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Mother's Day Brunch Made Easy: Show Mom You Care Without Breaking a Sweat

Blog0514_MomDayThe key to a great mother's day celebration to me is the time you share with family. Don't let food preparation be a distraction. While I am by no means a good cook, I like to host family gatherings at home. This allows for moving room especially if there are children.

My track has always been do it simple with seasonal ingredients, which can speak for itself. Here is a simple menu that you can prepare quickly. Most of the prepare work can be done ahead of time. The final preparation is simple that can allow you can either do alone quickly or have a fun work-together to share bonding.

  • Appetizer: Fiesta dip. This dish is very festive and attracts adults and children alike
  • Main course: Pasta salad with asparagus and tofu; Chicken with honey mustard sauce for those meat-loving relatives. Fresh asparagus in the spring makes this pasta a spring-time favorite.
  • Dessert: Mix berries dipped in chocolate. Berries are irresistible in the spring.
  • Drink: Yummy punch, which can go with or without the champagne, based on your guests preference.

Let's raise our glasses for all the moms in the world. Happy Mother's Day.

Seven-Layer Fiesta Dip -- Can Be Made Ahead of Time

By Chef Heather Houck Reseck, RD, Author, Presenter at Vegfest. Recipe from Fix it Fast, published by Review & Herald Publishing Association. Reprinted from Vegfest Cookbook with permission.

Makes about 6 cups

Ingredients:

1 (16-ounce) can vegetarian refried beans (about 2 cups)

1⁄2 cup mild salsa

1 (12-ounce) carton firm silken tofu, drained (about 11⁄2 cups)

4 teaspoons Mexican Seasoning Mix (see below)

2 teaspoons lemon juice

3⁄4 teaspoon salt

Mexican Season Mix:

Mix the following ingredients together to make 1/4 cup. Excess can be stored for up to 6 months. This recipe is mild; adjust it to your taste.

1 tablespoon mild chili powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons paprika

11⁄2 teaspoons garlic powder

11⁄2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves

1 teaspoon dried cilantro or parsley flakes

1⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander, optional

Preparation:

  1. Stir the refried beans and salsa together in a small bowl. Spread on the bottom of a glass pie plate or shallow baking dish.
  2. In a blender or food processor, blend the tofu, Mexican seasoning, lemon juice, and salt until smooth. Spread the tofu mixture over the bean layer.
  3. Layer on the scallions, tomato, cilantro, olives and cheese, in the order listed.
  4. Serve or refrigerate up to 4 hours. Serve with tortilla chips, pita chips or fresh vegetables.

Pasta Salad with Asparagus and Tofu - Can Be Made Ahead of Time

By Chef Heather Houck Reseck, RD, Author, Presenter at Vegfest. Recipe from Fix it Fast, published by Review & Herald Publishing Association. Reprinted from Vegfest Cookbook with permission.

Tips on substitutes and/or additions: Feta cheese, blanched snow peas or broccoli florets, halved cherry tomatoes, sliced bell peppers, zucchini and olives.

Serves 8

Ingredients:

1⁄2 cup lemon juice

3 tablespoons olive oil

1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan-style nondairy cheese

3 tablespoons minced fresh basil leaves (or 1 tablespoon dried basil)

2 cloves garlic, minced

3⁄4 teaspoon salt

8 ounces firm tofu, drained

6 ounces penne pasta (about 2 cups)

1 pound asparagus, tough ends removed, cut into 11⁄2-inch pieces

Preparation:

  1. Stir the lemon juice, oil, Parmesan-style cheese, basil, garlic and salt together in a large bowl.
  2. Crumble the tofu into small pieces with your fingers, add to the dressing and stir to coat. Refrigerate to marinate while assembling the rest of the salad.
  3. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot, add the pasta and salt to taste, and cook until the pasta is tender but firm. Drain and rinse the pasta and set aside.
  4. While the pasta is cooking, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a medium saucepan, add the asparagus and simmer until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Have a bowl of ice water ready; when the asparagus is done, drain it and add it to the ice water to stop the cooking process, then drain again.
  5. Add the pasta and asparagus to the tofu and toss to mix. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours before serving. Refrigerate up to 5 days.

Chicken with Honey Mustard Sauce

Serves 6

Ingredients:

6 think cut skinless boneless chicken breast

Marinate:

1 tbsp of salt

1/2 tsp of white pepper

1 tsp of light soy sauce

1 tsp of dark soy sauce

1 pinch of sugar

1 tbsp of white wine

1 tbsp of arrow root powder

1 tbsp canola oil

1 tsp sesame seed oil

1 tbsp chopped ginger

1 chopped onion

2 cloves of chopped garlic

Honey Mustard Sauce:

1 cup concentrate or 2 cups regular cream soup (Many recipes call for mayonnaise. I personally don't like the taste of mayonnaise. So I used a creamy soup as a base. e.g. cream of mushroom or corn and lemongrass soup)

1/8 cup yellow mustard

1/8 cup dijon mustard

1 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp mustard seed

1 tbsp honey (add more for your taste preference)

Preparation:

  1. Combine all marinate ingredients and marinate chicken overnight.
  2. Heat canola and sesame seed oil in medium heat. Drop in ginger for 1 minute. Stir in onion for 1 minute. Add garlic.
  3. Sear chicken about 1-2 minutes on each side. Lower heat, cover and cook till it is done.
  4. Serve with sauce.

Sauce:

  1. Combine all ingredients except honey. Heat and thicken soup. If using regular soup, reduce to half.
  2. Remove from heat and mix in honey.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YpsK_wlA4g

Yummy Punch

By Tatanka Take-Out. Reprint with permission.

Makes 2 gallons

Combine the following ingredients into a large punch bowl.

1 (64 oz) can pineapple juice

12 oz orange juice

12 oz lemonade

3 bottles champagne

Photo: Happy Mothers Day ~ Fuzzy Flwrs by Sharon