Thursday, March 17, 2016

Savory Cottage Cheese Muffins

Green Chili Cottage Cheese Muffins
These muffins are the perfect answer to, “What’s for breakfast?” They’re packed with protein and can be customized to complement a low sodium diet. What’s more, they can accommodate all sorts of variations. I stumbled upon this recipe while searching for something to make with some NSA cottage cheese that needed to be used up.

I discovered several paleo recipes for savory cottage cheese muffins that sounded interesting. But I wasn’t convinced until I came across this recipe from Closet Cooking. Kevin always has such intriguing recipes, and I felt the addition of a cup of flour would stabilize the muffin. Make it more sturdy and, therefore, a better vehicle for add-ins.

Obviously, I modified the recipe to make it low sodium. I used Lucerne NSA cottage cheese (from Safeway) and Hain Featherweight no sodium baking powder (from Healthy Heart Market). I totally omitted the salt and used low sodium meats. In fact, I lessened the amount of meat and cheese too. Finally, I made jumbo muffins using a 6 cup tin.

The first time I made them, I didn’t have any low sodium ham or bacon on hand. But I did have half a can of chopped green chilies that needed using up. So I briefly rinsed them in water, dried them and mixed them in. A really tasty treat. The next time, I got some ¼ inch slices of Boar’s Head low sodium ham at a local grocery store’s full service deli. Those muffins were especially yummy. By the way, these muffins freeze well and are quite good heated up in the microwave. They’re like eating an omelet, frittata, or quiche out of hand.

Each time I’ve made the muffins, I’ve varied the ingredients depending on what I’ve got on hand. The possibilities are endless: Crumbled homemade loso breakfast sausage or Italian sausage; chopped store bought loso ham; crumbled hamburger or loso bacon; a teaspoon of Italian spices or another favorite NSA spice blend; finely chopped bell pepper (red or green); sliced loso black olives (from Healthy Heart Market); well drained & chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

Just be sure to keep the proportions about the same — 3 to 4 oz of meat; ⅓ to ½ cup of cheese; and the equivalent of 2 sliced green onions when it comes to vegetables. You could also substitute veggies for some of the meat. Just don’t use anything that exudes a lot of liquid, like mushrooms or zucchini. You would need to saute those first to get rid of the excess water.

Here’s the recipe with my notes for making it low sodium. Many thanks to Kevin Lynch and his wonderful  blog.

Savory Cottage Cheese Muffins

  • 1 cup cottage cheese (Lucerne NSA Lowfat)
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup flour (gluten-free or regular)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (Hain Featherweight Sodium Free)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (I omitted altogether)
  • 4 ounces ham, diced (Low sodium ham, sausage, bacon, hamburger, etc.; use 3 oz if desired)
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (Use naturally lower sodium Swiss or use just 1/3 cup cheddar)
  • 2 green onions, sliced

Mix the cottage cheese, eggs, flour, baking powder, and salt followed by the ham, cheddar cheese and green onions.
Pour into a greased 12 muffin pan.

Bake in a preheated 400F oven until golden brown and a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes.

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