Over the past couple months, I have been traveling back and forth between San Francisco and Portland just about every other week for work. Being in California feels like hanging out with an ex-boyfriend whom I’m still kinda in love with, which is to say, it brings up a lot of complex emotions.
Traveling for work so much has been both super fun and kinda exhausting. I have been driving, mostly, because I’ve been bringing lots of gear and props with me, and I love the mental space provided by the time in the car. It might not seem like work in the most straightforward sense, but that time to process, think deeply, and let my mind wander is totally essential for me as a creative person. (I love when people sort of guiltily admit that they love long drives, usually for these very reasons. We are a tribe, the deep-thinking, secret long-drive-lovers!) I usually split the drive into two days, so I can tend to emails and sundry admin stuff in the morning, get a quick hike in, and not feel totally destroyed by 10 hours in a car. It’s a good strategy.
One of the projects I’ve been working on is a cookbook collaboration. It was a beautifully lean project: just me, Sri, the author and cook whose family recipes from southern India we were capturing, and Shayna, her wonderful assistant who was in San Francisco for a year from Canada. It was a testament to how sometimes it’s not a huge budget and 10-person crew that are necessary to make an amazing project come to life, but simply some passionate folks who have a natural instinct for visual aesthetics and a strong sense for beautiful home cooking. I am so proud of the work we created.
And I was so inspired by the dishes that Sri made for us. So many of my favorite spices are essential in Indian cookery: turmeric, ginger, cumin, coriander seed and fresh cilantro, mint and chili. I loved the many complex spice mixes that we learned about: rasam powder, for instance, and the chutneys her mother sent from India, and a host of others whose names I can’t recall offhand.
Driving home from our last round on the cookbook, I felt freshly inspired by all the food that Sri made. I knew that I wanted to incorporate the bits and pieces that I’d learned into my cooking. Between that, and a whole bunch more time in the car, these guys came to life. I’ve been enamored with the concept of a savory muffin since first making them from Amy Chaplin’s beautiful cookbook. It’s the perfect quick morning bite or slow weekend snack.
This post is sponsored by USA Pulses and Pulse Canada. Pulses are the delicious, protein-packed, sustainable foods known as dry peas, chickpeas, lentils and beans. All thoughts and content are my own. Partnerships like these sustain me as a small business!
Savory Breakfast Muffins with Sweet Corn and Split Peas
What a fun and easy way to incorporate pulses into a recipe. I simply soaked the yellow split peas and added them raw to the batter. It saves time because you don’t need to cook them, and it adds a dynamic textural element. I’m always looking for new ways to make healthy food for myself when I’m traveling, and that was the inspiration behind these. Learn more about how to incorporate 1/2 cup of pulses into your weekly meals at Half-Cup Habit.
1/2 cup yellow split peas, soaked overnight
1 cup 1-to1 gluten-free baking flour (or equivalent)
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon chili powder (use less if sensitive to heat)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup almond milk
2 eggs, whisked
1 medium zucchini, grated (about 1/2 cup)
1 ear of corn, kernels sliced from stalk (about 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh cilantro
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
Do ahead: the night before, soak the split peas in a bowl of water. When ready to use, drain.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the baking flour, millet, rolled oats, turmeric, ginger, cumin, coriander, chili powder, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Set aside.
Pulse the drained split peas with the almond milk until a coarse paste forms. Transfer to a mixing bowl, and combine with the eggs, zucchini, corn kernels, cilantro, green onions, and coconut oil.
Fold the dry ingredients into the wet batter.
Grease a muffin tin with some coconut oil. Divide the batter equally among the muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees until the muffins are cooked through, about 22-28 minutes. Set aside to cool for at least 15-20 minutes.
They taste delicious with ghee!