These mouthwatering brunch dishes seem decadent but are surprisingly healthy and easy to prepare. Serve them whenever you want something special to start the day! Parmesan Eggs Florentine and Chocolate-Chip Stuffed French Toast are just two of them…

SPANISH FRITTATA

Chorizo—a pork sausage used in many Latin dishes—gives this classic dish a spicy twist. The frittata can be served hot or at room temperature.

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups red potato, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 cup sliced onion
  • 1 cup sliced red bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (or 2 garlic cloves, crushed)
  • 1 cup sliced chorizo
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 4 egg whites (or liquid egg whites from a carton)
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Heat the oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the potato and onion. Sauté 10 minutes, tossing the potatoes several times to cook on all sides. Add the red bell pepper, garlic and chorizo. Sauté five minutes. Mix the eggs, egg whites and cilantro together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet, tipping the skillet to make sure that the egg mixture covers the ingredients. Turn the heat to low. Cook 10 minutes. Turn on the broiler. Place the skillet under the broiler to finish cooking the top, about one to two minutes, watching to make sure that the top does not burn. Serves four.

VERY BERRY CREPES

Filled crepes typically are loaded with fat and sugar. Not these. And they’re delicious! You can buy ready-made crepes in most supermarkets. Frozen berries can be defrosted in the microwave. Pour off any excess liquid to prevent the crepes from becoming soggy.

  • 1 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen defrosted
  • ½ cup blueberries, fresh or frozen defrosted
  • 4 10-to-12-inch ready-made crepes
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter

 

For the sauce:

  • ½ Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup blueberries, fresh or frozen defrosted

 

In a bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, raspberries and one-half cup blueberries together. Place the crepes on the countertop, and evenly divide the ricotta mixture among them. Roll up the crepes, tucking in the ends to form a sealed package. Brush a skillet with some of the butter, and place over medium heat. Place the crepes in the skillet in one layer, and brush with the remaining butter. Cover with a lid, and cook to warm through, about 10 minutes.

While the crepes cook, make the sauce. Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Add water, and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Add one-half cup blueberries, and simmer, stirring constantly, for two minutes or until the sauce thickens and turns blue. Spoon the sauce over the crepes. Serves four.

PARMESAN EGGS FLORENTINE

Who needs Eggs Benedict when you can serve this delicious dish instead? When you crack the eggs into each indentation, try to keep the yolks whole. If the eggs break, you can mix them together and spread them over the vegetables.

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced button mushrooms
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 cup low-sodium pasta sauce
  • 4 whole eggs
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Heat the olive oil in a stove-top-to-oven casserole or in a large skillet with an oven-proof handle. Add the mushrooms, and sauté two minutes. Add the spinach, and stir until the spinach wilts. Add the pasta sauce, and stir to combine with the vegetables. Evenly distribute the vegetables over the casserole, and make four indentations in the vegetables with the back of a spoon. Carefully break the eggs into the indentations, keeping the yolks whole. Sprinkle the eggs with cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Place the casserole in the preheated oven, and bake 10 minutes or until the egg whites are set, but the yolks are still runny. Remove, and spoon out one egg with the vegetables per person. Serve with toast, if desired. Serves four.

MUSHROOM AND TURKEY QUICHE

The crust is made from whole-wheat bread crumbs instead of calorie-laden pastry. Ask the deli department to slice the smoked turkey one-half-inch thick. It is easier to cut it into cubes.

  • Olive oil spray
  • ½ cup whole-wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • ½ pound smoked turkey breast, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms—button, portobello or shiitaki
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 large eggs
  • 5 egg whites (or liquid egg whites from a carton)
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup reduced-fat, shredded, sharp Cheddar cheese

 

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray the bottom and sides of a 10-inch shallow pie plate or casserole dish with olive oil spray. Sprinkle bread crumbs over the bottom and sides of the plate. Roll the plate to make sure that the sides are covered with crumbs. Gently shake the plate to evenly distribute excess crumbs across the bottom.

Place the onions in the pie plate, and then place the turkey and mushrooms over the onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. In a bowl, lightly beat the whole eggs and egg whites with a fork. Add the nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie plate. Press the ingredients under the eggs with a fork. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Place the quiche in the oven for 30 minutes. Pie should be firm. If the center is not set, bake a few more minutes. Remove, and cut into six pie-shaped pieces. Serves six.

CHOCOLATE CHIP–STUFFED FRENCH TOAST

A creamy filling flavored with chocolate chips stuffed into French toast sounds decadent, but you can enjoy this breakfast without breaking your calorie bank. This recipe serves two. You can double the recipe to serve four, but you may need to use two skillets.

  • 2 large eggs or egg substitute equivalent
  • 1 Tablespoon skim milk
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 4 slices whole-wheat bread
  • 2 Tablespoons dark chocolate chips, coarsely chopped
  • ½ Tablespoon butter
  • Maple syrup (optional)

 

Combine the eggs or egg substitute with milk, cinnamon and sugar in a large bowl, and set aside. Spread cream cheese over two bread slices. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the cream cheese. Cover each slice with another bread slice. Soak one bread sandwich in the egg-mixture bowl for about three to four minutes, turning once during that time. Remove, and soak the second sandwich in the bowl. Make sure that both sandwiches are saturated with the egg mixture. Heat the butter in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the two sandwiches, and cook two to three minutes, or until the under side is golden. Turn the sandwiches over, and cook another two to three minutes. Serve with maple syrup, if desired. Serves two.