Meal in a Muffin: Arugula, Butternut Squash & Sharp Cheddar Flecks

November 15, 2010 § 6 Comments

I am a muffin FANATIC.  I live for mornings that jump-start with mongo-muffins with cracked tops, splitting open, leaking berries and hiding clumps of nuts and oats.  The other day, a new muffin-recipe caught my eye: A savory, no-sweet-stuff muffin.  I’ve made savory muffins before, but mine were kind of like quicheHeidi’s pumpkin and feta muffins, on the other hand, are real muffins: Their base is two cups of flour rather than a slurry of egg and cottage cheese, and they’re flecked with delicious-sounding add-ins.

I’ve tweaked Heidi’s recipe and included some of my most favorite flavors. These are not my standard, googly-eyed breakfast muffins bulging with dried fruit and nuts or chocolate and bananas or smelling of all spice and nutmeg.  These fellas are dense, speckled with sunflower seed crunches, snappy arugula bites, sweet butternut squash hunks and loads of flavor from a couple scoops of whole grain mustard and a fluffy pile of grated Parmesan and cheddar cheese.  Packed with veggies and whole grains, these guys are a stand-alone meal.  While I don’t dig into them for breakfast (I cave to my sweet muffin varieties with homemade pumpkin coffee on these chillier, Fall mornings) I’ve rather taken to these toothsome, squashy-mustardy bites accompanied by a bowl of creamy tomato soup or my favorite lip-smackin’ chili.

Ingredients:
2 cups butternut squash, cubed
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
sea salt, pepper

2 cups whole wheat flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 handful arugula
1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese, sharp
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
2 eggs
3/4 cup plain almond milk (or milk preference)

Method:

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Roast cubed butternut squash with a sprinkling of sea salt, pepper and olive oil to coat.  Bake until fork-tender, about 20 minutes.  Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.

2.  Meanwhile, mix flour, powder and sea salt in a separate bowl and gently mix with a fork.  To the flour mixture, add arugula, parsley, sunflower seeds and cheeses.  Toss with a fork and set aside.

3.  When butternut squash is tender, remove from oven and combine with flour mixture.  The heat from the squash will help wilt the arugula (and make the flavor more subtle and less bitter).  Add liquids and mustard to the batter and gently stir until totally incorporated.  Scoop into greased muffin tins.  Depending on the size of the tin, cooking time will vary.  In a 350 degree oven, cook smaller muffins (12-to-a-tin) for approximately 22-25 minutes.  Larger muffins (see above photo) may take 30 to 33 minutes.  Pierce muffins with a knife to test; if clean, remove from oven.  Let cool in the tin for at least 10 minutes to set.  Cool completely before packaging.  These muffins freeze-and-thaw wonderfully and stay fresh on the counter for several days.

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§ 6 Responses to Meal in a Muffin: Arugula, Butternut Squash & Sharp Cheddar Flecks

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