Monday, September 3, 2012

Prepare Today Homemade- Muffin Tin Mexican Bites

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I think I may have a new obsession....making food in muffin tins. I started off making school lunch recipes using a muffin tin for portion sizes, but I now love to use my muffin tin for dinners too.  For some reason my family loves the mini version of whatever I am making versus the same dish as a casserole. 

I found the recipe for Mini Mexican Pizzas on Pinterest, of course, and I have been so excited to make it for several days now.  It was one of the easiest meals that I have made in quite a while now and it will be inserted into our menu rotation!  The kids loved it and I loved that it was vegetarian.  If you don't know, I don't eat red meat or poultry but I do cook chicken for my family.  I have some kids that like meat and others that don't.  This recipe called for ground beef so I substituted TVP (textured vegetable protein) in this recipe.  I have to say that TVP has come a long way since I started eating it in the 90's.  I used to buy Morning Star Farms products quite a bit, but now I use #10 cans from Honeyville instead.  It saves me money and I think they taste better.  The beef flavored bits were what took me to Honeyville a few years ago and I have been hooked ever since. They now have several "flavors" that make adding them to meals so easy! Click HERE to see all the tvp products that Honeyville sells.  (I don't get paid for saying this.  I like to promote products that I feel are amazing and that I use regularly)

 To make this recipe pantry friendly you could make your tortillas from scratch.  I buy tortillas when they are on sale and keep several packages in the freezer.  BUT I do know how to make tortillas from scratch.  Don't forget that you need to know how to make the foods you normally buy from the store!!  I did use fresh cheese in this recipe, but the freeze dried cheese from Honeyville would also work perfectly in this recipe.  

This is the taco flavored TVP that I used for our mini pizzas.  It couldn't be easier to reconstitute.  One part hot water to one part TVP.  I needed 1 cup of meat for the recipe so I used 1/2 cup TVP and 1/2 cup hot water and let it sit for a few minutes. I then added the rest of the ingredients and stirred.  

 Muffin Tin Mexican Bites
3-4 tortillas cut into 12 circles
1 C meat (1/2 C Taco flavored TVP + 1/2 C Hot water)
1/2 C salsa
2 t taco seasoning (if using taco flavored TVP omit this)
1/2 C black beans
1/2 C cheese (I used sharp cheddar and Monterrey jack) + cheese for the top
Sliced olives for the top of each muffin

toppings:  olives, lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 425°.  Brown your meat with the taco seasoning or reconstitute the TVP in hot water.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir until combined.  Cut 12 circles from the tortillas and press into muffin tin. (don't throw away the extra tortillas pieces-see bonus material below)  I baked my tortillas for 5 minutes before adding my mixture, I didn't want a soggy crust.  After the tortillas bake add about 1/8 C mixture into each muffin cup.  Top with a few sliced olives and a sprinkle of cheese.  Bake at 425° for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Serve with the toppings listed above. 

Sorry about the pink plate. It was the only pizza still intact when I needed to take the picture.  The rest were eaten!
For a twist on this my friend made these with wonton wrappers instead of tortillas and she said they were delicious!  They were a total hit with my family and they will be a part of our menu from now on.  My child that hates most food ate 3 of them!! I am going to make several batches of these next time and freeze them for lunches or snacks!

Bonus Material!!!
 I couldn't throw away all the scraps after cutting out my tortillas for this dinner so I made a dessert out of them.

Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Bites
Preheat oven to 400°.  Spread out the tortilla scraps into a single layer in a pie tin or cookie sheet.  Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.  We use Chef Tess' Wise Woman of The East for the cinnamon, available at the Honeyville retail stores.  Bake them for only about 5 minutes, or until the edges are starting to turn brown.  I knew they were a hit when I had to pull my 5 kids away from the pie tins.  I should have taken a picture.  They looked like it was feeding time at the zoo! :)

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