As I know that
at least 2 of the 4 people who read my blog quite a few of my many readers have kids around the Littlest Brewster’s age, I thought I’d share a recipe for a quick and easy snack/meal for your little one. By quick and easy, I mean that it is quick and easy for your kid to inhale, not quick and easy for you to make. Sorry…
I adapted this recipe for Egg Cupcakes from Everyday Paleo by Sarah Fragoso and they’re fabulous. I have to say, the DreadBrewer says my version is much better than hers, but that could be due to the fact that she puts spinach in hers and he hates cooked spinach. Once these are cooked, they freeze really well and are ridiculously handy when you don’t know what to feed your little one or they need a quick snack. 30 seconds (or so) in the microwave and voila! A tasty little packet of protein and vegetables that little ones can feed themselves.
Here’s what you need to assemble a batch of Egg Cupcakes:
- 6 eggs
- 8 ounces of meat (I usually buy 3 links of Italian chicken sausage from the WholeFoods meat counter)
- 1 each zucchini and bell pepper (doesn’t matter the color)
- Some mushrooms (about 6 ounces)
- Whatever else you want to add – veggies, cheese, olives, anything!
(At this point, I will say that Everyday Paleo’s recipe calls for green onions and baby spinach. It tastes pretty decent with those ingredients, but the spinach makes the cupcakes very wet when you reheat them. Consider yourself warned.)
Here’s how to do it:
1) First, cut up your zucchini and pepper and mushrooms and any other veggies you’re planning on adding, toss ’em with a little olive oil and Mrs. Dash, and roast at 400 for 20 minutes or so. (Everyday Paleo skips this step, so I suppose you could too. But I hate raw peppers and zucchini, so I assume LB will too.)
2) While your veggies are roasting, cook and drain your meat. I have used Honey-baked Ham, which was great since I didn’t have to cook it. I’ve also used Italian chicken sausage, like I said above, and bacon. Our favorite so far is the chicken sausage. Use whatever you have a taste for.
3) Once your veggies are roasted, let them cool slightly. Then, throw them in your food processor and pulse them until they’re relatively little bits. ((If you don’t own a food processor, you could also chop them by hand.)) But don’t go crazy – you want bits, not liquid. You also need to pulse your meat into little bits.
. 4) Next, crack all your eggs into a big bowl and whisk them up. Then stir in your meat and veggies and cheese if you’re using it.
This is where this next piece of equipment, while not essential, will make your life much easier. Silicone baking cups!
I got a dozen at Bed Bath and Beyond for pretty cheap and they are amazing! But, if you don’t have them, a regular muffin pan with or without paper liners works equally well. (Okay, maybe not equally well, but at least reasonably closely well.)
5) Pour your egg mixture into the baking cups or muffin tin (about 2/3 full) and bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes. I always rotate my pan 180 degrees halfway through for even baking (Damn old oven!) and to assess how they’re doing. Once they’re fully set, they’re done! You may have to bake up two batches if you have extra egg mixture, which is where the silicone liners (or paper liners) come in handy as you can just pop them out of the muffin tin and start on the second batch. I would say that this recipe usually nets me about 18 cupcakes.
Once they’ve cooled a bit, I pop them out of the tin/cups and put them in a single layer to freeze.
After they’re fully frozen, I stick ’em in a Ziploc bag and keep them in the freezer. I would guess they’d be good for quite a while, but a batch usually lasts a few weeks in our house, so I wouldn’t know! The Littlest Brewster usually eats two at a time, along with a vegetable side and some fruit, for lunch or dinner. The DreadBrewer loves having them available because there is literally no thought or worry involved about “What to serve for dinner.” Reheating from frozen usually takes a minute in the microwave, flipping them over halfway through.
So there you have it! A delicious, easy, and relatively portable way to get protein and veggies in your little one’s tummy!