Delicious And Healthy Brunch Ideas From Marcus Samuelsson

February 15, 2015  |  

From French toast to Bellinis, brunch is all too often an overly indulgent affair. But brunch can be delicious and diet-friendly, too! Star chef Marcus Samuelsson always comes with great recipes and innovative food ideas (see his Red Rooster Harlem restaurant) and he’s at no shortage of healthy brunch ideas–try these to make your day wake-up delicious and sensible.

Try an asparagus tart for a delicious, vegetable-packed recipe. Filled with tender asparagus spears, this healthy dish makes a nice addition to a spring brunch spread.

For an even healthier option, saute spinach, leeks, and carrots-focusing on fresh produce is a simple way to boost your brunch flavor. If you crave eggs for breakfast, this recipe for warm quinoa salad with spinach, poached eggs, and caramelized onions is a healthy alternative to eggs benedict. The eggs and quinoa give you a hefty-dose of protein, giving you energy to walk to your local farmers’ market!

On the sweet side, go with whole-wheat. These pear scones taste even better because of that whole grain nuttiness. Rather than butter, spread on a little honey or some preserves. Date muffins are another nutritious choice, rich and full of flavor!


Warm Quinoa Salad with Spinach, Poached Eggs, and Caramelized Onions Recipe

Serves 1


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, slivered
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 2 eggs
  • Roughly 3 cups spinach
  • Salt and pepper


1. In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa and vegetable stock over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until all the moisture has absorbed into the grain. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

2. Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onions and sautee until browned, about 15-20 minutes. After 10 minutes, add the honey. Remove from the heat, set aside.

3. Heat up a deep pan of water to poach the eggs. Bring the water to a boil, then add the eggs (with a dab of olive oil at the bottom of the poacher dishes if you’re using them) and cover. The eggs take about 5 minutes to cook all the way through.

4. When the quinoa is almost ready and the onions are almost browned, sautee the spinach. Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the spinach and cook until limp, about 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Combine the onions, spinach, quiona and eggs. Season with sea salt and pepper.


Whole-Wheat Pear Scones Recipe

Makes 12 scones


  • 1 3/4 cups whole-wheat flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 tbsp plus 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 6 tbsp (3 ounces) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup diced, peeled pear(from about 1/2 large pear)
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp Demerara sugar


1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, baking powder, granulated sugar, and salt. Add the butter. Put the bowl in the freezer for 5 minutes. The beat the mixture on low speed until the butter is broken up into pebble-sized pieces, about 3 minutes.

2. Add the pear pieces, and mix on low speed just until they are evenly distributed, about 5 seconds. Then add 1 cup of the cream and mix just until the dough comes together. Using your hands, knead the mixture in the bowl to bring the dough completely together.

3. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll it into a 7-inch round, about 3/4-inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 12 wedges, like pieces of pie.

4. Place the pieces on a baking sheet, spacing them 1/2-inch apart. Cover with the plastic wrap and freeze for 15 minutes or chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. (Unbaked scones, wrapped well, can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 2 weeks.) Frozen scones can be baked immediately. Add 5 minutes to the baking time.

5. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

6. Brush the scones with the remaining 2 tablespoons cream and sprinkle with the Demerara sugar. Bake the scones, rotating the baking sheet once, until they are golden on the edges and on the bottom and are firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

7. The scones are best served the day they’re made, but they will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.


What’s your favorite brunch recipe?

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