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Last updated: June 18. 2013 10:48PM - 1070 Views
By Sara Pokorny



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How awesome are cupcakes? Come on, now.

They are the perfect size, they can be fancied up with playful paper cups, and there's a ton of reality shows based solely around the mini desserts.

So, please, imagine my chagrin at the fact that I haven't used my cupcake pans in months to make something sweet and fluffy, due to trying to eat healthier.

Thankfully, I've found a way to dust those bad boys off and make things that resemble the general shape of the little guys, but not pack pounds onto the waistline. Omelet bites and sweet potato egg cups – that, my friends, is where it's at.

The omelet bites are simple and versatile, as you can throw pretty much anything you think would pair well with eggs in them. Four eggs yields a half dozen bites.

Crack the eggs in a bowl and whisk them until frothy. Feel free to add seasonings. I like to go with salt, pepper, and onion powder for mine.

Now this is where you get creative: you can use any type of meat, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, and what-have-you for the inside. Whatever you choose to put as the bite filling, chop it up and throw in a frying pan with a little oil and cook for a bit, cooking the meat through completely.

Pour the egg mixture into the muffin tin, filling each cup halfway. Dump your fried-up ingredients into the egg mixture, and put them back for 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or until you can stick a knife into the middle of a bite and it comes out clean.

A word of advice: pack in those fillings. If not, you're going to have a huge space of egg and not much flavor.

Sweet potato egg cups are slightly more complicated. Shred sweet potatoes and toss them with melted butter. Divide the shreddings up, pushing a bit of each into a cup of the cupcake tin, forming a crust. Be sure to use enough that the crust is thick, or the mixture you're about to pour in will leak through. Once all the crusts are pressed in, throw them in the preheated to 450 degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until they begin to brown and crisp. Remove them and drop the temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, don't be afraid if they look burned; you want the cups to be as crispy as possible so they hold up well when you remove them from the pan.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter, throwing onions in when it's done melting. Stir occasionally until the onions are soft and beginning to brown, then reduce the heat to medium-low and add cup of heavy cream. Once the cream begins to thicken, remove it from the heat and stir in parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Spoon the finished mixture evenly into the pre-baked crusts.

Break one egg on top of each cup, then season with salt and pepper. Pop the tray back in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the white of the egg has set but the yolk is runny.

They might not be as sugary as cupcakes, but you can bet you'll feel a lot better about yourself post-meal if you opt for these muffin tin options.

OMELET BITES

Courtesy of weightwars.co.uk

• 4 eggs

• Salt and pepper

• Bacon, mushroom, tomato, cheese, pepper, whatever you see fit

How-to:

• Preheat over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.

• Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk until frothy, adding in seasonings as you like. Pour egg mixture into muffin tin, filling each cup about halfway.

• Chop up whatever filler ingredients you're going to use, and fry them up in a pan with a little bit of olive oil. Divide evenly among egg-filled cups.

• Pop into the oven for 20 minutes, or until you can stick a fork in the middle of the cup and it comes out clean.

SWEET POTATO EGG CUPS

Courtesy of twolazygourments.com

Ingredients:

• 4 cups shredded potatoes

• 4 tablespoons melted butter

• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

• 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced

• cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream, divided

• teaspoon kosher salt

• teaspoon pepper

• 2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese

• 4 large eggs

How-to:

• Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and spray muffin tin with cooking spray.

• Toss shredded potatoes with the melted butter. Divide the potato mixture evenly among the muffin tin and press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides to form a crust with an even thickness. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until beginning to brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

• For the filling, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter. When the butter is melted, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and just beginning to brown. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add cup of the cream. Continue to cook, stirring, until the cream begins to thicken. Remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan, salt, and pepper. Spoon the sauce into the prepared crusts, dividing equally.

• Break one egg into each tin, on top of the onion-cream mixture. Season each with more salt and pepper, then drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of cream, dividing equally.

• Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the white has set but the yoke is still runny.


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