The time has come, summer is over and it’s back to school!
Parents with kids going into kindergarten aren’t quite ready to let go yet and every other parent is counting down the days with big red X’s on the calendar!
Whether you want them to go or not, you still, sadly, have to pack their lunch.
So, what to pack?
That seems to be the hottest question around come the end of August. My recommendation, pizza muffins! They are nutritious (rich in calcium and folate), food safe, and freezable. Also, kids will clearly love them. Make a batch or two and throw them in the freezer for easy additions to lunches throughout the week.
Recipe adapted from Canadian Family
Servings: 12 muffins
Prep Time: About 25 minutes
- 1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (250 mL) whole wheat flour
- ¼-1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) baking powder
- ½ tsp (2 mL) baking soda
- 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
- 2 tsp dried basil
- ½ tsp each garlic powder and pepper
- 1 1/4 cups small cubes old/aged cheddar cheese
- 1 cup (250 mL) plain yogurt
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup (50 mL) butter, melted (or substitute for canola/olive oil)
- ½ cup (125 mL) finely chopped red bell pepper
- 1/3 cup (85 mL) finely chopped red onion (optional)
- ½ cup (or more!) pizza sauce or your favorite tomato sauce
- 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella (or more cheddar)
- -Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
- -In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, basil, garlic powder, pepper (I also add some dried red pepper for some spice if they’re just for me) and baking soda until combined. Stir in cheddar cubes.
- -In a medium bowl, whisk together yogurt, eggs and butter (or oil) until smooth. Stir into flour mixture just until well combined and no dry spots remain (don’t over mix); stir in bell pepper and onion (batter will be very thick).
- -Spoon batter into muffin cups, dividing evenly. Spoon ~2 tsp pizza sauce on top of each muffin; sprinkle each with shredded mozzarella. Feel free to add more, the more sauce and cheese on top the better!
- -Bake about 20 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted in the centre of one of the middle muffins comes out clean. Let muffins cool in the pan at least 5 minutes before removing, then let cool completely on a wire rack. (Freeze muffins in an airtight container for up to 1 month; defrost at room temperature.). I like them best reheated a bit before serving.
For a variation on this recipe you can portion half of the batter into the muffin cups and then put extra cheese in the middle (or maybe a dollop of additional sauce?) and then top with the other half of the batter. Give it a try and let me know how it turns out!