients:
1 bunch Swiss chard
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and diced
1 acorn squash, peeled and diced
2½ ounces goat cheese, crumbled
7 eggs
1 cup skim or low-fat milk
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly spray a 24 cup mini-muffin tin with cooking spray.
  2. Remove ribs and stems from Swiss chard and dice. Roughly chop chard leaves and set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until tender. Add squash and chard ribs and stems and cook while occasionally stirring until golden brown and tender, about 7 or 8 minutes. Add Swiss chard leaves to skillet and stir for a couple of minutes until wilted.
  4. Fill the mini-muffin cups with the sautéed vegetables and top with equal amounts of goat cheese.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables, filling the muffin cups to the rim.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until frittata tops are lightly golden.

Servings: 8

 

Sausage, Kale and Smoked Gouda Frittata

Frittatas are one of my favorite one-pan meals to serve for breakfast, brunch or dinner. They are so versatile and can be made with any of your favorite vegetables, meats and cheeses. This one incorporates fresh kale, sausage and smoked gouda for a combination that will please both meat and vegetable lovers alike. It pairs well with homemade hash browns and freshly squeezed orange juice.

Ingredients:
½ pound ground mild sausage
1 medium bunch kale, trimmed and chopped
6 eggs
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup low-fat milk
¾ cup smoked gouda, shredded

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Heat an 8-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and cook sausage until browned. Drain grease from skillet and return to stovetop.
3. Add kale to skillet in two batches and sauté until wilted, about 5 minutes total.
4. Beat eggs with a whisk in a medium bowl. Stir in salt, pepper, milk and gouda.
5. Pour egg mixture over kale and sausage and gently stir to evenly distribute. Let the eggs start to set for 1 to 2 minutes without stirring. Place skillet in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the eggs are set and the frittata is lightly browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Servings: 4