A portable egg frittata loaded with fresh veggies, lean chorizo, cilantro, and cotija… South-of-the-Border Frittata Muffins are delicious, quick and easy, and re-heat beautifully for breakfast or lunch on your busiest days!
Come, come! Let us go to breakfast. The morning air has given me a rude appetite. I long to say grace over a fresh egg…
~~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Hyperion, A Romance, “The Evening and the Morning Star,” 1839
Breakfast. Very. Important. One theme runs consistently through my years of advising and encouraging people on eating a healthy diet: Breakfast is important! I will stand behind my view that it is not possible to eat a healthy diet (and be healthy) without eating a good breakfast. I have watched friends and family struggle to lose weight while skipping breakfast entirely. Skipping breakfast can set you up to overeat later in the day. I have seen others grab a cup of coffee on the way out the door, and yet others, consider a bowl of “cold cereal” with milk to be adequate. Just say “NO.”
So, Tamara, what does qualify as a good breakfast? You want to aim for a breakfast that provides some good carbohydrates and fiber with a decent amount of protein. I look for at least 10 grams of protein, and a reasonable amount of carbohydrates. Greek yogurt is an obvious choice which requires no effort or time. I also keep “double protein” whole grain English muffins in my refrigerator. I rarely want sweets for breakfast, but I do keep boxed Kashi cereals with 10 grams of protein per serving on hand, and have it with nut milk that has a bit more protein. If I have 15 minutes, I make Green Chile Savory Oatmeal with An Egg – a perfect, well-balanced meal in a bowl. My High Protein Vegan Breakfast Burritos are another terrific option that require about 30 minutes.
My husband and I have been discussing different possibilities for what we’ve titled “grab n go” breakfasts. While I work at home full-time, his academic duties have him out the door really early. We both (do our best to) work out 5 days a week, and the protein is not optional. South-of-the-Border Frittata Muffins came out of that discussion. I have been seeing variations on this theme popping up around the blogosphere, and I decided to run with it. If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know a great many of my recipes feature Mexican/Southwest flavors. They happen to go great with eggs!
So, here we go again… Cilantro, cotija, jalapeño, and very lean Mexican chorizo. Remember: Don’t use the orange fat in a tube! Many markets now carry high quality, lean chorizo in bulk (near the ground meats). I use a chicken chorizo with fabulous flavor, and barely a drop of fat left in the pan. I make sausage, and have considered the possibility of making my own chorizo. Anyone interested in a recipe?
I would like to stress the fact that this is more of a method and a template than a “recipe” per se. I specify Mexican grey squash – it’s abundant, in season, and cheap – but you can use zucchini, crookneck, etc. We like heat, so I use 2 jalapeños… you may prefer 1 or 3. 🙂 I eat with my eyes, so I go for the red bell pepper. Cotija – with its salty bite – is perfect with the other Mexican flavors, but you might choose asadero or feta. You might get really creative, and change the flavor profile entirely by using parmesan, basil, Italian sausage, and mushrooms. Get my drift?
Keep in mind these South-of-the-Border Frittata Muffins can be refrigerated and re-heated, making them a perfect grab n go breakfast! If I make a batch on Sunday morning (pretty leisurely at Andersen casa), Mark can pop a couple in the microwave on Monday and Tuesday. Nice! Until next time…
More Healthy, (Fairly) Quick Breakfasts:
- Green Chile Savory Oatmeal with An Egg – 15 minutes +/-
- Fried Eggs Plantains and Chimichurri Sauce – 20 minutes +/-
- High Protein Vegan Breakfast Burritos – 30 minutes +/-
- Springtime Savory Oatmeal Recipe – 25 minutes +/-
Recommended Pantry and Kitchen Items:
- Non-Stick Skillet Set – fry that lean chorizo with no added fat!
- Non-Stick 12 Cup Muffin Pan – get the entire batch in one pan.
- Small Food Processor – Makes quick work of mincing the veggies.
South-of-the-Border Frittata Muffins
A portable egg frittata loaded with fresh veggies, lean chorizo, cilantro, and cotija... South-of-the-Border Frittata Muffins are delicious, quick and easy, and re-heat beautifully for breakfast or lunch on your busiest days!
- 1 small Mexican grey squash or zucchini cut in 1" pieces
- 1 small red bell pepper stemmed, seeded, cut in 1" pieces
- 1-2 jalapeno peppers stemmed, seeded, cut in pieces
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves woody stems removed
- 4 ounces lean chorizo (see notes)
- 2 ounces cotija grated (see notes)
- 9 eggs
- 1/3 cup coconut creamer or half n half (see notes)
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- a few grinds pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees (350 convection bake). Spray muffin pan(s) with non-stick cooking spray.
Add the squash and bell pepper to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times until minced (no big pieces). Add to a strainer placed over a bowl.
Add the jalapeno and cilantro to the bowl of the processor. (No need to rinse). Pulse until minced. Scrape into the strainer with the bell pepper and squash.
Brown the chorizo in a non-stick saute pan. If it's super lean, you may want to add a drizzle of olive oil. Drain well.
Remove as much moisture from the veggies as possible before adding to a dry mixing bowl. Add the cooled and drained chorizo, and the grated cheese. Mix together with a fork.
Divide the solids between 12 cups (approximately 1/4 cup each). Pour egg mixture over each one to cover the solids.
Bake 20 minutes until set and golden brown. Enjoy immediately, or refrigerate and re-heat for later!
As I mention in the post, you want a good quality mince (looks like firm, lean ground meat), not the orange fat in a tube. You can find chicken (my preference), pork, and beef at many markets in the U.S.
I love the salty tang of cotija (it reminds me a bit of feta), but you can substitute your favorite cheese, or omit for a dairy-free option.
We use coconut creamer (not coconut milk) in place of half n half or light cream. This is a personal preference as we limit dairy and it has fewer calories. The consistency is similar to half n half. You can also use milk or nut milk (not sweetened).
Removing moisture from the ingredients prior to combining with the eggs is important to the texture of the final product.
Using a full-flavored cheese means you can use less!
- Zucchini, Italian sausage, mushroom, parmesan or romano cheese
- Spinach, crumbled bacon, mushroom, swiss cheese
- Zucchini, mushroom, red pepper, feta cheese