Bake 'n Take Breakfast Muffins
Fond of Egg McMuffins? If so, you can make this tasty homemade version in less time than it takes you to cruise the morning drive-thru window. These muffins are a neat and quick way to make a hot, healthy breakfast—you can even customize the flavors and ingredients to suit your tastes and nutritional preferences. For an entire family on the go, prepare the muffins assembly-line style, wrap them in foil, and leave them by the door as your family races off to work or school. Young eaters may find that half a muffin sandwich is plenty, while older kids, teens, and adults will likely want a whole one.
- Prep time: 3 minutes, plus 10 minutes to heat oven
- Cook time: 8 minutes
- Yield: 1 muffin sandwich
Do this first:
- Position a rack in the upper third of the oven. Start heating the oven—to 450 degrees—at least 10 minutes before assembling the muffins, so that the oven is fully hot when you're ready to cook.
- Measure 2 tablespoons pre-grated cheddar cheese (or grate enough cheese to make 2 tablespoons).
Ingredients and steps:
- 1 English muffin, preferably multi-grain or whole wheat
- 1/8 teaspoon dried herb of your choice
(chervil, thyme, dill, basic, or parsley)
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese
- Dash of salt
- Dash of pepper
- While the oven is heating, line a baking sheet with foil. Lightly spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.
- Open the English muffin and place the two halves on the foil, with the insides facing up.
- In a small bowl, crumble the herbs between your finders to release their flavor. Add the egg, cheese, salt, and pepper and beat with a fork until blended (about 10 seconds).
- Carefully pour the egg mixture onto each half of the English muffin, keeping as much of the mixture from spilling over the sides as possible. Let the mixture soak into the muffin for a second or two before adding more to the muffin. (Don't worry if some of the egg mixture runs over the sides of the muffin—it will still taste fine.)
- Bake for about 8 minutes, until the mixture is no longer runny and the cheese is melted. Tip: Set a timer for 8 minutes when you put the muffins in the oven. Make sure the timer is within earshot while you get ready for work or school.
- Lift the muffin halves off the foil with a spatula. If you're eating at a table, let the muffin halves rest for several minutes until cool enough to eat (watch it—they're hot!) and serve the muffin open-faced. For a meal that you can take with you, place the two halves together to make a sandwich and wrap in the same foil used for baking. To keep the heat in longer, wrap in heavy-duty foil, and then in a cloth napkin to help retain the heat.
Vary It! Use this basic recipe as a starting point to add the seasonings and ingredients that you prefer—including those little bits of leftovers lurking in the fridge! Adding salsa, chili powder, and ground cumin make the muffin Mexican; use green onions to add zest; and add crumbled, cooked Italian sausage to give a Mediterranean flavor (try a lowfat turkey sausage). For a more savory taste, warm a slice of Canadian bacon on the foil as the muffins bake, and then place the bacon between the two muffin halves.
This meal packs protein, carbohydrates, calcium, and adds notable amounts of iron and vitamin A. It gets about 36 percent of its calories from fat, but adding cooked vegetables or beans to the egg mixture brings down the overall fat content and increases nutrients. Cooked peas, mashed beans, and chopped spinach (squeezed dry) work well. Some vegetables and cooked meats, such as ham, give off water as they bake, so they require longer cooking times.
If you're watching your cholesterol intake, use an egg substitute instead of a whole egg. Whole-grain and multi-grain muffins provide more nutrients and fiber than do white or sourdough muffins.
Recipes: Breakfasts, Brown-Bags, & Breads
Recipe © 1999 by Kate Heyhoe
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