Make-ahead egg muffins for a delicious, on-the-go breakfast

Ellie Krieger

THE WASHINGTON POST – Whether or not you are into making official resolutions, chances are you are shifting toward eating healthier this time of year.

A popular and worthy aim is to start the day with a good breakfast.

Doing so not only gives you the nourishment you need to fuel your morning, it tends to set the tone for the day.

These tasty three-bite egg cups are designed to put those breakfast goals within easy reach, even considering the mad rush reality of weekday mornings. Made in a muffin tin, they are like loaded mini-frittatas, packed with the hearty whole grain quinoa and colourful sauteed vegetables – including red bell pepper, fresh spinach and mushrooms – and seasoned with savoury onion, garlic, smoked paprika and Parmesan cheese.

Make them up to three days ahead and store in the refrigerator. A quick 60 to 90 seconds in the microwave and these bites are ready, though they’re equally good at room temperature. In an ideal world you’d sit down at an actual table for five minutes and savour these portable cups, but they can also be eaten on the go if need be as you dash out the door.

Quinoa and Vegetable Egg Bites. PHOTO: THE WASHINGTON POST

Delicious and practical, it’s the kind of recipe that could help a resolution stick.

QUINOA AND VEGETABLE EGG BITES

Active: 25 minutes

Total: 45 minutes

Six servings

NOTES

You will need about a third cup of uncooked quinoa to get to one cup cooked. If you want less smoky-tasting bites, start with half teaspoon of smoked paprika and add more, if desired.

INGREDIENTS

Two tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

One small yellow onion, diced

One red bell pepper, diced

Four ounces portobello or cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped

Three-quarter teaspoon kosher salt

Two cloves garlic, minced

One teaspoon smoked paprika

Three cups packed (three ounces) fresh spinach, coarsely chopped

Six large eggs

One cup cooked, cooled quinoa, preferably red

A third cup (one ounce) grated Parmesan cheese

A quarter teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

STEPS

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees with the rack in the middle. Line a 12-muffin tin with paper liners. Spray the inside of each liner with cooking oil spray.

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion, pepper, mushrooms and a quarter teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, their water has evaporated, and they begin to brown, about eight minutes. Stir in the garlic and paprika and cook, stirring, for an additional 30 seconds. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Stir in the cooked vegetables, quinoa, Parmesan cheese, the remaining half teaspoon salt and the pepper. Using a one-third cup measure, distribute the mixture evenly among the muffin cups. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until set in the centre. Serve warm or at room temperature.

NUTRITION

Calories: 190; Total Fat: 11g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 220mg; Sodium: 290mg; Carbohydrates: 12g; Dietary Fibre: 2g; Sugars: 2g.