12 Ideas for Hosting a Healthy Holiday Breakfast or Brunch

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – it’s a season for eating and greeting and spreading good cheer! If you are hosting a morning get-together over the holidays, it needn’t be fancy or fussy to be successful. In fact, some of the best memories I have are sitting around in my pajamas after the stockings have been unstuffed and ribbons unraveled to share a leisurely breakfast with family and reminisce about the glories of yore.  When I’m in town, I also like to don my most festive “ugly” sweater and invite the neighbors over for a holiday brunch.

Check out 12 Ideas for a Healthy Holiday Breakfast or Brunch

by The Fit Fork at Foodie.com


I have to admit though, the thought of hosting breakfast or brunch sometimes intimidates me – especially knowing I’m not a graceful waker-upper. So, I like to have many of the menu items prepped ahead of time so I’m not running around like an overworked, grouchy elf in the morning. Make-ahead egg casseroles are ideal as are muffins and quick breads that can be baked a day or two earlier. Even pancakes can be cooked and kept in the freezer for a no-stress holiday breakfast celebration. Some of my favorite breakfast recipes are included in the Healthy Holiday Breakfast and Brunch collection I created for Foodie.com.

Snow Men Milk Bottles - Kid's Craft - TheFitFork.comIf your gathering is anything like mine, there will probably be at least a dozen kids racing around the Christmas tree high as flying reindeer jacked up on candy canes. I have an entertaining little activity that will slow down these busy bodies for a just a few minutes and also provide the opportunity to pump them with a wholesome glass of milk (soy, almond or whatever!).  These Snowman Milk Bottles are adorable and a super easy craft that most any youngster can make with minimal supervision – however, I suggest pre-cutting the felt and assisting with the glue gun lest there be no emergency room trips on a holiday. And, BTW, TheFitFork.com has not turned into a DIY Craft blog, but these were just too fun not to share!

Snowman Milk Bottle Christmas Craft - TheFitFork.com

Supplies needed for each Snow Man Milk Bottle:

  • Empty mini milk bottle (available at craft store or recycled Starbucks Frappuccino bottle)
  • 1 ½ inch x 8 inch piece of colorful felt
  • 3 black buttons
  • Glue gun or glue dots
  • Scissors
  • Striped paper straw

For the scarf, use scissors to snip ½” long fringe into each end of the felt. Wrap around neck of bottle and knot to one side; secure with glue or glue dot if needed. Glue three buttons down front of bottle.  Fill with milk and add colorful paper straw.

So, what do you like to serve on Christmas or holiday mornings?  Do you have a once-a-year special holiday recipe or do you stick with your standard-issue morning meal?

This post was sponsored by Foodie.com, however all recipes and editorial comments are my own.

Deviled Egg in Tomato Canoe Salad Recipe+ How to Peel Eggs + Hellmann’s Longest Picnic Table

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - deviled egg tomato canoe single

Even if summer isn’t officially here for a few more weeks, it certainly feels like it is here in Austin, Texas. The kids are basically out of school, barring the last few finals and a field day, and our family calendar is booking up with neighborhood pool parties, potlucks and lazy-day picnics. The more leisurely pace of the season lets me do one of the things I love best, and that’s get creative with recipes.

So how very timely that I found a contest being sponsored by Hellmann’s® in honor of the company’s 100th Birthday.  Part of the happy hoopla includes Chef Mario Batali (I love his recipes, don’t you?); here’s his spin on five old-school, classic Hellmann’s® recipes. The new creations are sure tasty looking; I’m salivating just reading the recipes for Chicken Pasta Salad with Green Olives and Raisins, Chicken Wings with White BBQ Sauce, a Juicy Salsa Burger, Fiery Chipotle Deviled Eggs and Favorite Parm Chicken. You can get all these recipes at Mario’s Table.

