Recently we’ve been looking into the best ways to make healthy eating easy. And by easy, we mean really easy. No matter how good your intentions are, you’re likely to grab the easiest food available if you’re in a rush – especially if you’re hungry.
At Key Health HQ, we find ourselves more likely to be rushing and hungry at lunchtime, when we’re concentrating on work instead of on forming healthy habits. To give ourselves a fighting chance, we’ve been testing various easy healthy lunch options and meal prep ideas.
This month’s recipe was sort of a success… it tastes great but we went off-piste with the method, and the result needs more work! It was initially inspired by this kids’ lunchbox recipe from Vitality, which suggested baking a vegetable omelette inside “cups” made of sliced bread, in a muffin tin.
The Vitality recipe starts off saying that omelette “muffins” are great for kids’ lunchboxes, which got our attention, but ended up telling us that they should be served hot, which confused us, given the lack of food-heating facilities available to the average schoolkid.
So we switched to this BBC Good Food recipe for Masala Omelette Muffins, but we changed two things. One was to switch out the masala theme for a Mediterranean flavour, with oregano, basil, sliced black olives and roasted veg, instead of spices and peas (we kept the feta). The result is delicious, and we highly recommend it.
The other deviation was to bake the muffins in paper cases, instead of ramekins, because we wanted to pop them into lunchboxes. This didn’t work so well because the paper was difficult to peel away from the muffins. One of our recipe test guinea-pigs reported that using a knife to cut around the muffin made it easier to remove, but this isn’t ideal, especially if you’re giving them to kids.
So now we know why Vitality used a bread cup! We’ve also seen these made with bacon or ham cups, although this won’t suit everybody.
Make it easy on yourself
1. Frozen veg is vastly improved from the old days, and you can get roasted Mediterranean veg ready frozen. We used the Picard brand, and let a slice each of pepper, aubergine and courgette defrost on a plate for a couple of hours before we made the recipe.
2. Frozen herbs are also a huge timesaver, and although the flavour isn’t quite the same as fresh, you’re cooking it anyway, and they really do save you both time and cleaning up.
3. We did use fresh garlic, which we puree very quickly using ceramic garlic graters like this one, which are ridiculously easy to use and hugely improve the whole process.
4. Use kitchen scissors! They can make cookery so much quicker and easier. In this recipe we used them to snip up the roasted veg into 1 cm pieces.
The prep for this recipe is super quick and easy, and we knocked it together in a matter of minutes. Our Mediterranean flavour combo was great, and the muffins were very handy to pop into lunchboxes as we left our houses in the morning. One guinea-pig just took all his muffins to work in a tupperware, kept them in the office fridge, and tucked into them throughout the week.
The paper cases didn’t work so well, and ramekins might not work for everyone. We might try it with bread next time, and see if it works as a cold meal. Maybe if the bread is soaked in something flavoursome first, like a little vegetable stock? We will see!