Monday, January 23, 2012

Spinach Goat Cheese Muffins

Recipes just don't come from nowhere. They have to start somewhere. Usually with an another recipe, sometimes two recipes. I started with this recipe for Makeover Rosemary Muffins from Taste of Home. A savory muffin with goat cheese sounded wonderful, especially with soup or stew. But my husband doesn't like olives. What could I substitute for olives? I remembered another savory muffin recipe I tried at allrecipes: Spinach Cheddar Muffins. Spinach! Spinach and goat cheese are a great combination. I was off and running.

So I basically added spinach and some garlic powder and onion powder (like I added to the Cheddar Muffins) to the Rosemary Muffin recipe. I liked this rosemary muffin recipe because it was low-fat (no butter). However, It didn't quite turn out, they were tough and dry. I realized what I did wrong. I had used Fage 0% Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is special because most of the liquid is drained, which makes it very thick, rich and creamy, and also high in protein. I needed to add more liquid, i.e. more milk and possibly more oil. Earlier this week I had an epiphany - why not use extra virgin olive oil (EVOO as Rachel Ray likes to say) instead of canola oil? I love the flavor of EVOO and it would be excellent with the other flavors of the muffins. So I had my solution: more milk and EVOO!

So the second time I made these muffins they were fantastic. They were moist, tender and perfect to dunk in a Chicken Stew (stay tuned for a blog on that recipe!). The only problem is that they do have a tendency to stick to the muffin tin. I tried making them with paper liners, but they stuck to those too. Just be sure to grease the muffin tin very well. If you do use paper liners, be sure to spray them with cooking spray. You can also use these new parchment paper muffin liners that we just got in at the store and they won't stick at all. Here's a link to those fabulous liners: PaperChef Baking Cups. These are available at Coborn's in the Natural Foods section. Believe me, nothing sticks to these liners!

Spinach Goat Cheese Muffins
by Dianne

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 egg
6 oz. non-fat, plain Greek yogurt
1 cup skim milk
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed of excess liquid
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

Directions:
1.      Preheat oven to 375ยบ. Prepare a muffin tin with cooking spray.
2.      In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, salt, garlic and onion powders and black pepper. Mix well.
3.      In a medium bowl, combine egg, yogurt, milk and olive oil. Mix well.
4.      Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and add spinach and goat cheese. Stir until just combined.
5.      Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full with batter and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until muffins test clean with a toothpick. Makes 12 muffins.


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