Mother’s Day is just around the corner. Luckily my friend, Holly Clegg, has a couple terrific ideas for mom’s special day from Mexican Breakfast Casserole for breakfast in bed to a brown sugar scrub that can easily be made by the kids as a lovely homemade gift for mom.
Find more of Holly’s trim& TERRIFIC® recipes at hollyclegg.com and The Healthy Cooking Blog. Don’t forget to check out Holly’s new cookbook, which should be on the shelves soon - Holly Clegg's trim&TERRIFIC Eating Well to Fight Arthritis: 200 easy recipes and practical tips to help reduce inflammation and ease symptoms (affiliate link).
Breakfast in Bed
One of my favorite ways to show Mom how special she is with a wonderful, stress-free brunch. And don’t worry, no one ever said brunch meant spending an entire morning in the kitchen. Mexican Breakfast Casserole is great because you can make it ahead of time to surprise your family the next morning. Prepare and put together easily the night before and simply bake in the morning so the whole family will wake up to the enticing smell of this fabulous dish. This hearty breakfast recipe is so full of flavor made with tortillas, green chilies, and turkey sausage – use corn tortillas for a gluten free meal. Impress your mom with this easy yet special one-dish meal for breakfast – just serve with juice…and maybe pick a flower from the garden!
Homemade gifts always take a special spot in Mom’s heart and kids of all ages will have fun mixing up this Diva Dermatology recipe from Too Hot in the Kitchen: Secrets to Sizzle At Any Age (affiliate link). Purchase an inexpensive container, fill, tie with a ribbon and Voila - your homemade skincare gift, Brown Sugar Scrub, is ready!
Mexican Breakfast Casserole
Simple ingredients magically create this make-ahead scrumptious breakfast dish fulfilling everyone’s expectations in my house.
Makes 8-10 servings
- 1 (4-ounce) can green chilies
- 8 ounces ground breakfast turkey sausage
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 red, green, or yellow bell pepper, cored and chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 5 eggs
- 4 egg whites
- 2 cups fat-free half-and-half
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat shredded Mexican blend cheese
- 5 (8-inch) 98% fat-free flour or corn tortillas, cut into quarters
- Coat 13x9x2-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spread green chilies along bottom of dish.
- In large nonstick skillet, cook and crumble sausage until starts to brown. Add onion and bell pepper, cooking until sausage is done and vegetables tender. Add garlic and chili powder. Remove from heat. Cool.
- In large bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, and half-and-half. In another bowl, combine green onion and cheese.
- Spoon one-third of sausage mixture over chilies in baking dish. Top with one-third tortilla quarters and one-third cheese mixture. Repeat layers, ending with cheese. Pour egg mixture evenly over casserole and refrigerate, covered, at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven 350°F. If using glass baking dish, place in cold oven and bake 50-60 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown and knife inserted into custard comes out clean.
- Calories 262
- Calories from fat 28%
- Fat 7g
- Saturated Fat 3g
- Cholesterol 129mg
- Sodium 578mg
- Carbohydrate 23g
- Dietary Fiber 2g
- Sugars 5g
- Protein 18g
Dietary Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 2 1/2 lean meat
Brown Sugar Scrub
Your hands or whatever body part you scrub felt so soft afterwards. Olive oil contains vitamin E and antioxidants — good for nails.
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Mix together and place in a decorative jar or container.
- Use on hand, feet or body. Rinse.
Recipes and photos used with permission of the author.
There’s nothing like coffee in bed on Mother’s Day. But if it’s been hot at your house like it has been at mine, maybe a coffee granita, a type of Italian ice, would be more appropriate. This recipe comes from Chef Michael of ABC’s The Chew. Michael makes this for his own mom, and the recipe’s easy enough to be a fun project for the kids to make the night before Mother’s Day.
Check out my post Cappuccino Granitas, sugar free frozen treats with a buzz! for two other granita recipes – one with chocolate, another with cinnamon, and both with coconut milk.
By Chef Michael Symon of The Chew
- 1 pot of coffee
- Sugar or no calorie sweetener (to taste)
- Brew a pot of coffee.
- Add sugar or sweetener into a medium bowl. Mix until sugar or sweetener dissolves.
- Place coffee and sugar mixture into a large baking dishing and cover with plastic wrap. Put it in the freezer.
- After 45 minutes, scrape mixture with a fork. Repeat every 45 minutes for the first two hours.
- Freeze overnight and scrape it again just before serving.
- In a tall glass, place a few scoops of granita and top with some whipped cream or topping.
- Serve with biscotti and enjoy!
Recipe and video used with permission from The Chew.
