Saturday, December 6, 2008

LOW CARB Meal-in-a-Muffin and Variations

Makes 12 muffins (see 24-muffin recipe below)

1 pound bulk breakfast sausage browned, crumbled and well-drained --
either mild, Italian or hot, your preference *
4 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1 to 1-1/2 tsp. dried onion flakes (optional)
1/4 cup whey protein powder unflavored *
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup shredded cheese (Gluten-free if you can't tolerate gluten. Use
whatever type you enjoy. We like Cheddar or a 4- or 6-cheese blend.)
2 to 4 Tbsp. flax seed meal (we use 4 Tbsp. on the theory that you can
never have enough flax in your diet!)

Mix protein powder, baking powder and flax seed meal together in a
small bowl. Combine eggs, cream and onion flakes in the large bowl of
an electric mixture and beat together at fairly high speed for several
minutes until mixture appears quite fluffy. Add protein powder mixture
and beat at low speed till well-combined. Stir in sausage and cheese.

Spray non-stick muffins cups with olive oil. Divide batter evenly
among 12 muffin cups. Depending on the size of the muffin cups they'll
be about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Bake in preheated 350 oven for 20-25
minutes. They will puff up a little -- not much -- and brown quite
nicely on top. They're done when the tops bounce back when pressed
down and a toothpick pushed into the center comes out dry.

Notes:

*Jimmy Dean bulk breakfast sausage (all varieties) is gluten-free,
according to info I received from Sara Lee customer service in July,
2007; Vitamin World's Precision Engineered Whey Protein Powder is
certified gluten-free, per info from their customer service, June
2007. Other brands are fine for the recipe, but if you can't tolerate
gluten check the GF status carefully.

Variations:

1) Substitute 1 pound of ground beef or ground turkey for the sausage.
This makes a much blander muffin, but you can add whatever spices and
seasonings you like if you want to pep it up a bit. I tried it with
ground beef and about a teaspoon of Italian seasoning and a good-sized
shake or two of red peppers. (When I posted this to a Low-Carb list
many years ago, this variation was tried and suggested by Vered, who
lived in Israel and was unable to get pork sausage.)

2) To the basic recipe, add any or all of the following: 2 Tbsp.
lightly sauteed chopped green pepper, 1/4 cup small chunks of
pepperoni, ham, or salami, two chopped hard-cooked eggs, or up to
about 3/4 tsp. of oregano or Italian seasoning or a pinch or more of
red pepper flakes to taste, So far nothing I've ever done to them has
managed to make them any less than delicious!

These can be stored for up to a week in a Ziploc bag in the
refrigerator. Or they'll keep in the freezer for several months and
taste fresh when thawed. They reheat well in the microwave. You can
eat them warm, at room temperature, or, in a pinch, right out of the
fridge. I usually double the recipe to make enough to keep on hand for
a few days. One or two of these make an excellent "portable breakfast"
and just one makes a snack that will keep you satisfied for hours. Or
add a small tossed salad or celery, carrot and cucumber sticks and
serve with one of these muffins and a cup of hot GF bouillon or broth
for a filling, satisfying lunch. (We eat our large meal between noon
and 1:00 pm and this makes a very good light meal for us at supper time.)

==========

Doubled recipe
Makes 24 muffins

2 pounds bulk sausage browned, crumbled and drained
8 eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp. dried onion flakes
1/2 cup whey protein powder unflavored
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 cups shredded cheese (whatever type you enjoy)
1/4 to 1/2 cup flax seed meal

See directions above.

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Come on in for a nice cup of coffee and a chat about my weight loss journey as well as all the healthy recipes I have found, including WW points and/or nutritional information if available. I am eating a vegetarian diet and concentrating on getting healthy and hopefully weight loss will follow. Thank to all my readers for their ongoing support.