You don't need to spend big to enjoy a yummy brunch with these recipes!
I think we can all agree that quarantine is harder than ever before. Gone are the days of banana bread, TikTok whipped coffee and sunshine, and to top it all off, our favourite restaurants, cafes and eateries are all out of bounds. Whilst it is obviously not the worst effect of lockdown, you’re still allowed to have a little Sunday morning slump when you’re craving your favourite brunch dish. Here’s where I come in! I am not letting you settle for a sad-looking piece of toast or a bland bowl of cereal. The least you deserve at the moment is some good food to start your day off with, and trust me, it’s a lot easier than you think to recreate some of your favourite brunch dishes at home!
Now, I’m very aware that I’m not doing anything revolutionary by giving you a few brunch recipes, but I wanted to show just how easy it is to bring Boston Tea Party into your kitchen (nope, don’t open Deliveroo) alongside the fact that you don’t have to get robbed of the best part of a tenner to enjoy delicious, Instagrammable food! Another heavy plus is that no one will stop you eating it in your pyjamas – can anyone see a downside?
I've also calculated and included the prices of every ingredient needed to create these recipes (GCSE maths has to come in for something, right?)
Fluffy American pancakes
Let’s start off with the classic: a stack of American pancakes. You can obviously top these with anything you like - I usually go with banana and golden syrup or summer berries and yoghurt. I personally can’t eat gluten, so I swapped out the regular flour with Doves Farm gluten free flour and it works just the same! Equally, you can replace regular cow’s milk with any milk alternatives – I went with soya. If you’d like to make them vegan, just switch the egg out with one mashed banana, the milk for a plant based alternative and the butter for dairy free spread! Boston Tea Party will take £7.50 from you for a stack of 3-4 pancakes, but you can make 12 thick, fluffy American pancakes for only £1.59! I’m not saying you’re not allowed to eat all 12 pancakes yourself (we all have those days) but if you felt generous and shared these with 3 others, it’s less than 50p a portion! This leaves you with some lovely spare change to spend on all the toppings you could ever want.
290g flour (26p)
75g caster sugar (5p)
4tbsp baking powder (16p)
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda (1p)
440ml milk (31p)
60g butter (36p)
2 tsp vanilla extract (32p)
1 egg (12p)
Butter to grease
1. Melt the butter in the microwave and leave to cool for a couple of minutes.
2. Combine the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder into a large mixing bowl (if you don’t have one a big saucepan will do – many of my cakes have been made in a wok!) and whisk. Make a well in the centre with the back of a spoon and add the melted butter, vanilla, egg and milk.
3. Using a whisk, mix the ingredients together until a smooth batter forms and there are no big lumps of flour. There might still be a few small ones but that’s fine!
4. The batter will be quite thick but make sure it falls smoothly off a spoon and if it doesn’t add a few more tablespoons of milk.
5. Melt a couple of teaspoons of butter and heat a frying pan on a medium heat. Dip a few folded pieces of kitchen towel into the melted butter and wipe onto the hot frying pan.
6. Once the pan is hot, use a serving spoon or ladle to pour half a spoon of batter onto the pan and spread out into a circle. Depending on the size of your frying pan, add another one or two pancakes to cook at the same time.
7. Cook the pancake on this side for about 5-7 minutes or until bubbles appear all over the pancake and then flip to cook the other side for another 5-7 minutes. They should be golden brown on both sides and should have become nice and fluffy.
8. Carry on greasing your pan before each new batch and once all the pancakes have been cooked, stack them up and add your favourite toppings!
Next up on the brunch recreation list is shakshuka, a North African dish that consists of eggs baked in deliciously spiced tomato sauce and is commonly served as brunch with warm, crusty bread. It’s perfect for sharing, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you wanted to keep it all to yourself! The best thing about this dish is that you can add pretty much anything you have in your fridge and it will taste great. I added mushrooms, spinach and red pepper and it was brilliant. Just for another comparison, a Boston Tea Party shakshuka costs you £7.95, but making it at home only costs £1.47! This recipe serves 1 person (with a big appetite) but just double up the recipe to serve more!