Mother’s Day brunch at home
I hate going to a brunch on Mother’s Day as the restaurants are always crowded and the menu is usually set. I understand your days are extremely busy, so when a special occasion rolls around, you don’t have all day to cook. A Mother’s Day brunch at your own home can be devised from a few convenient recipes that you can make ahead of time to surprise your family the next morning.
I love overnight one dish breakfast casseroles that you pop in the oven the next morning. This recipe is so easy to prepare you can make the night before and refrigerate or whip up in the morning. Using southwestern seasonings and flour or corn tortillas, you have a southwestern breakfast. For a heartier version, add some crumbled turkey breakfast sausage. Pick up some fruit and muffins and your meal is set!
Southwestern Breakfast Bake
Go southwestern with this fantastic, crowd-pleasing easy morning meal.
Makes 10–12 servings
- 1 (11-ounce) can Mexicorn, drained (Mexican flavored canned corn with diced chilies)
- 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- 8 (6-inch) corn or flour tortillas, quartered
- 2 cups shredded, reduced-fat Mexican-blend cheese
- 4 eggs
- 6 egg whites
- 2/3 cup skim milk
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven 350°F. Coat 13 × 9 × 2-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In bowl, combine Mexicorn, green chilies, and green onions. Line bottom of pan with layer of tortillas, top with half of the corn mixture, then half of the shredded cheese. Repeat layers.
- In another bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour over layers in pan and let sit 10 minutes.
- Bake 30–35 minutes or until puffed.
- Calories 141
- Calories from fat 34%
- Fat 5 g
- Saturated Fat 3 g
- Cholesterol 81 mg
- Sodium 373 mg
- Carbohydrate 12 g
- Dietary Fiber 2 g
- Sugars 3 g
- Protein 11 g
Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch and 1 lean meat
Weight Watchers POINTS = 3
This Mama’s tips
- If you can find it, add chorizo sausage to the breakfast bake for a very authentic, Mexican flavor.
- Garnish with avocado slices.
- Use gluten free brown rice or corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas if there are any food sensitivities in your family.
Photo courtesy of Holly Clegg.
As a kid I loved to cook both with my mom and by myself. My mother encouraged me by ordering kids’ cookbooks from the Scholastic book flier. I even attempted to make my mom breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day, with my dad’s and sister’s help of course.
In junior high home ec class (did I just date myself?) I learned to make crepes. My French mother was thrilled to share Julia Child’s Crepe Fines Sucrees recipe from Mastering The Art of French Cooking, Volume One with me. It’s slightly complicated and uses orange liqueur, still it was the recipe we loved to use.
With Mother’s Day coming up, why not encourage your kids to make you some healthy breakfast crepes? All you need is a good kids’ cookbook like What’s Cooking?: A Cookbook for Kids based on the Disney-Pixar Ratatouille movie. Unfortunately, this adorable cookbook is out of print, which is surprising considering that it features a recipe by Thomas Keller, who was a consultant on the movie.
Makes 12 crepes
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- Put all the ingredients in a blender in the order listed. (To avoid getting egg shells in the mix, crack the eggs into a bowl, remove any shell bits, and then pour it into the blender.) Blend until smooth.
- Remove the lid and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Briefly blend the mixture again.
- Set the covered blender in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or overnight. (Overnight is best.)
- When it’s time to cook the crepes, heat an 8- or 9-inch shallow nonstick frying pan over medium heat. To tell if the pan is hot enough, wet your fingers and then flick the water on to the pan. If the water sizzles and jumps off the pan, it’s ready.
- Melt a very thin pat of butter or soft spread in the pan and swirl it around to coat it. Use a silicon pastry brush to evenly distribute it.
- Blend the batter again in the blender to smooth it.
- For the first crepe, pour 1/4 cup of batter into a measuring cup and pour the batter into your heated pan. Immediately tilt and swirl the pan to evenly coat the bottom until the batter stops running.
- Cook the crepe on the first side for about 45 seconds, then quickly flip it with a spatula and cook the other side for about half as long.
- Grasping the pan securely, swiftly invert it so the cooked crepe will fall on to the large plate. Rub a little butter in the pan before cooking the next crepe.
- Adjust the heat if they brown too quickly or slowly.
- If you’re concerned about saturated fats, substitute a soft spread like I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter or Earth Balance for the butter.
- Try using half whole wheat and half organic white flour instead of just white flour.
- You can substitute 1/3 cup of egg white substitute for two of the whole eggs.
- Instead of sugar, use stevia (Truvia or Pruvia) or another type of sugar substitute.
- When melting the butter or spread for the next crepe, dip a silicon pastry brush into the butter and brush it on the previous crepe so it wouldn’t stick to the next one.
