When fall rolls around and it's back to school and work, wouldn't you love to start your day with something tastier and more substantial than that all-too-typical bowl of cold cereal? It's just so boring day after day. And that's apart from the fact that most cereals fail to tide you over until lunchtime.
Here, then, is a meal in a muffin, a delicious and substantial alternative to the usual breakfast fare.
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The base is a mix of white whole-wheat and all-purpose flours. Don't fret over the whole wheat. White whole-wheat flour -- which is available at most supermarkets -- is made from a variety of wheat that is lighter in color and flavor than a traditional whole wheat, but just as healthy.
The flour mix is moistened with eggs (a terrific source of protein), a combo of olive oil and just a little butter, as well as a bit of buttermilk and some Greek yogurt. The latter is a wonderful ingredient. Somehow the version with zero fat delivers all of the creamy mouth feel and tangy depth of flavor that anyone could wish for. And it boasts double the protein of regular yogurt.
Next come the veggies. I've chosen broccoli and roasted red peppers, but you're welcome to replace them with carrots or chopped green beans. Your choice, as long as they add up to 1¾ cups. And by the way, you don't need to pre-cook the vegetables before adding them to the batter.
I've amped up the flavor with modest amounts of Canadian bacon and full-fat cheddar cheese. The finished muffins are good to go: tasty and filling without a ton of sugar and fat. Breakfast may never be the same. For that matter, these muffins would be great for lunch, too.
• Sara Moulton was executive chef at Gourmet magazine for nearly 25 years, and spent a decade hosting several Food Network shows. She currently stars in public television's "Sara's Weeknight Meals" and has written three cookbooks, including "Sara Moulton's Everyday Family Dinners."