This was an experiment that went right and I was really surprised. Not only was it easy and cheap to make, it was delicious, low-fat AND easy to pack for a lunchbox (or a picnic). The key thing here is a muffin pan – it helps shapes these savoury bites. I guess you could use your hands, roll them into a ball, then plonk them onto a flat baking sheet and hope they stay in shape while baking.
You can substitute any of the herbs and spices below with anything you have in the kitchen (even a simple salt and pepper mix will do). The herbs and spices* basically give the plain all-purpose flour some flavour. Add dried chili flakes if you want a bit of kick.
T thought they tasted like turkey stuffing and were very filling. He had 2 for dinner, followed by some home baked chocolate cake and ice cream. Then before we went to bed, he said he wished he had more of the muffins. Lucky for him, I had prepared some for his lunch the next day.
Savoury Meat-Free Muffins
Serves 4 – 6. Prep time: 5 minutes. Cooking time: 20 – 30 minutes.
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms (or contents of 1 tin)
1 1/2 cup chopped water chestnuts (I bought 1 small tin of these)
1 cup flour
1 cup low fat shredded cheese
1 large egg
1 tablespoon dried basil*
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder*
1/2 tablespoon paprika*
1/2 tablespoon dried rosemary*
2 cups dried breadcrumbs (I bashed some saltines in a bowl with a ice cream scoop for this)
1/2 tablespoon of Olive Oil (or cooking spray to grease the pan)
1. Chop up mushrooms and water chestnuts as small as you can (do not blend in a food processor because you’ll lose some “bite”), then mix it up in a large bowl with the flour, egg, butter, shredded cheese, as well as all the herbs and spices.
2. Keep mixing the contents of the bowl until a ball forms.
3. Pour your breadcrumbs (or bash some saltines) in a separate bowl.
4. Split your wet mixture into 6 – 8 large balls to prepare for rolling in the breadcrumbs. (I used the ice cream scoop but you can do it in any way.)
5. Roll each ball thoroughly in the breadcrumbs then plonk every single one into an individually greased cup of the muffin pan.
6. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes in an oven preheated to 425degF.
7. Remove from oven and let cool.
I served mine with some tomato-based pasta sauce that I had prepared with sauteed onions and some additional herbs. You can eat it with ketchup or any of your favourite sauces.For T’s lunch, I packed 4 muffins and some sauce in separate containers for easy reheating at work. Make these muffin larger or smaller as you wish. They are savoury and satisfying!