- Keep the crepes in a warm oven on a oven-proof plate.
- Make the batter on Saturday night (you have to refrigerate it overnight) so you have crepes for Sunday morning. Pre-measured the ingredients and let the kids pour them into the blender.
- Cooking crepes is a bit tricky. You have to be generous with the butter or spread, and make sure the pan is hot. Feel free to throw out the first crepe or feed it to the dog since it’s usually a mess. If you have older kids (10 and up) you can get them to make the crepes. If not, they’ll need dad to help out.
- It takes a lot of time to make 12 crepes. Make sure the kids get an early start before everyone’s famished, or get dad to get two pans going at once.
Over the years I’ve featured many healthy recipes that would be perfect to make for a Mother’s Day brunch. Here are a few to inspire you:
- Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt oatmeal pancakes
- Log Cabin syrup and Weight Watchers Sweet Potato Pancakes
- Stephanie Izard's Oatmeal Pancake Recipe
- Celebrating Pancake Day with a pancake video
- Crepes, Waffles & Pancakes’ Wild rice pancakes with chicken (gluten free)
- Too busy to make pancakes from scratch? Try Quaker Oatmeal Pancake Mix – delicious and healthy. Here’s a coupon for $2 off.
I’ve become a fan of Taste of Home Healthy Cooking magazine in the past few months that I’ve subscribed. (Their enewsletter is wonderful, too.) Not only is the magazine attractive, but the recipes are easy to make. Also, the magazine lists complete nutritional information for each recipe including diabetic exchanges, so it’s easy to figure out Weight Watchers POINTS as well.
My only complain about the recipes is that they could use more Weight Watchers Momentum filling foods like whole grains, but it’s easy to substitute more wholesome ingredients for white flour and things like sugar and egg substitute.
Here are a couple of recipes to make for the mom in your life from Taste of Home.
Mother’s Day brunch – main course
Using phyllo dough sheets may be a bit challenging, but the results will be worth it.
Ham and Cheese Strudel
From Taste of Home
TIME: Prep: 45 min. Bake: 15 min
Yield: 6 servings.
- 1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup fat-free milk
- 1/4 pound fully cooked lean ham, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup shredded reduced-fat Swiss cheese
- 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1-1/4 cups egg substitute
- 12 phyllo dough sheets (14 inches x 9 inches)
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Refrigerated butter-flavored spray
- 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- In a saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Add ham; heat through. Remove from heat. Stir in Swiss cheese and 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese until Swiss is melted; set aside. In a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook and stir egg substitute over medium heat until completely set. Stir into cheese mixture.
- For each strudel, place one sheet of phyllo dough on work surface with a short side facing you (keep remaining dough covered with waxed paper to avoid drying out). Coat dough with cooking spray; fold in half lengthwise. Coat with cooking spray; spritz with butter-flavored spray. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon bread crumbs. Spread some egg mixture over bottom third of dough to within 3/4 in. of bottom and sides. Fold in sides. Roll up dough, starting at end with egg mixture.
- Place seam side down on an ungreased baking sheet. Coat with cooking spray; spritz with butter-flavored spray. Bake at 375° for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown and filling is heated through (filling may expand and come out of dough during baking). Sprinkle each with parsley and remaining Parmesan cheese.
One serving: Calories: 218, Fat:8 g, Saturated Fat:3 g, Cholesterol:18 mg, Sodium:576 mg, Carbohydrate:18 g, Fiber:1 g, Protein:18 g
Diabetic Exchange:2 lean meat, 1 starch, 1/2 fat.
Weight Watchers POINTS = 5
Mother’s Day brunch – dessert
A sweet brushchetta? Why not!
From Taste of Home TIME: Prep/Total Time: 20 min Ingredients:
Sweet Berry Bruschetta
Yield: 10 pieces.
From Taste of Home
TIME: Prep/Total Time: 20 min
- Place bread on an ungreased baking sheet; lightly coat with cooking spray. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons sugar. Broil 3-4 in. from the heat for 1-2 minutes or until lightly browned.
- In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, almond extract and remaining sugar. Spread over toasted bread. Top with berries and almonds; dust with confectioners' sugar.
One serving:1 piece - Calories: 92, Fat: 2 g, Saturated Fat:0 g, Cholesterol:1 mg, Sodium:179 mg, Carbohydrate:14 g, Fiber:2 g, Protein:4 g
Diabetic Exchange:1 starch, 1/2 fat.
Weight Watchers POINTS = 2
If you’re looking for more desserts, try a few recipes from their healthy Mother’s Day dessert menu.