Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Muffin tins - 3 ways

I recently used my muffin tins once, and then twice, and then a third time, ALL in the same day.

This old tin, I have had for years. It gets a lot of use. It's not fancy. It's not the best tin. It's a Zeller's special that has been a great value.

Speaking of Zeller's... I miss it! There was one - minutes away from our house, and it was my go-to for cleaning products, seasonal stuff, cheap socks...

Back to the muffin tin. I enjoy muffins, but I rarely bake, so this tin is used weekly for my egg white  muffin cups. A great source of protein and a deelish snack.

I put this old pan to use and baked/cooked up a storm.

Banana Chocolate Chunk Muffins

Now I am not a baker, but when I do bake, I try to make them as healthy as I can, so that when I have one I don't feel guilty. I feel that a homemade muffin, that you know exactly what went into it, is better than a bulk bag full of chocolate covered peanuts. Sigh.

2 cups of flour - I used 1 cup of whole wheat and 1 cup of all purpose
2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

5 small ripe bananas - or 3-4 large ones
1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup low fat coconut milk - I had this in the fridge and thought that it would add moisture, so I could reduce the oil
1 tsp vanilla

1 cup chocolate - I used chocolate wafers that I had leftover from making my Tiger Fudge for a silent auction at work. I chopped it up and it added in nicely.

Pre-heat the oven to 375.

In a large bowl mix all of the dry ingredients.

In another bowl, using a fork, mash up your bananas. My bananas weren't too ripe, so they were still a little chunky, which I liked. Add to that the rest of the ingredients, except for the chocolate.

Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir together. Add in the chocolate chunks and gently fold them all in.

I use a cooking spray to lighly grease the muffin tins. You can easily add liners though.

Bake in the oven for 16 minutes - and they are a golden brown.

The second use of the muffin tin was making my egg white muffin cups. I eat these pretty much every week day at work. They are easy. Easy. Did I mention that they are easy? They are a good source of protein and I can make them on Sunday and they keep for the week. Re-heat them in the microwave for 45 seconds, and you have a great snack.

Egg white muffin cups

Pre- heat the oven to 375. Gently spray the muffin tin with cooking spray. Add in whatever vegetables you like. I almost always use broccoli florets and the stocks and sometimes add in chopped red peppers.  I then add in 3 very tiny pieces of cheese. Seriously, they're small. Then add in either some italian seasoning, or some sort of seasoning that you love. Then fill the muffin tins with the egg whites. I find that 1.5 of the medium sized cartons fill the tins generously.

Bake in the oven for 17 minutes.

This particular week, I ran out of egg whites, so I added 3 eggs with a bit of water, whisked it all up, and filled the remaining 3 tins. My husband likes these too, so those were his.

A big part of staying on track and eating well (FOR ME) is doing this sort of thing in advance. And having them in the fridge in easy to grab containers. If it's not done - getting ready to leave for work in the morning, it's harder to say 'I'll grab something at work' when there is food already prepped in the fridge.

The third and final were mini meatloafs. I love meatloaf. It's not something that I make often - so when we do have it, it feels like such a decadent treat.

Mini muffin tin meatloafs (Say that 10 times)

1 pound of ground turkey - if you don't have turkey - then chicken, beef, whatever you like. Turkey is leaner, and I personally like the flavour more.
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tbsp olive oil
1 egg
1/2 cup finely chopped red pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove grated
1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes - or more if you like
Kosher salt and pepper
12 cubes of mozzarella

Pre-heat the oven to 400.

In a small bowl, mix the panko, 1/4 cup of the parmesan and olive oil. Set this aside.

In a larger bowl, add the remaining parmesan cheese, red pepper, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, kosher salt and pepper and mix. With your hands, add in the ground turkey, and mix it all together.

Spray the muffin tins with cooking spray.

Fill the muffin tins about half way up with the meatloaf mixture. Add one piece of cheese in the middle. Cover the cheese with the remaining meatloaf mixture and gently pat them down.

Cover each of the mieatloafs with the panko/parmesan mixture.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Serve with salad, a tomato sauce, a butternut squash hash with lots of colourful veggies (that's what I did).

Well friends, there you have it. One tin, 3 ways. I should try and think of a fourth. Challenge accepted.



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