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Brunch dish...protein...no eggs or pork

I need an entree for a brunch I am hosting this Sunday (12 guests total, about 4 of them kids). For health and religious reasons of some of the guests, I can't serve pork or eggs. Any suggestions?

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  1. No eggs at all? So, no baked goods that use eggs as leavener? Because that leaves out all my easy suggestions of pancakes, coffee cake, sweet rolls, etc.

    Definitely fruit salad with fresh berries. Whip up some fresh cream to serve on top (kids love that... I do, too). Sprinkled with raw sugar it looks really pretty.

    How about tea sandwiches? Cream cheese, cucumber, smoked salmon. Goat cheese, walnut, and pear. Brie and apple. PB&J (for the kids, cut into triangles).

    Beef meatballs served on toast points? Some variation of biscuits and gravy (can you make sausage gravy with ground beef)?

    5 Replies
    1. re: leanneabe

      I can use eggs in baked goods, but it's the main dish I'm inquiring about. I want to have protein because everything else will be fruit, dairy and muffins.

      Sorry if that was unclear. Thanks for the response.

      1. re: leanneabe

        1) Kedgeree (rice flavored with curry powder and mixed with flaked salmon served with lemon wedges and chutney. 2) Chunks of boneless chicken breast in chicken gravy served on hot baking powder biscuits. 3) Baked corned beef hash (make it---don't use the canned dogfood type). 4) Shrimp Creole served with cornmeal spoonbread. 5) Crepes filled with chopped chicken in chicken gravy, more gravy on top, baked in big flat casserole. 6) Baked seafood casserole using stuffing mix, mayonnaise, green pepper, celery, water chestnuts, mushrooms, and any desired combination of seafood (shrimp, crabmeat, salmon); season to taste. 7) Sausages not made of pork (turkey etc) wrapped in frozen puff paste and baked, served with some interesting sauce. 8) Is quiche out if you can have baked goods with eggs? 9) Ditto, can you have eggs in baked French toast?

        1. re: Querencia

          You need eggs for crêpes, so those might be out too.

          Kedgeree's typically made with smoked herring, I think, and you usually have a boiled egg on top. I've made a veg version with lentils and smoked tofu before.

          1. re: piccola

            Smoked halibut in kedgeree... never seen herring.

            1. re: hungry_pangolin

              Oops, wrong fish. Shows how much I pay attention to non-veg things. :-)

      2. Salmon. Good for brunch. Smoked, gravlax or poached. Works in many applications.

        2 Replies
        1. re: scubadoo97

          I like the idea of salmon, but i'm not sure how it will go over with the kids. My 8 year old loved smoked salmon, but I think that's a little unusual.

          1. re: chocolate chick

            You could do a smoked salmon "hash" type dish, with potatoes, peppers if you want, and smoked salmon. Maybe if it wasn't just smoked salmon on its own it would go over better.

            Also, there are a lot of brands that do chicken and turkey sausages (although the casing might be a pork product, so don't know if that would work...)

          1. Any interest in shrimp and grits or a cheese grits souffle'?

            1. I was going to suggest poached salmon, but...how about a "carving station" of roast turkey, or beef, or lamb.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Marge

                I love the idea. However, I don't think I have ever successfully made a turkey breast without drying it out. Any tips? Also, what cut of beef would you recommend?

                1. re: chocolate chick

                  I use Reynold's oven bags for moist turkey breast successfully. For tender lean (albeit expensive) beef roast I like tenderloin.

                  1. re: chocolate chick

                    non-dry turkey: oven probe thermometer...don't cook the breast past 170.

                    Shrimp and grits is a great idea.

                    I had a great brunch dish at Prune in NYC: a bowl of fresh ricotta, topped with fresh figs, walnuts, drizzled w/ honey. You could use farmers cheese in place of the ricotta (or part of it) if you need something lower fat.

                    1. re: chocolate chick

                      If you want to make a moist turkey breast brine it before cooking it.

