Nov
12
2012
New Ways to Make Your Holiday Delicious...and Healthy!

puff recipeAhhh, the holidays!  So festive, so colorful, so delicious!  This is the time of year when we gather with loved ones and indulge in traditional meals and holiday favorites.

If you are looking to add diversity to your usual smorgasbord we have a winner for you.  This recipe is super versatile and one of our favorite from the i spa Recipe Corner.  It can be breakfast, brunch, a side dish, and even a spectacular use of left over ingredients.  It’s fast, easy, affordable, and requires only the most basic culinary skills.   If you can make scrambled eggs and turn on an oven, you can make this tasty dish.

Let’s start with the basic recipe and then we’ll walk you through some yummy alternative versions developed by our creative staff.

 

Ham, Turkey, or Chicken Puffs

Ingredients:
1- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cooked and diced
5 egg whites
1 cup celery, minced
2 Tbsp. red or green bell pepper
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp sea salt
Olive oil cooking spray

OPTIONAL: Additional veggies…add 1 or all:
1/4 cup frozen or fresh chopped raw onion
1/4 – 1/2 cup minced mushrooms (canned or fresh)
1/4 – 1/2 cup fresh alfalfa sprouts and/or mung bean sprouts

Directions:
Beat egg whites. Mix all ingredients well in a medium bowl. Spoon into 6 well-sprayed muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes, until set and lightly browned.

Yes, that’s it!  Mix some ingredients in a bowl, spoon into muffin cups, bake, and indulge in a delectable treat with only 2 pieces of cookware to wash.  Can it get any better than that?

Absolutely!  The i spa team loves this recipe and has experimented with some variations.  Here are a few of our favorites:

Breakfast/Brunch: Use bell peppers, onions, and shredded cheese (you can even use fat-free) to the mix for a delicious Western Omelet puff.  Slice a tomato very thin and add one slice to on top of the mix in each muffin spot.  It’s healthy and looks beautiful.   Are you a meat lover?  Add pre-cooked, chopped ham, bacon, or sausage to satisfy your cravings.   Another option is to serve with a side of toast or on top of toasted English muffins.

Leftover Heaven: Tired of turkey sandwiches or split pea and ham soup?  Dice up leftover turkey and/or ham into the mix.  Have green bean casserole left over?  Chop the green beans and add to the mix for an extra nutritional snack (if the casserole is soupy, drain the green beans first).

Amazing Appetizer: Add sliced, cooked asparagus spears (leave them firm) into the mix.  Cut brie cheese into one 6 one square inch pieces.  Spoon mix only halfway into the each muffin dish, and then add a piece of brie cheese.  Cover with more of the egg mix.

Viva Italia: Use the standard egg mix with veggies of your choice and add shredded fat-free or part-skim mozzarella cheese and chopped basil.  Once the mix is spooned into muffin dish, top each mixture with shredded parmesan cheese (fresh, not the power!).  Optional:  once baked, broil the puffs a minute or two to form a delicious golden crust on top.

Broccoli Soup: Wash fresh broccoli and chop florets into small pieces (approximately ½ inch square).  Start with the standard egg mix and then add the broccoli, fat-free cheddar cheese, and one tablespoon of low-sodium Worcestershire sauce.

Bonus Tips: Add texture and color to any version of the puffs by adding garnishes such as rosemary, bell-peppers, basil leaves, and bread crumbs.

The puffs are great right out of the oven or even cold. It’s the perfect dish to prepare the night before.
Just keep puffs refrigerated, and then heat in microwave or toaster oven when ready to eat. Imagine an easy, mess-free breakfast the day after a major holiday!

Remember, you have full control of the ingredients you use, so you can make these delicious puffs as healthy as you want.  If you have picky eaters or diverse taste buds to please, bake two or three trays at a time using different ingredients.  The combinations you can use are endless.  Experiment a bit and then let us know your favorites by posting a comment this blog.  The i spa team would love to try some new twists this favorite dish.

 

For more recipes to try this holiday, visit our Recipe Corner.

 
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