Friday, April 6, 2012

Basics : Sunday Brunch

I don't eat breakfast most days during the week, and I know this is pretty common in the Primal community.  Our first meal of the day on many days tends to be lunch when we have a big salad.
But sometimes I think it's good to vary the routine, which is why on Sunday I have brunch.  Because this is my "day off" I have a different routine from the rest of the week.

 I sleep in and take my time getting up, spending a lot of time lounging, reading, Internet surfing, and enjoying my morning coffee.

And because I often have house guests who also sleep in, our first meal tends to be a late breakfast early lunch type of thing.  When we can eat outside on the patio it's especially nice, but any meal shared with family and friends is a great relaxing way to spend a Sunday.

Today I'm going to share some of the recipes I reserve for Sunday Brunch.  These tend to be the kind of thing you don't want to eat everyday anyway, so they are perfect for a once a week treat.  Also, I have to admit that even though you could use coconut oil in all these recipes I tend to use butter because I just think it makes them taste so much richer .... and this is after all a weekly treat!

Pancakes with Berries

Even though I have tried to make pancakes just using coconut flour as some suggest, I find them just too bland for my taste.  I think using almond flour instead gives them much more flavour.

I often add some blueberries and sometimes raspberries right into the batter before cooking, then top the pancakes with maple syrup, whipped cream and more berries.  Decadent, but Oh so delicious!  Just some bacon is all you need to add to have a great meal.

Ingredients :

-  2 large eggs
-  1/4 cup of maple syrup
-  1 tablespoon of vanilla
-  1/4 cup of water
-  1 1/2 cups of almond flour
-  1/2 teaspoon of seas salt
-  1 teaspoon of baking powder
-  1 heaping tablespoon of coconut flour
-  1/2 cup berries (optional)
-  oil for cooking (coconut, butter)

Directions :

-  Put the eggs, maple syrup, vanilla and water into a blender and process until smooth.
-  Add the almond flour, salt, baking powder and coconut flour and process again until thoroughly combined (use a rubber scraper to scrape down the sides of the container)
-  In a skillet heat the oil over medium heat until just hot.
-  Ladle a couple of tablespoons of batter into the skillet for each pancake.  If adding berries, just sprinkle them onto the batter rather than mixing them in.
-  Cook until small bubbles form on the top of each.  When the sides start to brown as well, flip each pancakes and cook the other side for a couple of minutes.
-  Remove to a plate and repeat until all the batter has been used.  Will make about 10 to 12 small pancakes.

(will freeze) Frozen pancakes can be thawed by toasting in your toaster.

French Toast with Maple Syrup 

French toast served with breakfast sausages and maple syrup is a terrific treat, and because I use my almond bread, you get extra flavour from the almonds.  To really splurge you could top with a handful of berries.

Ingredients :

-  1/4 cup heavy cream or coconut milk
-  2 tablespoons of maple syrup
-  4 large eggs
-  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-  1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
-  1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
-  8 thick slices of Paleo bread. I cut them about 1/2 to 3/4" thick.
-  oil for frying (coconut, butter)

Directions :

-  Whisk together or blend in a blender the cream, maple syrup, eggs, vanilla, salt and cinnamon until thoroughly combined.
-  Pour the mixture into a baking dish large enough to hold all your bread slices.  Soak the bread in the mixture for about 3 minutes on each side.  Don't let them get too soggy.  You don't want the bread slices to fall apart.
- Heat your oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the bread slices for 3 to 5 minutes on each side until golden brown.

(will freeze)  To retain the crispy coating, cook just until cooked through on low heat, then when thawed finish cooking on high for a couple of minutes.

Victoria Eggs Benedict

When I visited the Empress Hotel in Victoria BC, I had a wonderful version of Eggs Benedict for breakfast that has since become the only way I like to eat this dish.  British Columbia, Canada is known for it's wild Salmon, and this eggs benedict uses smoked salmon instead of bacon, which makes it absolutely amazing.  I like to serve this with some thinly sliced cucumber on the side.

This makes two servings.

Ingredients :

-  4 large eggs
-  4 slices of Paleo bread (optional)
-  8 slices of smoked salmon
-  1 recipe of hollandaise sauce
-  chopped dill and/or chives

Directions :

-  First of all, you need to start poaching your eggs.  If you have an egg poacher they you're set.  Otherwise if you don't you will need to use a pan and some water.  For those who don't know how to poach an egg successfully, here is a great video

-  While the eggs are poaching, toast your bread if you are using it and make your hollandaise sauce (see recipe below)
-  Once your eggs are done, put a couple of slices of smoked salmon on each slice of toast or just onto a plate and top with the eggs.  Top each egg with a spoon full of hollandaise and sprinkle with some chopped herbs. 

Quick and Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce

I have found the easiest method of making this sauce is in a blender.  Here is a video that explains exactly how to make it, and I've listed the ingredients as well.

Ingredients :

-  6 egg yolks
-  dash of cayenne pepper
-  1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
-  the juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon

Note :  I have never tried this, but I read in a cookbook written by a famous Englishwoman that if you beat the 6 egg whites and then fold these into your finished sauce, you can make this ahead, freeze it, and then reheat it when you need it.  I will have to try this one day, meanwhile if one of you beats me to it let me know how it worked out.


As I say in my post about scheduling my time, just as I believe everyone needs one day a week when they can catch up, I also believe that everyone needs one day a week that is absolutely free of any kind of commitments.  A day when you can do whatever you want and whatever works for you to recharge your batteries and prepare you for the week ahead.

For some this is visiting art galleries or shopping for antiques. For others mountain climbing, parachute jumping, and bike racing.  For me it's a bit of hiking or biking, spending time catching up with friends, and always at least some time reading.   Whatever it is for you, you can be sure it's time well spent.

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 “Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”   - George Bernard Shaw

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