Best Easy Muffin and Chili Meals
Corn Muffins Through Time
In ancient Israel, cooks prepared cakes of corn meal or other grain and a little oil. In the Old South, plantation slaves did the same on the back of hoe blades over a fire. Muffins are a more modern version of the old favorites.
An Easy Cooking Lunch for Work
♣ Meal In A Muffin ♣
Serves 6 - 8
Each of these large muffins contains vegetables, meats, and cheese for a hand-held meal that is good for lunch at work.This recipe makes an easy alternative to the hand pie, empanada, or pastie.
As a vegetarian option, you can substitute sauteed eggplant or other additional vegetables for the meat and cheese, if you like.
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
- Pepper, to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin, optional
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¾ cup low-fat milk or us an 8-punce container of plain yogurt
- ½ cup copped onions
- ½ cup chopped green peppers
An alternative to chopped green peppers is to slice the bell pepper into thin strips and sauté then lightly. This brings a different flavor and texture to the muffin.
- ½ cup sliced mushrooms (sauté first if you like)
- ½ cup crumbled cooked sausage, bacon, or diced kielbasa
- ½ cup shredded cheddar or Colby jack cheese
Preparation and Baking Time - About 35 Minutes
- Mix the corn meal and flour together in a large bowl. [If you use all-purpose flour, add ½ teaspoon salt and 1 Tablespoon baking powder. ]
- Add pepper, to taste. This could be black pepper, white pepper, or red pepper. Add the cumin if you desire a smoky type of flavor. Mix well.
- Add oil and mix well.
- Add milk or yoghurt and mix well.
- Add vegetables and meat and mix.
- Add cheese and mix finally to form a moist ball of dough. Add a little more milk or yogurt of the mix is too dry. If too moist, add a little more corn meal.
Fill muffin pans 3/4 full of dough.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
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This dish might become lunch for the next day at work.
≥ Sausage-Veggie Chili Bowl ≤
Vegetarian options included
In place of sausage, additional vegetables may be used. Sometimes I use fresh mushrooms or sauteed eggplant or a combination of both. Other times I substitute 1 can of another type of bean so that I have dark kidney beans and black beans in the same dish. Still other times I use 3-4 kinds of beans or use both white/Spanish and red onions. A group of possibilities makes this dish a surprise every time.
Right Size Muffin Pans
Equipment and Tools
- Clean and Sanitized Cutting Board.
- Kitchen Knives
- Measuring Spoons
- Measuring Cup
- Can Opener
- Small Saucepan
- Cast Iron Skillet with Lid
- Mixing Spoon
- 3-4 Celery Ribs, chopped
- 1 Large Onion, chopped
- ½ Cup chopped Green Bell Pepper
- ½ Cup chopped Red Bell Pepper
- 4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
- 1 Pound of Sausage links, any kind you like [substitute vegetables, if you like]
- 1 Can diced Tomatoes with green peppers or chilies [Old Gold brand is very good], with the juice
- 1 Can Kidney Beans (dark or light) or Black Beans, drained
- 2 Cups of water (I use spring water, vegetable broth or chicken stock)
- 5 Tbsp tomato paste
- 2 Tbsp chopped green Chilies or 1 Tbsp chopped Jalapeno
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp coriander
- ½ Cup shredded Colby Jack Cheese
- 1 Bunch of scallions or green onions, including half of green tails, chopped
Preparation takes about 30 minutes
- Chop the vegetables or buy pre-chopped or chopped-frozen at the market.
- In the bottom of a saucepan, pour EVOO to just cover the bottom of the pan.
- Sauté the celery, onion, and sweet peppers in the EVOO until tender-crisp and don't overcook. Remove the pan from heat and set aside.
- Pour EVOO to cover the bottom of the cast iron skillet and break the sausage meat into it. Cook the meat over medium-high heat until sausage is completely browned, but not overdone. Drain excess grease and return skillet to the burner.
- Stir tomatoes, kidney beans, water or stock, tomato paste, chilies or Jalapeno, and the seasonings into the skillet.
- Bring the skillet mixture to a hard boil and then immediately reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Simmer the mixture uncovered about 20 minutes until the desired level of thickness.
- Spoon into chili bowls and garnish with shredded cheese and chopped green onions or scallions.
- Alternatively, if you like a thinner dish, cook for less time and add seasoned croutons that will soak up the good flavors.