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Brunch Basics

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Sunday meals are our favourite, but most of us don’t know where to draw the line with the indulgence. So, Yamini Walia & Purva Indulkar tell you how to make your Sunday brunch a little healthier!

We plan our meals diligently through the week — right from listing down the healthiest ingredients to scouring the supermarket for a particular brand of healthy sauce. After all, we need to make an effort to achieve our fitness goals. But, Sunday is a day of indulgence, right? It’s the one day of the week when you can relax, while your family bombards you with their stories, as you enjoy great food. However, ignoring the nutritional value of what you’re eating (and neglecting to control the amount!) even for one day can set you back by several notches when it comes to your health regime. We’re here to help though, with a few suggestions that will ensure that you enjoy a weekend meal without piling on the kilos. We also bring you some recipes for the next time you organise a brunch.

With several options on the menu, it’s tempting to overindulge at a brunch. These tips will help you put together a healthy Sunday brunch menu.

Savoury over sweet
When it comes to picking sweet or savoury, always pick savoury items, but make sure that they aren’t too salty. Aim to pick something that is more balanced, offering a combination of protein, complex carbohydrates and some sort of healthy fat.

Don’t skip breakfast
Skipping breakfast is probably the biggest mistake that we make while waiting for the brunch. But, you need to eat a proper morning meal to get your metabolism going through the day; otherwise, it will be sluggish. Also, remember that an empty stomach before brunch is just a recipe for overindulgence.

Mix cereals
Cereals are a healthier option. But, they are also boring. So, pick three different types of cereals and mix them. Apart from the different textures and flavours, you will also get various nutritional benefits.

Green is the way to go
You should remember this, especially when you’re thinking about smoothies. Add avocado and spinach to your fruit smoothie. They will provide you with a dose of fibre without spoiling its taste.

Plain yogurt
Instead of indulging in flavoured yogurts, pick plain yogurt to avoid the added flavouring found in most variants. However, if plain yogurt doesn’t seem appealing, add chopped fruits or homemade fruit puree to it.

Here are some brunch recipes that will keep your dishes healthy and still leave your guests licking their fingers

Vegan falafels
These chewy, middle-eastern balls are going to be a hit with children. Simply bake them instead of frying them and finish it off with a bit of parsley.

Ingredients 2,400g chickpea, 225g fresh parsley (chopped), 1 carrot (grated),
1 onion (diced), 6 garlic cloves (mashed),
4 tbsps flour, 1 tsp sweet paprika, ½ tsp ground caraway seeds, salt and pepper, 2 tbsps tahini paste, 3-4 tbsps oil (for frying)


  • Boil the chickpeas and blend them in a food processor till they achieve a paste-like consistency.
  • Pour the paste in a large bowl and add all other ingredients. Mix well to make patties.
  • Put the patties on a greased oven tray and bake them for 15 minutes on each side. Put these in pita bread and serve.

Vegetarian taquitos
This Mexican dish is spicy and contains a burst of flavour, especially when paired with beef or chicken. But, it is also possible to make a vegetarian version of this, which is healthy and delicious.

Ingredients 110g cooked black beans,
110g frozen corn kernels (defrosted), 225g shredded Mexican blend cheese, 1 tsp ground cumin, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp salt, 12 corn tortillas


  • Preheat the oven to 205°C and place the beans, corn, cheese, cumin, garlic powder, and salt in a bowl, then stir to combine.
  • Place two corn tortillas at a time in between two damp paper towel sheets and microwave for 20-30 seconds.
  • Place 2 tbsps of the mixture on one tortilla and roll it up. Repeat with the next one.
  • Place the taquitos seam-side down on a foil-lined cookie sheet, spray the tops lightly with cooking oil and bake for 25 minutes.

Ravioli with white wine butter sauce and asparagus
This is perfect for a hungry gathering; those who are health conscious can replace parmesan cheese for a healthier alternative.

Ingredients 255g chilled ravioli, a bunch of asparagus (about 15-20 spears trimmed and cut into two inch pieces), 2 tbsps salt, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp minced shallots, 2 cloves garlic, minced, 6 tbsps butter (cut into cubes), 175g white wine, 2 tbsps fresh chopped thyme, shaved parmesan cheese


  • Boil water and add in salt, olive oil and asparagus.
  • Cook the asparagus for 2 minutes until it becomes crisp and tender.
  • In a skillet, melt 1 tbsp butter over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic to this mixture and stir until soft.
  • Pour in the wine and allow it to reduce to half. Now, add the remaining butter cubes until they melt into the sauce.
  • Add the ravioli and asparagus into the boiling water and let it cook for at least six minutes.
  • When all the butter in the sauce has melted, all chopped thyme. Serve the ravioli with a generous portion of sauce.
  • Add shaved parmesan.
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