½ onion (5p)
2 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed (2p)
1 tsp chilli flakes (2p)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes (28p)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (18p)
1tsp sugar (3p)
2 tsp paprika (5p)
1 tsp mixed herbs (15p)
½ red pepper (23p)
3 mushrooms (18p)
1 cube of frozen spinach (4p)
2 eggs (24p)
Suggestions for other vegetables – aubergine, tender-stem broccoli, sun dried tomatoes, roasted sweet potato, courgette
1. Heat a tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan on a medium-high heat and dice an onion before adding it to the pan. Add the garlic and chilli flakes and fry for 5 minutes.
2. Once the onions are soft, add the chopped tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, sugar and paprika to the pan and stir. Season with salt and pepper before bringing to a gentle boil.
3. Reduce the heat and then slice the pepper and mushrooms and add to the pan alongside the spinach. If it becomes too dry, add a splash of water. Bubble for 5-10 minutes until the sauce is thickened and the spinach has defrosted (At this stage you can freeze the sauce for a month and defrost it whenever you want a shakshuka fix!)
4. Using the back of a spoon, make two wells in the sauce and crack an egg into each one. Put a lid over your pan or, if you don’t have one, just cover with a chopping board. Cook over a low heat for 5-7 minutes or until the eggs are done to your liking.
5. You can garnish with chopped parsley/coriander, but I didn’t have any, so I just chopped some cooked curly kale up which works a treat!
6. Serve with warm, crusty bread and dig in knowing you’ve saved over £7!
Nutella stuffed French toast
The next recipe is for everyone with a sweet tooth – Nutella stuffed French toast, topped with caramelised banana. Now, that sounds so fancy and something that you’d definitely have to go out for, but I think it’s one of the easiest of all these recipes! I’m not the biggest fan of bananas but it is honestly a gamechanger having them caramelised, which is literally just a fancy way of saying frying them in sugar! This recipe also only costs £1.32 for two portions.
10g butter (6p)
4 slices of brioche bread or 2 brioche buns (50p)
2 tbsp Nutella (18p)
1 egg (12p)
100ml milk (7p)
2 tsp sugar (2p)
1 tsp vanilla extract (16p)
10g butter (6p)
1 banana (15p)
1. Add the egg, milk, a teaspoon of sugar and vanilla extract to a bowl and whisk until combined.
2. Spread the brioche slices with Nutella and sandwich together so that you have two Nutella filled sandwiches. Soak each one in the egg mixture for a minute on each side.
3. Heat the butter in a frying pan on a medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted, add the brioche to the pan and fry for 5 minutes on each side until golden brown.
4. Whilst the brioche is cooking, slice the banana and heat a small pan over a high heat. Add the butter and wait until it has melted before adding the banana and teaspoon of sugar. The banana will start to caramelise and turn golden brown after about two minutes. Take off the heat once done to avoid burning the sugar.
5. Take the French toast off the heat and add to a plate before topping with your caramelised banana and some extra Nutella!
Berry blast smoothie bowl
To end with some vitamins, here’s the last brunch recipe – a smoothie bowl. This is perfect for those Sunday mornings/afternoons when you feel a little worse for wear after a heavy Saturday night and it will definitely get rid of any signs of a hangover. For comparison, Boston Tea Party sell smoothies (as drinks) for £3.35 but this berry blast smoothie bowl will only set you back 65p before toppings. You can very easily make it vegan and dairy free by swapping the yoghurt and milk for plant alternatives!
150g frozen summer berries (41p)
3 tbsp milk (4p)
1 tbsp Greek yoghurt (3p)
1 tsp honey (2p)
1. Add the frozen berries, milk, half the banana and yoghurt to a blender and blend for 2 minutes or until smooth. Add a splash more milk if it needs more liquid, but smoothie bowls are usually lovely and thick!
2. Once smooth, stir through honey, scrape into a bowl and add any toppings of your choice – I chose desiccated coconut, berries, oats, chia seeds, the other half of the banana, a few seeds and an extra drizzle of honey.
There we have it: four brunch recipes that you may be missing at the moment but are much easier to make than you may have first thought! Don’t get me wrong, I recognise that it’s a massive plus to get it made for you and yes making the dishes does take a little bit of effort, but one thing’s for sure, it’s a whole lot cheaper to make them at home - at least this gives you something to do to impress whoever you’re locked in with! Don’t worry – you’re still allowed to head to Boston Tea Party (or another brunch outlet) once we’re finally allowed out of our houses. They’ll just have a bit of competition now!