Last year, I hosted a big Mother’s Day brunch for the whole family and, well, let’s just say I went a leeeeetle overboard. There was enough food for 25 people (even though there were only 9 of us), so, trust me: no one left hungry or without leftovers. Everyone enjoyed it, but I was so exhausted afterward, I could barely get off the couch the rest of the day. That’s not fun.
I think this is a common trap that hosts fall prey to. You really don’t need to make enough food for an army when you’re entertaining a handful of people. I’m working on keeping menus streamlined, cohesive, and crowd-pleasing without requiring several days of prep (not to mention recovery). These five grain free mother’s day brunch menus prove that it is possible: grain free, (mostly) low carb, delicious meals that take no more than a few hours of prep, spread between the day before the brunch and the hour or two before the brunch starts. I’ve denoted the dishes that can be made the day before with an *asterisk.
Menu #1: Dessert & Coffee
- Skillet apple pear crisp
- Chocolate frosted doughnuts*
- Carrot Orange Bread*
- Chocolate-dipped shortbread*
- Coffee, tea, stevia and homemade almond milk
- Tip: This menu is the one exception to the “only a couple of hours of prep time” promise, since baking takes a little more time than cooking most of the dishes on the other menus. If you’re pressed for time, either make the shortbread, the bread and the doughnuts (unfrosted, frost at the last minute) well ahead of time and freeze them, or choose two to three of the four desserts, and add a simple fruit salad with dairy free whipped cream instead.
Menu #2: Just Breakfast
- Maple roasted turnips with bacon and crispy shallots
- Poached eggs (method here)
- Bacon wrapped asparagus with lemon balsamic reduction*
- Fig and date yogurt parfaits*
- Grain free banana bread*
- Coffee, tea and orange juice
Menu #3: Buffet Style
- Olive tapenade* and roasted garlic babaganoush* with crudites* and Simple Mills crackers
- Brie and beet greens frittata or veggie packed paleo quiche
- Sweet potato and carrot latke-linis with whipped goat cheese and smoked salmon
- Grain free carrot cake* (make the cake the day before, but frost and assemble right before serving; pre-slice it so people can easily grab a piece!)
- Homemade fig newtons*
- Coffee, tea, and fruit juices served with sparkling water to make spritzers
Menu #4: Just Lunch
- Flank Steak with Chimichurri* (serve the steak hot or cold, make the day before only if serving cold)
- Roasted rainbow carrot salad with cranberries, pistachios, and honey mustard vinaigrette*
- Vanilla layer cake with cherry-rose frosting* (make the cake the day before, but frost and assemble right before serving; make it grain free by using this recipe for the cake instead)
- Lavender Arnold Palmer* (Cocktail or mocktail; do not add bourbon until immediately before serving)
Menu #5: Picnic Lunch
- Waldorf Salad* OR tahini, caramelized onion and walnut chicken salad* sandwiches on Grain Free sandwich bread (Low carb version of the bread here)
- Radicchio-blueberry slaw with sherry vinaigrette* (skip the salmon, or do that instead of the sandwiches)
- Fruit salad with dairy free whipped cream
- Grain free chocolate chip cookies*
*Recipes that can be made the day before and stored in the fridge in an airtight container are marked with an asterisk
If you make any of these recipes or menus, send me a picture, or post it on social media with the hashtag #acleanbake so I can see it!
Happy Mother’s Day!