Saturday, January 15, 2011

Breakfast at Natalie's

(You have to sing the subject to the correct tune to get the full effect)

A part of M & I's present to my Mum & Dad for Christmas was a brunch, and this morning was the time. After much wracking my brain about what to make and how to ensure all the eggs were going to be cooked right and at the perfect time, (and how I would enjoy the morning whilst doing so much cooking), I decided to host a cold brunch. This, mixed with the really-sick-of-fatty-food factor felt by everyone at this time of year, resulted in a relatively healthy, cold brunch.

And this was the spread..


Muesli with Fruit

Mini Sandwiches

Banana Pikelets

Roast Tomatoes & Mushrooms with Thyme

Date & Walnut Loaf

Muesli with Fruit

Bottom Layer -
Stewed Apricots, (from M's parents garden). I put them in a bit of water, no sugar, & cooked them for 15-20 minutes. They were refrigerated for 2 days before serving.
Middle Layer-
Home made muesli. Rolled oats, diced dried apple, raisins, flaked almonds, sunflower seeds & sesame seeds.
Top layer-
Fresh strawberries sprinkled with extra almonds & shredded coconut.

Apricots are extremely high in Vitamin A & fibre, & very low in calories.
Sesame seeds are very high in calcium.
Strawberries, along with the oats, will help reduce cholesterol.

Mini Sandwiches

Smoked Salmon -
Smoked salmon, light cream cheese & a sprig chive on light rye bread.
Cucumber -
Cucumber, light cream cheese, a mint leaf & a sprig of chive on light rye bread.

Cucumbers will also help to lower cholesterol thanks to their sterols - just keep the skin on because, as with most fruit & veg, (though cucumber is technically a fruit), that's where all the good stuff is!

Banana Pikelets

Recipe from Best Recipes
Make a lot & were great cold.

2 cups self-raising flour (I used wholemeal)
Pinch of Salt
1/3 cup of sugar (I used raw)
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups of milk
2 mashed bananas
1 tsp vanilla essence (I added this)
(the recipe calls for some butter or margarine spread, but I used a none-stick pan and no coating)

Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Add sugar and cinnamon.
Whisk in sugar, butter, eggs and milk until smooth.
Add mashed banana and stir mixed.
Dollop spoons of the mixture into hot, non stick fry pan and turn when bubbling on top side.

I served drizzled with honey and cinnamon.

Whenever you can, use wholemeal flour - it's not the equivalent of eating a good whole grain bread, but it has some vitamins, unlike refined white flour. Same goes for raw sugar versus refined white sugar. In most recipes, they will act in exactly the same way and wholemeal flour is readily available in both plain and self raising.

Roast Tomatoes & Mushrooms with Thyme

Button mushrooms & tomatoes on the vine roasted for about 30 minutes (put the mushrooms in 15 minutes earlier/45 minutes total for the best flavour). They were hit with some olive oil and black pepper first, and served with torn and toasted, (also in the oven), wholemeal rolls before being sprinkled with fresh thyme.

Date & Walnut Loaf

Recipe from Taste

  • 1 cup pitted dates, chopped
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 1/4 cups plain flour (I used wholemeal)
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 3/4 cup traditional rolled oats
  • 1 1/4 cups walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • Grease a 6.5cm-deep, 9cm x 19cm (base) loaf pan. (The recipe calls for baking paper as a liner, however some spray olive oil and a none-stick pan made mine fall out beautifully)
  • Place dates in a heatproof bowl. Pour over boiling water and maple syrup. Stand for 15 minutes.
  • Sift flour and bicarbonate of soda together into a bowl. Add oats, walnuts and sugar. Stir to combine. Add the date mixture. Stir until well combined.
  • Spoon mixture into prepared pan. Smooth the surface. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Stand loaf in pan for 5 minutes. Lift onto a wire rack to cool.

I found this loaf didn't need cream cheese, just a good cup of coffee alongside the plate.
I didn't use raw sugar as I love the flavour of brown sugar with walnuts.
This loaf, containing no eggs or butter, is a much healthier alternative to most (though don't count on it to be low in calories - but who would expect it to?)

Have you ever hosted a brunch? I highly recommend it. You can prepare things way in advance & when it's done, you still have to day to do things, as well as not having to go to bed with a very full stomach.

Stay well,
Nat x

PS. Can anyone recommend some good food/nutrition/cooking/health blogs?


    1. What a beautiful brunch. Everything looks so delicious. I love the muesli and the banana pancakes. Yum. The roast tomatoes look delicious too. I love how intensely sweet they become when roasted.

    2. Yum! The sandwiches look delicious... I want a sandwich! And the muesli is exactly how I eat mine :) Delicious!

    3. Ooh, lucky guests! That all looks so delicious! I've hosted breakfasts and brunches and I find they are very, very popular. I think people love something a little different, especially if they don't eat these meals out much.

    4. Um... hi, me again! Just wanted to let you know that I've nominated you for The Stylish Blogger Award, cos I find your blog very chic and inspirational :) Check out

    5. Yummm that looks delicious! That muesli looks divine :) :) You can check out my blog (haha) but I also love I also nominated you for a stylish blogger award!
      Hannah x