You can make these recipes at home “as-is” (and you know they are delish, because this guy has some mad chef skills), or better yet, add your own flair to the chef-inspired recipes. Hellmann’s® is inviting you to submit your best version of one of these five recipes. Just add one to three new ingredients and explain how you would make it better!  You could even win a trip to celebrate Hellmann’s® birthday in New York City and be a guest at the “World’s Longest Picnic Table.”

mario batali hellamans

So, I’ll go first! Of course, with my picnic and potluck state of mind, I chose Mario’s Fiery Chipotle Deviled Eggs to make over. Deviled eggs – or really any egg recipe –never lasts long in my house.  And, honestly, there’s nothing to feel guilty about when it comes to eating a few – what a great source of protein and B vitamins and other nutrients. I also appreciate how Hellmann’s® is now using 100% certified cage-free eggs in the making of their Lite Mayonnaise. This keeps with the brand’s commitment (which I second) to ‘Real Food’ made with simple ingredients.

jennifer fisher - thefitfork.com - deviled egg tomato canoes

 Spicy Deviled Eggs in Tomato Canoes (Served as a Salad)

  • 12 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup Hellmann’s® Mayonnaise Dressing with Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon spicy mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 12 medium-sized Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 9 ounces baby spring mix
  • 1/4 cup crumbled bacon

Instructions:

Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan; add cold cater to cover by 3 inches. Bring to a boil; cover, remove from heat and let stand 9 minutes (or a little longer if you are using XL eggs).

Drain immediately and fill the saucepan with cold water and ice. Tap each egg firmly on the counter until it forms a web of cracks and peels under cold running water. See my other egg peeling tips below.

Slice eggs in half lengthwise and carefully remove yolks. Place yolks in medium bowl with mayonnaise and add mustard, hot sauce and celery salt and mash until smooth. Spoon yolk mixture into egg white halves; set aside.

Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Place one egg in one tomato half and sprinkle with approximately 1 teaspoon of the bacon crumbles. Repeat for remaining eggs. For an individual serving, place 4 egg and tomato halves on a bed of lettuce.

Serves 6.

peel egg

Tips to Make Peeling Hard Boiled Egg Easier

  • Don’t use straight-from-the-hen’s-behind fresh eggs. What I’m trying to say here is that eggs that are about a week old work best for boiling. I don’t know why!
  • When boiling eggs, cover them in cold water in the pot and bring it up to a boil over high heat. Starting from cold lessens the chances of the shells cracking before completely cooked.
  • Some people suggest adding a teaspoon of salt or baking soda to the water to make peeling easier. Wish I would have found this tip earlier!
  • Store eggs in the refrigerator for a few days before you plan to use them. For some reason, eggs that have been hanging around for a while have peel that slips right off in big pieces rather that little shards of shell that also take off chunks of the cooked egg.
  • Peeling eggs under cold water also seems to facilitate the process.

Fight Tendonitis the Tasty Way – Mini Turmeric & Tomato Frittatas Recipe

Did you know that the spice turmeric has been proven to ease the aches and pains of tendonitis? Distinctive with its warm and faintly citrusy flavor, the yellowish-brown spice (related to ginger) releases a chemical compound called ‘curcumin’ that effectively reduces the inflammation process found in many tendon diseases, or so say British researchers. This isn’t the only benefit of curcumin, its powerful anti-oxidant properties have also been shown to regulate blood sugar and fight cancer.

Since the hubby and I have been suffering from a little ‘golf elbow’ and ‘tennis elbow’ respectively, I decided to give this super-spice from across the seas a starring role in our weekend breakfast – Mini Turmeric & Tomato Frittatas. Oh my gosh, don’t get me started on the health benefits of tomatoes! Sticking with the tendonitis theme here, let me just condense my kudos with one tomato factoid – the flavorful fruit is high in bioflavonoids and carotenoids, which are also known anti-inflammatory agents. Tomato and turmeric, what a powerhouse pair! You’ll also notice quite a bit of ground black pepper punching up this egg dish; that’s because the body absorbs turmeric up to 2,000 times better when taken along with black pepper.

Aside from keeping your knees, elbows and other body parts in tip-top shape, another perk of this recipe is that the remainder of the batch can be frozen and then defrosted in the microwave for a fast ‘first aid’ fix for hunger (and hurts) that hit anytime of the day or night.

Mini Tumeric & Tomato Frittatas Recipe

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup egg whites
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons ground tumeric
  • 1.5 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheese of choice
  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • 36 grape tomatoes, quartered (or 1 cup diced tomatoes)

Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Generously coat 12-cup standard muffin tin with cooking spray. In bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, milk, salt, pepper and turmeric; pour into muffin tins, filling each tin about 1/2 to 2/3s full. In sauté pan, cook red onions over medium heat until softened, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook another 2 minutes. Divide veggies up evenly over egg mixture. Sprinkle cheese on top of each. Bake approximately 20 minutes or until set in the center. Once removed from oven, let sit for a couple minutes before running a knife around rims to loosen. Turn tin gently upside down to remove. Makes 12.

Nutrition Information