Sometimes its nice to do something fun and frivolous for the people you love. And by people you love, I mean yourself too. I have chosen healthy meals for several days now, so tonight I decided to bake dessert.
Mind you, from the outside these look like the usual Jiffy corn muffins I make whenever we have pea soup or chili, but tonight I hid a black cherry surprise inside. The boys were skeptical at first, but they all loved them, and I doubt there will be any muffins left by morning.
Corn Muffins with Black Cherry Hearts
To make these yourself, prepare one box of Jiffy corn muffin mix for six muffins, or two boxes for twelve, according to the package directions. Jiffy is neither vegan nor gluten free to best of my knowledge, but I bet you could hide a black cherry surprise inside any corn muffin mix or recipe that suits your needs.
Spray the bottom only of the cups in your muffin pan.
Drop two rounded tablespoons of batter into each muffin cup. Don’t measure this. Just take the bigger of your flatware spoons and scoop out a chunk of batter and then another. Two spoons per cup works perfect for me to divvy the batter correctly. Remember, you are saving one third of this batter to top the filling.
Next, oil the back of a clean spoon–if you have cooking spray, just spritz the back of your spoon–and use the spoon to push down a little in the center of the batter in each cup.
This next part you do measure, so you can put the right amount. Drop a measured teaspoon of filling into the center of each cup. You can fill the muffins with any preserves you choose, even salsa or chutney. I used black cherry preserves that my mom gave me last month.
For the last step, you spoon the remaining batter over the preserves. You should have enough left for a large spoonful of batter to cover all the filling in each cup.
Cook in the oven as directed for the full twenty minutes because of the additional, wet filling.
These are so good, I can’t begin to explain. Yes, they have an added surprise, but it’s also that the single teaspoon is proper amount. One teaspoon is just enough so every bite has some jam, but not enough to drip or overpower the muffin. And one teaspoon of these preserves added only 15 calories to each serving.
My Quinoa Diet Update
Today, I started with quinoa porridge.
For lunch, I made an omelet with mushrooms and smoked gouda cheese.
I was also cooking chili. We had a house guest who eats vegan, so I started with a huge mess of veggies. I was going to split them between two pots and do a ground beef chili and a vegan chili. However, just about the time I would have split the pot, our vegan guest departed, so I threw all the chili together and ate like a proper carnivore.
The chickpea balls tasted fabulous, but they kind of fell apart when probed with a fork. I am going to keep working on my patty and ball recipe to find a good mix I can trust will stand up to a fork. Yesterday’s Black Bean Quinoa Patties recipe was great in that regard–it handled well with a fork–but that’s a lot of breadcrumbs I used to achieve that effect.
So, I’m not sharing tonight’s chickpea recipe until I perfect it.
I sauteed a pound of ground beef in the skillet. Then I grabbed a big pot for the chili and put in a large can of whole tomatoes, unsalted. This pan does not have non-stick coating, so I was able to use a sharp knife and fork to cut up the tomatoes to bite-size pieces.
I liberated the veggies from their broth and added them to the chili pot along with one cup of the reserved broth. I added a package of powdered chili mix, the ground beef, and two tablespoons of minced garlic. I opened a 15 ounce can of pink beans, drained and rinsed them, then added them to the pot. I tasted the chili and decided it needed some fortification in the form of a beef bouillon cube, some chili powder, red pepper flakes, and cumin.
All that was left was to turn up the flame for a boil, then let all the flavors meld for about ten minutes. One cup of chili over a third cup of quinoa was bliss for me, but the chickpea balls on the side added more interest and adventure. And then a corn muffin for dessert, oh my!
I think I maxed my carbs again. And I probably didn’t get anywhere near enough green. Tomorrow is another day.
What about you? I hope you are inspired to try something new today. There is a world of flavor out there to be discovered if you are willing to shake up old habits and try new ingredients.
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