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3 Simple brunch recipes

Banana and pecans give these mini muffins flavor,

Banana and pecans give these mini muffins flavor, while low-fat Neufch-tel cream cheese lends a moist appealing texture. Credit: Marge Perry


6 tablespoons room-temperature butter

4 ounces Neufchâtel (light) cream cheese

1⁄2 cup brown sugar

1⁄2 cup sugar

1 large egg

1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla

1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour

1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda

1⁄4 teaspoon baking powder

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

2 medium bananas, mashed (about 1⁄2 cup)

1⁄2 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

1⁄2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat 24 mini-muffin cups with cooking spray.

2. Beat the butter and cream cheese in an electric mixer until smooth. With the machine running, add in the brown and white sugars and again beat until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until the mixture is fluffy.

3. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. With the machine running, slowly add the dry mixture in. Stir in the bananas and pecans.

4. Spoon evenly into the muffin cups and bake in the center of the oven 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack.

5. Blend the confectioners’ sugar with 2 teaspoons water and drizzle over the muffins. Makes 24 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 132 calories, 2 g protein, 19 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 6 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 63 mg sodium

TIP: Overripe bananas may be wrapped in plastic and frozen until you are ready to make the mini-muffins.



1 (16-ounce) refrigerated pizza dough

1 cup part-skim ricotta

8 ounces asparagus spears

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

6 large eggs

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet pan with cooking spray.

2. Roll the dough into a 9-inch-by-11-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface; transfer to the baking sheet. Spread the surface with the ricotta, leaving a 1⁄2-inch border clear.

3. Toss the asparagus with the oil and salt and arrange on the ricotta, pressing it in slightly. Bake 5 minutes.

4. Remove from the oven and crack the eggs in 2 even rows: return to oven and bake until the whites are set and the yolks still runny, about 4 to 6 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 349 calories, 17 g protein, 41 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 12 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 412 mg sodium



1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided

16 ounces strawberries, chopped

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour

1⁄2 cup (1 percent) milk

3 large eggs

1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.

2. Make the sauce: combine 1⁄2 cup of the sugar, strawberries and lemon juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes until the sauce is thickened. Remove from heat.

3. Combine the flour, milk, eggs, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, vanilla and salt in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour the batter into the muffin cups and bake until the pancake is puffed with golden brown edges, about 14 minutes. Serve with the strawberry sauce spooned over the top of each pancake. Makes 12 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 93 calories, 3 g protein, 18 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 1 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 72 mg sodium

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