HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Hello 2015!!
We had a great time ringing in the new year! We had some friends over for a “noon year’s eve” celebration aka we counted down five seconds before noon because we didn’t catch it in time to count down from ten. It was fun to celebrate and enjoy some time with friends that we don’t get to see enough. Aaaaand I got to use them as taste testers for some new recipes. We watched the 6pm fireworks show and went to bed promptly at 10. Nothing like starting the new year off well rested 😉 And by well rested I mean my kid still wakes up at least twice at night so “well rested” is pretty relative considering…
Philadelphia is home of the mummers parade! This morning we woke up, bundled up, and marched over to Broad Street to watch the troops strut their stuff! They dance, play music, and hand out beads to the kids. It’s very entertaining and one of my favorite new year’s traditions. Here are some pics of the fun! Thank goodness for our selfie stick!!
So one of the appetizers that went quickly at our celebration were these spinach, pepper, and mozz bites. The spinach crust is perfectly crunchy, totally low carb AND gluten free. I love when there is a yummy, healthy alternative to other crusty appetizers. This is kind of my version of a mini quiche. These cups are crisp and fun-sized.
So here’s what you do:
Use coconut oil to grease the mini muffin tins. This is the first time I ever used coconut oil for this purpose and I am so happy with how the muffins just popped right out and were so incredibly crunchy. My mistake was I made the crusts the night before our party and filled them the next day. This definitely made them lose some crispiness. I tried to re-toast them, and although they did regain some crunch, they weren’t as crisp as they originally were. If possible, try to make these day of.
Place your defrosted spinach in cheese cloth or clean, thin dish towel. I splurged and bought some cheese cloth because I thought it would make me look more legit and impress you guys 🙂 To be honest, I was shocked at how much more water I could squeeze out! There was one point where I thought it was too effective. haha
Squeeze as much water out of the spinach as you can. I enlisted Jaryd’s help and I’m pretty sure he loved being my model.
Then, combine all your ingredients.
Mix it together and it should look like this:
Place about 1/2 T. of this mixture into each muffin tin. Then, using your finger, press it down on the bottom and along the sides so it resembles a cup. In my experience, this is the most time consuming part. It doesn’t have to be perfect and it doesn’t have to be pretty. They still turn out cute once they crisp up.
Pop these in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.
I slid a butter knife around the edges, but most of them popped out within seconds. I kind of loved it. Sometimes I get anxiety about muffins and them not coming out of the tin, or only half coming out of the tin. I picture myself just sitting there with a fork eating my muffin straight from the tin. When the first one popped out I was grinning ear to ear. It made me really happy. Haha (nerd alert).
Soooo while these are in the oven, slice your bell peppers. You want them to be a around 1/4 – 1/2 inch wide and 3 inches long. The muffins are mini so you want them to fit in their little spinach home.
Saute the peppers in olive oil over medium-low heat until they are really cooked down and browned. Once they are near done, I added 1 t. agave nectar to give them some extra sweetness.
Place 1 or 2 pepper strips (depending on length) in each spinach cup.
Top with mozzarella chunks and serve! I went a little crazy taking pics of these because they are super cute and the pops of color and shapes were just too much…
- Coconut oil for greasing muffin tins
- 1 package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and liquid squeezed out
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 t. garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 T. olive oil for sauteing
- 2 red bell peppers, sliced thin
- 1 t. agave nectar (or whatever your preferred sweetener is)
- 4-6 golf ball size mozzarella balls, cut in pieces (cut in quarters or sixths, depending on how large your mozz balls are)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Grease muffin tins with coconut oil.
- Combine squeezed spinach, egg, parm, garlic powder, salt and pepper (not bell pepper).
- Form crusts in the muffin tins and bake for 15 minutes.
- Saute the sliced bell peppers in olive oil on low to medium heat, adjusting it as necessary. Cook the peppers down until they are no longer firm and are browned. Stir in agave nectar towards the end.
- Place 1 – 2 pepper strips in each muffin cup. Top with mozzarella.
This recipe makes about 24 mini muffins. Let me know what you think of this recipe and how everyone’s new year went!! Enjoy!! xo