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Veggie Egg Muffins Recipe

Build Balanced Meals Using Nutritious Shelf Stable Items From Your Kitchen

Article by Kelly Jones, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN

Photography by Kelly Jones, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN

Originally published in Newtown City Lifestyle

When stocking your kitchen with shelf-stable foods, it’s crucial to not only think outside of your pantry and include your freezer, but also to consider all of the food groups and components needed to build balanced meals, while also having snack options on hand. Whether you’re being forced to stay home or it’s a busy week for your family and you haven’t had time to grocery shop, having the right items on hand can reduce stress, cut down on food preparation time, and increase confidence in your ability to deliver nourishing meals.

How to Build Balanced Meals

For balanced meals, you always want to include the following:

  • Vegetable or fruit
  • Protein
  • Quality starch
  • Healthy Fat
  • Flavor

These components are key to providing you with energy and nutrients to energize and support your body’s many functions, while also ensuring satiety so you aren’t searching for another meal or snack soon after. Both protein and fat are digested slower than most carbohydrates and they also release hormones that increase feelings of fullness. When including produce as well as a high quality starch, you’ll get energy so your body doesn’t feel deprived, as well as fiber, which also promotes feelings of fullness while supporting gut health. Flavor, of course, improves satisfaction from your meal. If you don’t enjoy what you eat, even if it was enough energy and you’re releasing satiety hormones, you may overeat or  have strong cravings later.

Items with a Long Shelf Life

Not all items that last awhile have to be stored in your pantry. There are some fresh items that last much longer than you’d think, and utilizing your freezer correctly means preserving many fresh foods to brighten up meals when you need to.

Shelf stable proteins

For balanced meals, you want to have enough proteins, starches, fruits, vegetables, and fats on hand. Any frozen vegetables can be roasted in the oven, sauteed on the stove, and steamed in the microwave. Canned vegetables are packaged within hours of being harvested, which means high nutrient retention even if they aren’t your favorite texture. Choose low sodium if you have a history of heart disease.  When choosing dried fruits, find fruits without added sulfites and limited added sugar. As for canned fruit or fruits in cups, choose options packed in their own juice vs. syrup. Frozen or dry edamame, tuna and salmon in cans, pouches or jars are all great sources of protein. 

Kelly Jones MS, RD, CSSD is a board certified sports dietitian, national media spokesperson and nutrition communications consultant. She shares recipes and tips to practically fuel an active lifestyle with her audience. Find more at KellyJonesNutrition.com.


 

Veggie Egg Muffins

These simple veggie egg muffins are so delicious and nutrient dense, you'd never know they're filled with pantry and freezer staples. They are a prep ahead protein source to pair with toast and fruit, or to fill a whole grain tortilla with hummus. In addition to breakfast, you can also enjoy them for lunch or a quick snack. 

Veggie Egg Muffins 

Ingredients:

8 eggs

8 ounces frozen broccoli, thawed and chopped

4 ounces frozen spinach, thawed

4 ounces roasted red peppers, diced

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground pepper

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Add all vegetables to a mixing bowl and stir well before beating in the eggs and seasoning.

Pour into a standard size muffin tin, filling just above 3/4 to the top.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Once cooled, store in a sealed container in the refrigerator up to 5 days, or in a sealed container in the freezer.

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