Would you serve a main dish of muffins with a side of muffins, followed by muffins and with muffins, of course, as the bread – and muffins for dessert?
My family thinks I’m goofy, but that’s kind of the point.
We’re having fun with food this week.
If you enjoyed my silly pancake meal at all, this one is even better, trust me. It’s all the goodness of real food and all the fun of muffin cups, all the time.
The Muffin Menu
- Main dish :: Meat and Spinach Muffins, in either Greek or Pizza flavors
- Potato side :: Smashed Potato and Pea Muffins (recipe below)
- Rice and veggie side :: Zucchini-Rice Muffins
- Side bread :: Gluten-free Bacon-n-Green-Onion Muffins
- Dessert :: Gluten-free Cinnamon Date Muffins (with homemade frosting, optional)
That’s actually a bit more starch than we’d usually have in one meal, but I’ll offer more veggie-heavy adaptations, too.
As you might imagine, I’ll be posting muffin recipes all week long – so be sure to sign up for a free email subscription or grab my reader feed so you can compile the whole meal. You can also follow me on Twitter, get KS for Kindle, or see my Facebook Fan Page.
Some Muffin Madness Tips
It’s not an everyday thing to make this many muffins at once! To make the meal run smoothly, you might want to:
- …make grain-based muffins and rice muffins ahead of time. Any of them could be made ahead, really. It’s tough to orchestrate all at once.
- …either bake the dessert muffins a day or more in advance (freeze them) or have the batter ready to bake while you’re eating dinner. I recommend the former for sanity’s sake…
- …improvise. Potato muffins do okay just sitting in paper muffin liners on a cookie sheet, if you’re like me and have only one regular muffin pan and one mini.
- …reuse paper liners and muffin tin without washing in between. If you make the grain-based and rice muffins first, they pop out of the papers effortlessly (at least if you’re using unbleached muffin liners on Amazon, no promises about other paper cups; they don’t always act the same way). The you can fill the same cups with meat and potatoes.
I didn’t think I wanted to make mini muffins of any of these, but they turned out well for every single variety, my kids had fun with them, AND they cook a lot faster when things are piling up waiting for their turn in the oven! I loved being able to give the kids a taste without feeling like I was piling up their plate. Minis are great!
I am thinking about replacing my nasty nonstick muffin pans (another reason I use liners) with either cast iron muffin pans or stainless steel muffin pans (links take you to a round-up of many brands on Amazon). I’m just not sure which kind yet…
Closeup Muffin Experience
Here’s a little closer tour of our muffin meal. Don’t forget to come back the rest of the week to grab the actual recipes!
Greek Chickpea-Beef Muffins
Spicy Pizza Muffins
Smashed Potato and Pea Muffins
gluten-free bacon-and-green-onion muffins
Dessert Muffins: Date and Cinnamon
Recipe: Smashed Potato and Pea Muffins
Your kids will love playing hide and seek with the peas in these muffins. They’re a fun addition to a silly muffin meal!Print
- Wash and boil the potatoes for about 15 minutes or until soft in salted water. (If using fresh garlic, add it to the water as it will be too strong straight up in the potatoes.)
- Drain the cooked potatoes.
- Add all the other ingredients and smash with a potato masher or other handy utensil. Mix well.
- Put a big spoonful of potatoes into each large muffin cup, and add a scoop of frozen peas, then top with more potatoes. They won’t change shape, so fill the cups as much as you wish.
- For mini muffins, you probably want to stir the peas right in since they’re a bit too small for hide-and-seek peas.
- Bake at 375F for 40 minutes, 15-20 minutes for mini muffins.
- Makes about 10-12 muffins or 24 minis.
2 Tools for Real Food Success:
It’s never easy to keep up with real food goals! If my meal isn’t planned ahead and/or I don’t have the right food on hand, it’s SO tempting to give up and grab convenience food!
I have to almost trick myself into getting it right sometimes…like this:
I love my raw milk farm, and they usually have beef for me too – but not all the cuts. And chicken is hard to come by. And pork is hit or miss.
I’m sure you’ve experienced the same sourcing frustrations!
That’s why I’m always grateful that there’s an online source of incredibly high quality meat that I can always count on. A box from Butcher Box is guaranteed to be grassfed/organic/pastured/free range = all the labels important to your family’s health!
If you live in an area (like my mom) where organic local farms are nowhere to be found or have trouble sourcing certain meats or cuts, Butcher Box has you covered.
(free shipping too!)
But if I forget to plan ahead, all that amazing meat just sits in the freezer! Enter Real Plans, an online meal planning software that is probably smarter than I am.
I can enter that cut of meat along with my food restrictions and find the perfect meal, then generate a shopping list, multiply it by 4 if we have company, and enter my own fav recipes too.
Real Plans takes the stress out of meal planning and puts the nourishing food BACK on your table. There’s a plan for every diet type:
Other Muffin Options
Once you start making muffins out of everything, you start wondering what else might be able to go into a muffin cup.
I tried grain-free biscuits (almond flour based, adapted from this recipe) last night, and they turned out great! In fact, I think I liked the little mini biscuit-muffins better than the regular biscuit shape.
Update later that week: I’ve now tried the spelt biscuit dough from my Healthy Snacks to Go ebook and another grain-free biscuit dough, this one using 2 cups of and 4 egg whites. They both worked as muffins too! I’m feeling pretty confident that any biscuit recipe would make (delicious) muffin shapes. Let me know if you try your favorite!
Aren’t those spoons gorgeous? They’re my review sample for the next giveaway, coming next week!
I’d love to try sliced potatoes piled up in a muffin cup, maybe baking them from raw potatoes. I think the layers would be so pretty from the side. Mashed sweet potatoes certainly should work fine for the potato muffin as a much lower carb option.
I still want to try mashed cauliflower muffins, using the idea of the potato muffins but with cauliflower.
It’s on the meal plan for tonight, as a matter of fact. I’ll let you know how it goes on Facebook.
Update that night: The mashed cauliflower, made pretty much like the smashed potatoes but with steamed cauliflower and an immersion blender, worked pretty well. The muffins don’t come out of the wrappers quite as easily, but when they do, they stay together in muffin form. Bring on the vegetables!
I also think that the rice muffins could be grain-free with just about any two cups of finely chopped veggies, maybe with a little something gummy like potato or pureed something – cauliflower? Sweet potato? – to help hold together. The egg alone might be enough, and that would make an awesome all-veggie side for this silly meal.
For a meatless muffin meal, we’ve had egg muffins for breakfast before: we use about a cup of veggies, some ham or sausage if desired, and 10-12 eggs for 12 muffins. They bake at 400F for 18-20 minutes. If you try this, definitely use muffin cups. Eggs are awful to clean out!
Another easy option for the meat muffins is to make mini meatloaves, using whatever recipe your family already enjoys (here’s my adaptable meatloaf method). Bake them in muffin cups, and really have fun with it by piping smooth mashed potatoes on top in a swirl like grocery store cupcake frosting! I didn’t get quite that fancy, but wouldn’t it be cute?
What do you want to try in a muffin cup to see if it works?