For years, in KongKong, my husband and the kids would automatically make a reservation in a palace for a mother’s day brunch. It was huge. The most incredible buffet I’ve ever seen. I realize today that mother ‘s day was a very good excuse for them to over indulge in all the food they love.

Today, I am glad that, back in the States, we don’t have this kind of food extravaganza available, because I would feel very guilty: first, I would rather spend the buffet money somewhere else, and I’m not 40 anymore and able to stuff myself without visible consequences: like most mothers who like to eat good stuff, I tend to stay away from what would inevitably fall on my hips. I prefer to choose Good and Safe, meaning, good and good for you, since it exists!

 

I just came back from three weeks in Europe (book tour..). Which means I read lots and lots of cooking books…and got very inspired. Inspired on making very French traditional recipes…However, what I like the most is to make healthy twists on traditional recipes.

This is what I’m offering you here: a twist on Quiche, will be turned into a green and white cheesy tart, and for a sweet tooth, my healthy take on Victoria sandwiches.

They are perfect for a nice mother’s day pic-nic, far from the exuberance of the buffet, closer to intimacy and simplicity. You may pair your tart with a nice arugula salad dressed with lemon juice and olive oil, and serve your mini Victoria sandwiches with a strawberry and orange salad.

 

 

Bruxelles sprouts, goat and herbs tart

2 cups of mini Bruxelles sprouts, a large bunch of fresh herb of your choice (I used cilantro) , 1 nice slice of goat bûche (or Brie), 1 cup grated Swiss cheese, 2 eggs, 1 cup milk, 1 large crushed garlic, salt, pepper.

1 stick unsalted butter, 2 cups spelt flour, 1 pinch of salt, 1/3 cup water

 

The dough :

Process the cold butter with the flour and salt. Add enough water to bring a ball together.

Roll the dough, place in a tart tin, prick with a fork and fill it with your ingredients.

Place in the oven for about 35 to 40 mn at 400 degrees.

Let completely cool down before removing from the tin, but you may choose to let the tart in the tin to easily carry it to your picnic location…

 

 

Mini Victoria sandwiches with raw strawberry jam and mascarpone cream.

Traditionally, Victoria sandwiches are made with the same amount of butter, sugar, eggs and flour. To me, this is over greasy and over sweet.

In this version, we use a fat free sponge inspired from the very French Genoise. This one is flavored with spices and orange essential oil. But feel free to keep it simple if you prefer.

 

Genoise

4 eggs separated, 1 cup flour of your choice (spelt, regular white, gluten free white), ½ cup sugar (I used coconut sugar because I never use white sugar), 1 tbs walnut oil (any oils will do), 3 drops of orange essential oil (or almond, lemon) or vanilla, ½ cup pecan pieces, cinnamon

 

Whisk the egg whites until just firm. Add the sugar while beating, then the yolks, the flavor and the oil. Incorporate the flour.

Spoon the batter in little molds

Sprinkle with pecan bits.

Bake about 10 mn in a 375 degrees oven.

Let completely cool down before sandwiching the cakes with the cream and the jam.

 

 

Mascarpone cream

½ cup mascarpone, ½ cup whipping cream, flavor of your choice, 1 tbs of powdered sugar or maple syrup

Whisk everything together a few seconds. It doesn’t take longer to obtain a butter cream like mixture, ready to use.

 

Strawberry jam

1 cup sliced strawberries, 2 tbs Qia seeds, 3 tbs orange juice (or lemon), 3 tbs maple syrup (or less).

Blend everything together. Let sit in the fridge all night.