I went vegetarian for my New Year’s resolution. I’ve tried doing it a few times before and it never has lasted more than a few weeks, but it’s official, I’ve made it a whole month without eating meat! Well, I guess I would be considered a pescetarian since I’ve had fish twice in the past month.
It’s not that I don’t like meat, I do, I love a good cheeseburger, but I loooovvee animals too. Working at a restaurant that breaks down whole pigs and sheep got me thinking if I really liked eating meat that much. I tried going vegan just to see if I could do it, but that doesn’t really work when you make pastries all day and are surrounded by butter and cream!
Since I’m not eating meat I’ve been trying to find other ways to get some protein into my diet. Since there’s only so much tofu you can eat, I’ve started exploring my other protein options like quinoa! Quinoa is what they call a “super grain,” meaning it contains all the essential amino acids humans need unlike other grains, plus it contains about 8g of protein per cup cooked.
The recipe below sounds a little funky because of the quinoa but I promise the muffins are actually really good. The crumb is a bit different from normal muffins because I made the recipe into a low fat version, so it’s moist but not as crumbly. If you’d like a full fat version, use ¼ cup oil instead of the 1/8 cup oil and yogurt, use 1 whole egg in place of the two whites, you can also use regular milk if you don’t like soy milk.
Cranberry-Orange Quinoa Muffins
1 cup quinoa, rinsed or else it will taste like soap!
1/8 cup vegetable oil
1/6 cup soy yogurt, plain yogurt, or apple sauce (I used soy yogurt)
2 cups all purpose flour
¾ cup dark brown sugar
1 ½ t baking powder
1 t salt
1 t cinnamon
¼ t nutmeg
¾ cup soy milk
1 t vanilla
2 egg whites
¾ cup dried cranberries
Zest from 1 orange
1. Pre heat oven to 350° F and line a muffin pan with paper liners.
2. Bring the quinoa and 1 cup of water to a boil.
3. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes or until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender.
4. In a medium bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and zest.
5. Add two cups of cooked quinoa and cranberries to the above ingredients.
6. In a separate bowl combine the oil, soy milk, vanilla, whites, and yogurt.
7. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined. Do this by hand so you don’t over mix it.
8. Fill the muffin tins ¾ full and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
9. Cool on a cooling rack.
10. Enjoy either for breakfast or for a preworkout snack!