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Make ahead lunch: Vegie ricotta muffins

Make ahead lunch: Vegie ricotta muffins

This vegie ricotta muffins recipe is from the new book The Feel-Good Family Food Plan is fantastic to have on hand. Make a double batch and freeze them for complete convenience. The book is jam-packed full of everything you need to feed your family well, from one of Australia’s favourite and most trusted health and wellbeing experts.

Right now the kids are learning from home and mothers everywhere are going slightly crazy completely, totally and utterly crazy. It’s really hard trying to supervise school kids to keep to a schedule while doing your own work. I found on the very first day that it was a BIG MISTAKE not to pack a lunchbox. It was not pleasant to have to abandon my work to make recess at 11.23 am and then lunch at 1.33 pm (schools keep such friendly timetables for real life, don’t they?).

So from day two, we went back to packing a lunchbox for each kid and it really helped. We could set them up in the morning and then they could just get on with any meal times in their own time and I could stick to my own schedule. Of course, you might not go to the trouble of using an actual lunchbox. Just have a section in the fridge and pantry for lunch items and have the kids help themselves.

More great lunchbox recipes here.

To be completely ready, I’m putting plenty of nutritious muffins, slices, bars and scrolls into the freezer, ready to go. We need all the grab-and-go nutrition we can get right now. When you’ve got plenty of convenient options on hand, the kids are more likely to eat good things, instead of looking for chips. There are no chips, kids! The supermarket is OUT of chips!

When I saw this vegie ricotta muffins recipe in the new book The Feel-Good Family Food Plan, I made them straightaway. I doubt Joanna McMillan could physically have packed more nutrition into a muffin. They are simply bursting with goodness. The kind of goodness that makes a fantastic grab-and-go lunch.

recipe from The Feel-Good Family Food Plan by Dr Joanna McMillan and Melissa Clark

Vegie ricotta muffins

Vegie ricotta muffins from The Feel-Good Family Food Plan

Savoury muffins are a nifty way of sneaking in a few extra vegies. They are lovely cold in lunchboxes or as an after-school or after-sport snack. You can also freeze these, although once thawed they are best warmed in the oven or microwave.

Takes 10 minutes
Bakes 30 minutes
Makes 12 muffins

1/4 cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1/2 red capsicum, finely diced
1 cup (150 g) wholemeal plain flour
1 cup (120 g) besan (chickpea flour)
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (115 g) ricotta cheese
1/4 cup (60 ml) milk 1 carrot, grated 1 small apple, grated
1/2 cup (100 g) drained tinned corn kernels
Handful of basil leaves, finely chopped
A few dill sprigs, finely chopped
20 g parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with muffin cases or brush with extra virgin olive oil.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Sauté the onion and capsicum for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until softened. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Sift the flours and baking powder into a large bowl.

Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl, then whisk in the ricotta, milk and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil.  Add the carrot, apple, corn and herbs and mix well, then pour into the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined, taking care not to overmix or you will end up with tough, dry muffins.

Divide the batter among the muffin holes. Top with the parmesan and bake for 25 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown and cooked through when tested with a skewer. If the skewer comes out sticky, cook the muffins for another 5 minutes and test again.

Leave the muffins in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Mumlyfe notes

The muffins will freeze for up to one month when stored in an airtight container.

The Feel-Good Family Food Plan

Images and recipe text from The Feel-Good Family Food Plan by Dr Joanna McMillan with Melissa Clark, photography by Alan Benson. Murdoch Books RRP $35.00. Published with permission.

Vegie ricotta muffins recipe - from The Feel-Good Family Food Plan book