As you know, I’ve been managing two blogs in different languages and it’s quite time-consuming and mentally exhausting. Especially this week I’ve been working on improving my blog to make it more user-friendly while still remaining a minimalist,
but I haven’t quite figured it out yet. At least, this has been quite educational keeping my brain fresh and my skills oiled.
So some days I didn’t even have time to sit down for a proper meal at lunchtime, just hunching over the kitchen bench eating bits of cheese, bread, tomatoes, a few leaves and more cheese. I couldn’t even bother to put them together to make a decent sandwich, and it was then that I thought it’d be nice to have something quick and ready to eat but still nutritious and delicious; something that has everything in it. And then I saw a big amount of different cheeses in the fridge left over from the improvisational wine and cheese tasting two evenings ago. I knew that I wasn’t going to eat them on their own because they’re quite salty and not my favourite cheese types. Yes, I am a bit of a cheese snob and I still can’t handle most of salty Turkish cheese. So when I eat them, I usually soak them in water for half an hour or so and some cheeses seem to taste better, well, at least they don’t overwhelm my tastebuds, making me cringe.
So there was creamy feta and Turkish version of old cheddar cheese. While looking for one last piece to solve the “what to cook” puzzle, my eyes caught spinach and my memory instantly flashed back to the times when the Turkish guests at my wine evening all loved my tiny veggie fingers.They were actually mini muffins made with the same ingredients as the popular Turkish appetizers such as zucchini fritters and spinach cheese filo pastry.
Bingo! My preferred cooking method is to bake or steam and I have a phobia of frying, not that I worry about the oil getting into the food and into my body, but it is because I dread the oil splattering all over the stove and the walls, and the amount of oil wasted, and the cleaning part…it just doesn’t seem worth it. I’ve been making muffins in an oval friand mold because I don’t have a normal muffin mould and haven’t felt the need to buy one just for muffins, but this time I needed a bigger mould and I remembered this heart-shaped mould given by dear Alexandra, who gave me a huge support in the early days of my settling in Istanbul. There are big expat communities here and people help each other and socialise in many ways, and I really love that, but I haven’t been in touch with them for a while because of the changes in my personal circumstances.
So I whipped up these muffins for me to eat as well as to keep some for Mr.O to eat during my absence, though they will be gone in one or two days. I usually make savoury muffins with zucchini but this time I used a carrot and spinach combo. Purely nutrition based as I was in need of calcium, potassium and carotene for my poor eyes strained from computer. Since carrots don’t give moisture like zucchini would, this recipe requires more milk. I threw in some of the leftover olives as well, turning this humble veggie muffins into a Mediterranean fanfare.
I polish it off with my usual moaning with food pleasure that sometimes irritate and sometimes delight people, depending on their types. When it was all gone, I was really sad and almost went for another one, but managed to refrain myself from eating them all in one sittin and saved some for Mr.O.
So…good…I hope you make these delicious muffins, take them to your work or school and treat yourself at lunchtime, making people around you jealous. 🙂
Healthy Delicious Savoury Muffins
with Carrot, Spinach, Olive and Feta
Ingredients (makes 6 big or 12 small muffins)
1 big carrot finely grated
1 bunch of spinach, wilted, drained and chopped
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
150g feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup milk
1/3 cup aged cheddar or Parmesan, grated
cracked black pepper
fresh herbs; parsley, dill, etc
1.Preheat the oven to 200C and grease the muffin pan (big 6 holes or small 12 holes)
2.In a big bowl, whisk eggs, milk and oil untill smooth and mix in the prepared veggies and feta cheese and half of the cheddar cheese
3.Sift flour and BP over the mixture and gently fold to combine.
4.Spoon the mixture into the muffin pan, each hole 3/4 full, and top each muffin with the cheese.
5.Bake for 20 mins or untill the tops are golden, and let them cool in the pan before turning out onto a cooling rack
Serve them warm with salad or sweet tomato chutney or salsa