                  2. Might I suggest beans/lentils, lots of protein and no pork or eggs. If you are trying to go light you can make a rice and bean salad with cranberry or red kidney beans, risotto with beans using the same. If you don't mind something a bit heavier I am a big fan of salsicce e fagioli all'uccelletto (pork sausages and beans with garlic, sage and tomato sauce). You can easily substitute turkey for the pork and it's easy to make.
                    Here's what you'd need (for 4 servings):
                    Chopped garlic, to taste
                    1/2 red onion, diced
                    Ground sage, to taste but at least 3 good shakes of the jar
                    1 lb. cannellini (white kidney) beans
                    1 lb peeled, diced tomatoes
                    1/2 turkey sausage
                    salt and pepper to taste
                    Here's what you do:
                    Brown the sausage but not completely, it will finish cooking with the rest of the dish. Saute the onion in the EVOO until tender then add the garlic and sage. One minute after adding the garlic and sage add the beans so they absorb the seasoning. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste, then add the sausage and cook for about 1/2 hour.

                    I prefer to make this one day in advance to allow the flavors to blend really well. I also make this in a cast iron pot and leave it in the oven at around 200 for a while because the heat circulates more evenly without anything burning to the pot. This can be done on the stove top easily enough, but requires more maintenance (stirring) so stuff doesn't burn.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: HeBrew

                      The recipe looks great and I will definately try it. Knowing the crowd that's coming though, don't think it's for them. Love beans. I bet it would be great served with pasta too. Thanks so much.

                    2. Oatmeal is rather rich in protein.
                      Buckwheat pancakes - buckwheat has even more protein and of a better quality.
                      Quinoa or amaranth are chock full of protein that is almost complete, and make perfect breakfast foods.
                      I also figure that those goji berries (wolfberries before they became a fad) would also make a good breakfast food since they're fruit - they're also chock full of protein - just remember that they should be cooked.

                      You can also make sweet baked goods using lentil paste (that is, boil the lentils then grind them into a paste), Alton Brown had a good recipe using that, you can check it out on foodtv.com

                      or you could get new friend, hahaha just kidding... but not really

                      1. Tofu scramble. Allow guests to make into soft tacos with small corn tortillas. Offer a fresh salsa and guacamole.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: torty

                          Or a fajita station with grilled chicken, beef, or shrimp! Flour or corn tortillas, sauteed pepper and onions... yum!

                        2. I love this... beef sauage, braised in a light, slightly spicy tomato sauce. It was a great partner with poached eggs at a brunch I did. People were pleasantly surprised by the pairing. You'll just have to skip the egg part, I guess. As well, I'm a great fan of kippers. To avoid the odour from cooking, find them in a tin or boil bag, and heat them in the packaging. I also like smoked mackerel served with a horsradish mayo, but to avoid the egg in the mayo, you could use plain yogurt.

                          1. What about a bastarized scrapple made with ground turkey or chicken instead of pork?

                            I made some earlier this year for a brunch (it also had apples and cornmeal in it) and it went over really well as a nice change from the usual.


                            I think I used this recipe, substituting ground turkey that was amply seasoned with ground sage, thyme, salt, and pepper.

                            1. Chicken chilaquiles... basically layers of stale (or fried) corn tortillas, shredded cooked chicken, enchilada sauce, cheese... google some recipes. Serve w/ chopped scallions, sour cream... yum!

                              1. Chicken or beef and cheese tamales.

                                Depending on where you are, you can get great ones frozen or fresh and steam them that morning.

                                1. Croquettes are one of my favorite foods and always disappear when offered to friends at gatherings. Potatoes, bread crumbs (preferably panko), and whatever you decide to use as a filling. I usually us an eggwash to coat the potato ball after dredging them in flour, so I don't know if the eggwash will be allowed in your case. You've mentioned that you can use eggs in baked goods - this isn't really a baked good, but I'm guessing you're reasons are based on religious guidelines so the determining factor would probably be what you decide to put in with the mashed potatoes. If you decide to go this route, I'd make one more suggestion: fry the croquettes twice. You want to let them steam off after the first frying, then fry again to retain a nice crisp outside.

                                  1. Bagels and lox with a fruit salad.