In the midst of January, when the days are gray and the nights are cold, I frequently catch my mind wandering to warmer climates, or even just a warmer time of the year! And yet, those sunny days, the abundance of fresh fruit and veggies, and the outdoor festivals are still months away.
Luckily, winter meals can be comforting, hearty and delicious. Chris made a batch of his best ever vegan chili for the football game this past weekend, which inspired me to create something to dip into it! Lusting for summer, I combined a simple yet tasty cornbread muffin with flavors of my favorite summertime salad: Caprese! These little bites are packed with shredded Mozzarella and basil, and topped off with a halved cherry tomato. You could even drizzle on a bit of Balsamic glaze if you’re feeling it!
These muffins are great on their own or paired with your favorite chili (try Chris’s recipe, and I guarantee you’ll fool everyone into thinking it has meat!). They’re also made with whole wheat flour and coconut sugar, which is just a touch healthier than their overly-processed cousins.
Mini Caprese Cornbread Muffins, adapted from Food.com
Makes 30 mini muffins
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 C whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 C cornmeal
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ C coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp dried basil (or you could use fresh!)
- 1 C milk (nondairy or otherwise)
- 1 large egg
- 1-1/4 C freshly grated Mozzarella cheese
- 15 grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
Preheat oven to 425. Grease mini muffin tins and set aside. No need to use muffin liners!
In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt butter. Set aside to cool a bit.
In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients together with a wooden spoon.
Into the cooled melted butter, mix the milk and beat in the egg. Pour this over the dry mixture and stir until just combined.
Fold in all of the shredded cheese, being careful not to overmix.
Use a cookie scoop to portion the batter into prepared muffin tins. Press a tomato half, cut side up, into each muffin.
Bake at 425 for 10 minutes, turning halfway through.
Remove and let cool 10 minutes before transferring the muffins to a bowl lined with a clean towel for serving. If you have leftovers, let cool completely and store in an airtight container in the fridge, up to a week.