Muffins aren’t the only relatively healthful food you can make in a cupcake tin.
In their new book, "How to Feed a Family: The Sweet Potato Chronicles Cookbook" (Random House, $27.95), Toronto authors Laura Keogh and Ceri Marsh aren’t afraid to admit that in order to get kids to eat a variety of dishes, sometimes you have to market the food a little differently. To that end, they make all kinds of things in cupcake tins: eggs baked in toast cups, orange chocolate muffins and these risotto cakes that stealthily incorporate greens with a little help from every kid’s best friend — Parmesan cheese.
Not everything in the book is made in a tin, of course, but the other dishes, like corn pancakes topped with salsa and tzatziki, are sophisticated enough to keep the grown-ups interested but fun enough — sweet potato mac and cheese, anyone? — to keep kids on their toes and at the table.
Risotto, Spinach and Kale Cakes with Parmesan
We think these little cakes have everything going for them, from their portable size to their delicious Parmesan flavor. This hearty risotto also gets a dose of my favorite superfood, kale. Two-bite wonders, they’re a great lunch packed up with some fruit and cut vegetables. You can also serve these little bundles alongside eggs at breakfast or as a side with dinner.
— Laura Keogh
1/2 cup arborio rice
1 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped kale, fresh or frozen
1 cup chopped spinach, fresh or frozen
1/2 grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Using a nonstick spray, grease a muffin tin.
Cook the arborio rice according to the package directions. If you’re using fresh greens, wash and remove any tough stems then chop. If your greens are frozen, thaw them for a few minutes and squeeze out any liquid.
Meanwhile, in a small frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add the kale and spinach and sauté for about 5 minutes. Transfer this mixture to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
Transfer to a medium-size bowl and add the rice and cheese. Beat the eggs and then add to the rice. Stir to combine.
Pour the mixture into the prepared muffin tin, leaving about 1-inch space at the top. Place in the oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the egg is set and the edges are golden brown.
Allow to cool for a few minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife and turn the cakes onto a plate. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Makes 8.
— From "How to Feed a Family: The Sweet Potato Chronicles Cookbook" by Laura Keogh and Ceri Marsh (Random House, $27.95)