I started making muffin tin recipes last year because I found out how much faster they can be and I also liked the automatic portion control they provide. I tried muffin tin recipes for meatloaves, frittatas, omelets and quiches, but I’ve never taken my muffin tin cooking to the next level.
When I recently received the book, Muffin Tin Chef, from fellow dietitian, Matt Kadey, I saw so many great healthy recipes that I am now inspired to try fish tacos, spinach dinner roles and no bake cheesecakes featured among the 101 recipes that are all prepared with a muffin tin.
According to Kadey, there are three good ways that cooking in a muffin tin may help you get rid of your muffin top.
It makes cooking faster so you’ll do it.
Many people opt straight for take-out or going to a restaurant because they can’t be bothered to spend too much time preparing meals at home. Cooking in a muffin tin can significantly slash cooking time. Take mini meatloaves, for example. In a loaf pan, a meatloaf can take up to 1 hour to bake, but break up the portions into muffin cups and you can be feasting in half the time. Ditto for cakes and quick breads. This also helps cut down on energy usage, helping you save a few bucks and live a little greener.
Muffin tin meals are ideal for keeping portions in check. A recipe such as muffin-size frittatas may call for a cup of cheese (I mean, hey, isn’t everything better with cheese?), but when the portion is just two individual frittatas, your calories stay in check.
Muffin tin meals are great make-ahead meals.
Compact and portable, muffin tin meals are more transportable than their full-size counterparts, making them ideal for lunch boxes, road trips, potlucks, and picnics. Eating last night’s dinner for lunch the next day (a make-ahead meal!) is a great way to help control calories and lose weight because you won’t be eating out…Plus, you’ll save $.
Cast your line for this weeknight-friendly, fast, and fun twist on tacos. The smoky yogurt sauce and tropical mango flavor take them from OK to oh, yeah!
6 (5-inch) corn tortillas
grapeseed or canola oil, as needed
1½ cups shredded cabbage or lettuce
¾ pound tilapia or catfish
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
grated zest of 1 lime
1 cup cubed mango (about 1 medium)
1 ripe avocado, cubed
⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 green onions, green and white parts, thinly sliced
juice of 1 lime, divided
½ cup plain yogurt, preferably Greek style
1 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped canned chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce
Heat the tortillas one at a time in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until soft and pliable, 15 to 20 seconds per side. Or, stack the tortillas and microwave on high power uncovered until warm and flexible, about 25 seconds. Brush both sides of the warm tortillas with oil. With the bottom of a glass, gently press the tortillas into 6 jumbo muffin cups. Don’t worry if some of the tortilla folds inward.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Divide the cabbage or lettuce among the tortilla cups. Wash the fish with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Slice the fish into 1-inch cubes and place in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, stir together the cumin, salt, pepper, paprika, and lime zest. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the fish and toss to coat. Divide the fish among the tortilla cups and bake until the fish is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
In a small bowl, toss together the mango, avocado, cilantro, green onions, juice of ½ lime, and salt to taste. In a second small bowl, stir together the yogurt, chipotle chile, and the remaining lime juice. Serve the fish tacos topped with the mango salsa and a dollop of yogurt sauce.