Last December, an idea for a cookbook popped into my head. A special cookbook. One containing only baking recipes—but with a special twist. I immediately logged onto my computer, typed the related keywords into Google, and pressed “Enter.”
I found nothing.
I switched over to Google Books, then Google Scholar, then Amazon. And just for good measure, I checked Barnes and Noble too.
No one has published a cookbook on this topic before. Not a single person.
I wanted to start baking right away. Switch on the oven, pull out my mixing bowls, and watch little puffs of flour settle all over the counters as I measured and stirred. But this thing called a “job” consumed all of my time, and I left my idea simmering on the back burner of my brain.
…Until this past spring when I began blogging full-time. I thought about my idea a little more—published another cookbook in the meantime—and finally dove in headfirst last month.
And now I’m constantly mixing and measuring, tasting and tweaking, trying to perfect every single recipe so when you bite into each treat, your eyes roll back in your head a bit and your taste buds sing “Hallelujah!” at the top of their lungs and your tummy does a happy dance.
But that requires lots of time. And eating. And flour. And sugar. In quantities I really don’t want to admit.
So to compensate, I may need to make a couple more savory things with you on the blog. Don’t worry, I’m not completely getting rid of baking and desserts! I’ll just sprinkle in a few more “sides of savory” (like in the tagline!) in the upcoming months while still giving you plenty of healthy sweet treats.
Is that okay? Do you understand?
I really hope so.
I actually baked these muffins with both of my parents in mind. My dad adores spinach and goat cheese, while my mom started on a gluten-free diet last fall. That’s right—these cornbread muffins are entirely gluten-free (and clean-eating too!), with a tiny touch of sweetness from agave. They’re the perfect combination of moist and crumbly, exactly the way I like my cornbread, and the spinach and goat cheese add that extra “oomph” of depth and flavor.
With fall fast approaching and soup and chili in season, I can’t wait to bake more of these cornbread muffins!
These pair perfectly with a warm bowl of chili—or just warm one up and add a little honey or butter as a snack!
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, and lightly coat 6 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray.
- Gather the spinach into a long tight roll on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, slice the roll vertically into ¼”-thick ribbons, as if cutting slices of a jelly roll cake. (This is called “chiffonading.”) Turn the cutting board 90°, and repeat, this time cutting perpendicular to the thin ribbons.
- Lightly coat a large pan with nonstick cooking spray, and cook the spinach over medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes, or until wilted and dark green. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, rice flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg white, butter, yogurt, milk, and agave. Add in the cornmeal mixture, stirring just until moist. Mix in the spinach and goat cheese.
- Divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups, and bake at 350°F for 21-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
Gretchen @ Two Healthy Kitchens says...
Oh … I love this recipe! Mmmmm … savory muffins! And you’re totally right – these would be perfect paired with chili! (And it’s almost chili season! Yay!!)
Thanks Gretchen! I’m looking forward to chili too, once this heat wave finally disappears. It’s still around 90° where I live!
Amy, I opened up my inbox and couldn’t believe this — looks amazing! We’re on the same wavelength since just last night I made a very healthy and savory corn chorizo muffin that I’ll be posting soon. Will have to try this as well since this looks sooooo good! 🙂 All the best, Danny
Great minds must think alike Danny! 🙂 I’ve actually never cooked with chorizo before, but from the few times I’ve sampled it in restaurants, I’m sure it’d taste absolutely amazing in a corn muffin!
Ooooh! I am quite excited about this never-before-been-published topic of baking wonderment! I keep scratching my head and wondering what it could be. I guess I’ll just have to be patient *sigh*. Not one of my strong points. On the other hand, these muffins look spectacularly grand! I love spinach and goats cheese, so seeing the post link-up pretty much made me drool into my lap. So jealous that you get to blog full time now. Sigh. I am chained into work from 8am to 5pm daily so blogging is a luxury that I think about all the time, stay up late for and equally despair about. Wah. I hate work.
I wish I could tell you all about it Laura, but I’m afraid someone might steal my idea. I’ll just start working extra hard on it so I can publish it sooner and you don’t have to wait as long! 🙂 I’m glad you like the muffin recipe! And that’s exactly where I used to be with a job before. If you’re serious enough about blogging, you can doing it full-time too! It does take more time than a typical 8-5 job, but it’s definitely fun and rewarding.
Norma | Allspice and Nutmeg says...
Oh, I like this. I must try this recipe. Looks great!
Thank you Norma — I really hope you enjoy the muffins!
Spinach & Goat Cheese Muffine – not sure what I did wrong – triple checked the recipe but they came out hard as bricks.
Was fine once I put chilli over but not to eat by themselves 🙁
Oh no! That sounds disappointing and not at all like how these cornbread muffins should turn out, so I’d love to help figure out what happened. In order to do so, I have some questions for you, Debbie!
Did you make any substitutions or modifications to the recipe?
Did you use the full amount of spinach and goat cheese?
What was the texture of your spinach like after cooking it in Step 3?
What’s the exact cornmeal (brand + product name) and flour that you used?
Can you describe the consistency of your batter prior to baking?
How long did you bake the muffins?
How many oven rack positions are there in your oven, and which one did you use?
Were they dry as well — or just hard?
How was your cornbread muffins’ flavor?
I know I just asked a LOT of questions, but I’ll have a much better idea of the culprit once I know your answers to all of them! 🙂