Incredible Hulk Muffins

Greetings from the height of flu hysteria here in the US, or Flusteria 2013, as I like to call it. We’ve managed to dodge the flu bullet so far, but between Ed’s airplane travel and three kids in three different schools, I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before one of us falls. I’m a little scared. When I’m scared, I bake. (Note: I also bake when I am happy and sad and excited and disappointed.) Don’t ask me how that diet is coming along.

Believe it or not, for every recipe I post, there are ten more that don’t make the cut. I have gotten in the habit of taking pictures of everything I make, just in case it turns out to be THE BEST THING EVER, but usually I’m just left with a lot of (sometimes unidentifiable) food pictures on my iPhone. To be honest, I never expected this recipe to make the cut. I was reasonably certain my kids would hate these muffins and at best I’d have an amusing story to share about how disgusting they were. Wrong!

My boys are now 16, 11 and 9, and they come home from school starving every afternoon. Once the weekly ration of junk food is gone, it is gone, and I refuse to buy any more until my next scheduled shopping trip. We always have fruit, veggies and dip, peanut butter and jelly, etc. but things like pretzels and chips and cookies/cupcakes are purchased in limited weekly quantities. This does not always go over well, but I don’t think my kids benefit from eating crappy food before dinner seven days a week. They buy the school lunch and are able to purchase snack foods during lunchtime, so it’s not like they’re subsisting on organic apples alone. Don’t feel too sorry for them!

I decided to use after-school-feeding-frenzy time to my advantage yesterday, as hungry people are not always very particular about what they shove into their gullets. If there was ever a time they would willingly eat a green muffin, it would be after school. Not only did they eat it, they begged for more and asked me to make these every day. I’m still a little shocked about that, but I’m happy to ride this wave as long as possible.

These muffins are not exactly healthy, but they are better than a lot of processed alternatives. I used oat flour, which I made easily in my Vitamix, but you can certainly use all-purpose wheat flour if you prefer.

Incredible Hulk Muffins

WET INGREDIENTS
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup (or less) brown sugar
1 banana
1/2 cup walnuts
large handful of kale

DRY INGREDIENTS
2 cups oat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 (or more) cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a heavy duty blender, mix wet ingredients (including walnuts and kale) until completely smooth. This may take a couple minutes, depending on the blender, but we don’t want any walnut or kale pieces.

In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients until well combined. Being careful not to over mix, pour wet ingredients into bowl of dry ingredients and gently stir until just combined. Spray or oil a standard muffin tin and fill with about 1/2 cup of mixture per muffin. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Vitamix

HulkHUNGRY

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Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Patties

For some reason, I see Dawn of the Future in 2042 looking back at this recipe and promptly placing it in the Gallery of Regrettable Food, 20th Edition. Have you seen the Gallery of Regrettable Food? If you are not familiar with this internet gem, I strongly suggest you check it out and devote at least 30 minutes to waltzing down memory lane. You will find delicious recipes like this:

Warning, do not read The Gallery of Regrettable Food at work. You are guaranteed to laugh loudly and blow your cover.

Anyway, right now in 2012, I do solemnly swear that Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Patties are quite delicious. Future Dawn may roll her eyes, but Present Dawn thinks they’re terrific. Bloggers Three Blind Wives posted their version and linked to the original recipe they found on Pinterest (you can find their post which inspired me here, as well as a link to the original recipe here). I changed things up a bit according to my preferences, and I think they turned out very well. Two-thirds of my children enjoyed them as a not-exactly-healthy-not-exactly-junky after school snack.

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Patties, yields 12 to 15 muffin sized patties

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and cooked to package instructions. I cooked mine with chicken broth

1 large egg, beaten

1 onion, finely diced

1 lb. chicken, cooked and finely shredded in food processor

3/4 cup buffalo wing sauce, such as Frank’s

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup breadcrumbs, either regular, panko or gluten free

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly combine all ingredients in large bowl. Spoon into well greased muffin pan, filling to the top. Bake for 30 minutes and allow to cook slightly before removing from pan. Serve with blue cheese on the side if desired.

Brussels Sprout Chips

In my ongoing quest to find a healthy chip substitute, today I whipped up a batch of Brussels sprout chips. I am embarrassingly excited about how delicious these are! Seriously, so good. I wish I had made more, but I only made a small experimental batch.

I would say these are even easier than kale chips, since the leaves come off in less time and minimal knife skills are required. I flavored mine with salt, cayenne pepper and garlic powder, but feel free to use your imagination.

Brussels Sprout Chips

Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and leaves pulled apart

Cooking spray

Salt, garlic powder, cayenne pepper or other flavorings

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place Brussels sprout leaves on baking sheet. Spray evenly with cooking spray. Add salt, cayenne, garlic powder, or flavoring of choice. Check on these after five minutes. They brown quickly but still taste delicious on the well done side.

Review: Somersault Snacks

Very exciting news around here! I just discovered a wonderful new snack today, and it is actually good for you, provided you don’t consume the whole bag in one sitting. Oh, is that just me?

As I’ve mentioned, I am a bit weak when it comes to resisting salty, crunchy snacks. I rarely keep them in the house due to my astonishing lack of self control. But sometimes that’s all I want, and nothing but a crunchy snack will do. I was born with a primal urge to crunch stuff.

I spotted a display for Somersaults Snacks today while shopping, and I was immediately intrigued. I chose the salty pepper variety in which one 30g serving contains: 140 calories, 7g fat, 3g fiber, and 6g protein. A serving size is 14 pieces (shown below).

Yes, I do agree it resembles kibble a bit, but don’t let that put you off. They are so satisfying and delicious and salty and crunchy! As it says on the package, seeds are the new nut. I am thinking my friends who pooh poohed Brad’s Kale Chips might want to give these a try. I believe you will thank me.