Blueberry muffins infused with lemon and yogurt can be part of your Easter morning celebration. Karen Schneider / For The Forecaster

This week’s main dish for Easter brunch consists of comforting, smooth polenta infused with soft cheese and sour cream. Corn niblets and a dribble of tomato sauce are added to jazz it all up.

Karen Schneider cooks and writes in the village of Cundy’s Harbor. You can reach her at [email protected]

Now, don’t stop there. Tuck some protein into this dish by making divots with a spoon and placing an egg into each indentation. Just be sure to poke the eggs in deep enough to accommodate the whole thing. Otherwise, the whites will simply run over the top of the other ingredients and take longer to bake.

Another tip is to bake the egg dish just until the whites are done because the eggs will continue to cook in the hot polenta after the pan has been removed from the oven. If you aren’t going to serve this immediately and want the egg yolks to be soft, remove them from the polenta with a spoon as soon as you remove the pan from the oven.

Energizing Smoothie Bowls with their natural sweetness and powerhouse of antioxidants and fiber are great for a special occasion, an everyday breakfast or even added to the dessert rotation. The base ingredients for the smoothie component of this recipe need to be frozen in advance, but then all you need is a high-powered blender and your imagination to create this fruity, healthy bowl full of sunshine. You could make a different one every day of the year!

After trying this recipe for blueberry muffins, it will become your go-to. The addition of yogurt and lemon rind to the batter, as well as making the muffin tops extra crunchy with the addition of a generous sugar sprinkle, makes these muffins extra special.

Eggs Baked in Polenta

2 cups water
1/2 cup fine polenta, yellow cornmeal or grits
1/2 cup fresh or defrosted frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup grated Fontina or other semi-soft cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/4 cup tomato sauce
4 large eggs
Fresh parsley or chives for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring water to a simmer and whisk in polenta. Simmer, stirring almost constantly, for 15 minutes. Stir in corn kernels and cook for five more minutes, still stirring. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup cheese, stirring until melted. Season and add sour cream. Coat a one-quart casserole or an 8-inch oven-safe skillet with butter. Transfer polenta, then spoon in tomato sauce and swirl for a marbled effect. Make four deep wells in the polenta and crack an egg into each one. Bake until whites are cooked, checking every five minutes or so with a skewer. To hurry the cooking along, cover the dish. Garnish and serve immediately. Yield: 4 small or 2 large servings

Green Smoothie Bowl

1/2-1 cup coconut milk or almond milk (vary amount for desired thickness)
2 cups baby spinach
1/2 ripe avocado
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1 ripe banana peeled, sliced and frozen
1 cup fresh pineapple chunks, frozen
1/2 ripe mango chunks, frozen
1/2 cup granola or crisp cereal
2 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tablespoon raw pumpkin or sunflower seeds
2 teaspoons chia seeds
1/2 cup fresh berries

Place liquid, spinach, avocado, flaxseed, banana, pineapple and mango in the order listed into a high-powered blender, adding only 1/2 cup liquid to start. Blend on low speed, scraping down the pitcher and adding more liquid as needed. Once thick and creamy, set the blender at high speed and blend until mixture reaches a sorbet-like consistency.

Divide smoothie mixture between two bowls and garnish with toppings. Yield: 2 servings

Blueberry Muffins

5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
Finely grated zest from 1/2 large lemon
3/4 cup plain unsweetened yogurt or sour cream
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen (no need to defrost)
3 tablespoons raw sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin tin with nine paper liners or spray each cup with nonstick spray. Melt butter in a large bowl in the microwave. Whisk in sugar, zest, yogurt and egg until smooth.

Whisk in baking powder, baking soda and salt until fully combined, then lightly fold in flour and berries. The batter will be very thick, similar to cookie dough. Divide between prepared muffin cups and sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon raw sugar.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until tops are golden and a tester inserted into the center of muffins comes out clean (except for the blueberry juice). Let cool in pan for 10 minutes then continue to cool on a rack. Yield: 9 muffins

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