by Sue Ready
Start the New Year with some healthy choices. Spinach and artichoke egg muffin bake is a nutritious start to the day with lots of add in choices, such as cooked and crumbled bacon, diced sun dried tomatoes, cooked quinoa or chia seeds. Prepare the muffin batter the night before, pop in the oven the next day and serve.
The recipe was adapted from closetcooking.com and makes nine muffins using a regular sized muffin pan. For brunch, a crunchy cashew brussels sprouts salad is the perfect accompaniment to egg muffin bake.
Spinach and artichoke egg muffin bake
1 (6.5 ounce jar) marinated artichokes, drained and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups spinach (fresh, stems removed), coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 large eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream, half and half or milk
2 ounces Neufchatel cheese, cubed
1 tsp. parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1 cup mozzarella, shredded or 1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
Drain artichokes and chop. Set aside on a paper lined plate.
In a small fry pan heat olive oil. Add torn spinach leaves and garlic cloves and saute until spinach is wilted. Add this mixture to the plate with diced artichokes.
Grate mozzarella or pepper jack cheese.
In a blender add eggs, milk or cream liquid, Neufchatel cheese, parsley flakes, dry mustard, salt and pepper. Mix well.
Add to blender mixture the wilted spinach/garlic, chopped artichokes, mozzarella or pepper jack cheese and parmesan cheese. Pulse 2 times.
Generously grease muffin pans. Pour batter almost to the top and grate parmesan cheese over the batter.
Bake in a preheated oven 375 degrees until the eggs are cooked, set and lightly golden brown, about 16 minutes.
Use a butter knife to loosen each muffin around the edges and then a fork to remove from the muffin wells. Serve immediately.
Crunchy cashew brussels sprouts salad
Cook’s notes: This easy vegan salad recipe is loaded with colorful veggies and topped with crunchy roasted cashews, toasted almonds and a flavorful Ginger Sesame Dressing. The recipe serves 6-8 but can be easily adapted to smaller proportions. It was adapted from ambitiouskitchens.com
Timesaver: A shortcut to red cabbage and shredded carrots is using a prepared bag of sweet kale chopped kit with a 1/2 bag of super shred brussels sprouts.
1/2 pound brussels sprouts, trim ends and remove any yellow outer leaves before shredding or use 1/2 bag super shred brussels sprouts found in produce
2 cups shredded red cabbage (also known as purple cabbage)
1 cup shredded carrots or carrots cut into small matchstick pieces
1 cup sweet mini red peppers, diced
1 cup orange/yellow mini peppers, diced
3/4 cup red onion slices
1 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup salted roasted cashews
1/2 cup toasted almonds
Ginger sesame dressing ingredients:
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce (or coconut aminos if GF)
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
4-5 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon freshly minced ginger
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
Mix in a blender. Taste test to balance ingredients and refrigerate until serving. Store extra dressing in a screw type jar.
Salad directions: Mix salad ingredients and drizzle with dressing right before serving.
Twice a month The Seasonal Plate food column will highlight dishes inspired by the changing seasons. My passion for travel, poetry, writing, exploring new cuisines, trying recipes and cooking have been inspiration for the recipes I have published on my blog http://www.sockfairies.blogspot.com.
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Sue Ready is a writer, poet and former middle school teacher. She is the president of the Northwoods Arts Council in Hackensack.