The definition of an oxymoron is, “a combination of contradictory or incongruous words.” For example, “pretty ugly” and “jumbo shrimp” are both oxymorons.
I haven’t thought of the term “oxymoron” in years – maybe since my English major days at Baylor – until the other day strolling the dairy aisle to pick up a pint of “fat-free half-and-half.”
Regular half-and-half contains half milk and half cream, which makes it usually about 12 percent butterfat. To make the half-and-half fat-free, dairies replace the fat with other ingredients (such as corn syrup and other thickeners) that “feel” like the fattening version.
I have used fat-free half-and-half in my coffee for years, and I don’t miss the fat one bit. However, I have been reluctant to try it in actual cooking, as I haven’t had great luck with using modified versions of fattening foods when it comes to baking or making sauces.
The other day I decided to make these Green Chile and Egg Cups, a healthful morning “muffin” recipe my mother had given me. She adapted it from a South Beach Diet recipe, which called for the fat-free half and half. They are delicious and you won’t miss the fat one bit.
To make them even more healthful, use egg whites or an egg substitute in place of whole eggs. Sometimes I also throw in a handful of whatever leftover vegetables I might have on hand, such as chopped spinach, tomatoes, peppers or onions.
Green Chile and Cheese Egg Muffins
1 (4-oz) can diced green chiles
1 1/2 cups grated low-fat cheddar cheese
2 Tbs fat-free half and half
1 tsp seasoned salt
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray baking cups with nonstick spray. In each muffin cup put a very generous pinch of grated cheese. The muffin cup should be about 2/3 full of cheese before you put the egg in.
Break eggs into bowl, add half and half if using, and beat well. Add spices and green chiles, and mix into eggs.
Pour egg mixture over cheese so each muffin cup liner is full. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until all muffins are puffed up and the top is starting to brown.
Egg muffins will keep in the freezer for a month or in the fridge for one week. To reheat, put on small plate and microwave on medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Check carefully, as if you overcook they will be rubbery.
Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 123, Total Fat: 9.1g, Saturated Fat: 4.3g, Sodium 1567 mg, Carbohydrates15.3, Fiber: 5.3g, Protein: 9.1g