How is it already April? I feel like I say this at the beginning of every month, but I seriously can’t believe how quickly time is flying. We only have two months left of school (ahhh!!), and I just realized that Isaac and I have been married for almost two years. Holy cow, y’all!
April is my favorite month of the year. Not only are the wildflowers in full bloom, but I absolutely love this weather (spring showers are the best), and my birthday is just a couple of weeks away! Just knowing it’s April makes me happy, and I plan on enjoying it as much as I can. Between all my scheduled photoshoots, a camping trip, Easter, my birthday and the Jazz Festival, I will be busy, but I know I’m going to love every minute of it.
And since it’s a new month, that means it’s time for a new recipe theme! This month I’ll be sharing some tasty lunch recipes that are easy to meal prep for the week, and are different from your typical lunch ideas. So look forward to some delicious recipes you will love! This week I’m sharing a super fun twist on your normal cornbread muffin, that is perfect for a little “lunch dessert” or to pair with a yummy salad.
But before we get to the recipe, today I want to share some tips on how to spruce up your lunch. Because let’s face it, sometimes we get stuck in a rut, eating the same ‘ole thing day in and day out, and we don’t look forward to lunchtime. If you’re like that, then don’t worry- I’m here for you. ; )
How to Spruce Up Your Lunch
Mix things up
When I’m deciding what to eat for the week, I like to plan on mixing things up when it comes to my lunches. I can get bored pretty easily with eating the same thing every day, but when I intentionally plan on having something different every day for lunch, that doesn’t happen! I’ll usually meal prep the meals ahead of time when I do this, so I can grab it and go in the mornings. I like to pick two of my favorite lunch recipes to make, and split them up throughout the week.
Try out this delicious homemade ramen for a tasty lunch you will L-O-V-E.
Try something new
The best way to spruce up your lunch is by trying a new recipe that will keep you interested in what you are eating, and will help you look forward to lunchtime! You can also change things up by using a new veggie in one of your tried and true lunch recipes, a different type of protein, or even by adding on some fresh herbs to brighten things up. The sky’s the limit!
These veggie egg rolls were way out of my comfort zone, but I decided to try them out anyways and was blown away! SO good.
Wrap it or bowl it
We all know that sandwiches are a go-to for lunch, but have you ever thought of replicating your favorite sandwich in a wrap or bowl? It gives you something a little different to enjoy, but is just as easy as throwing together a sandwich in the morning. For wraps, I love using romaine leaves or collard greens, because they are easy to wrap all the ingredients together in one big leaf. When it comes to bowls, I like to use quinoa and brown rice as my base, and add other ingredients until I am happy with it. Bowls are my favorite thing to bring to school when I don’t feel like going all out when meal prepping!
Who else loves leftovers for lunch the next day? Not only does this mean you don’t have to meal prep your lunch on Sunday, but you are also putting those leftovers to good use. It’s a great way to cut down on waste, saves a ton of time, and (if you made a healthy dinner) you know you’ll be getting a lean, clean and green lunch out of it too. This has been my go to way to spruce up my lunches lately, and I love it!
And, when all else fails, I love hitting up Pinterest for some fun lunch ideas. There are so many creative and delicious looking meals on Pinterest, and it’s so easy to find something you will like. Try searching “easy lunch idea” or “healthy lunch” and you will be blown away with all the amazing looking recipes! It’s definitely a great way to get some inspiration when your creativity is lacking.
Cinnamon Apple Stuffed Cornbread Muffins
So when I was coming up with today’s recipe, I took all the above tips into consideration to give you an amazing recipe you’ll love. And guys, these muffins are winners. After my taco stuffed cornbread muffin post, one of my readers asked if I could do a sweet cornbread version, and from there this recipe was born. I was so happy with the results, and love the texture and flavor of them! They would be perfect as a sweet treat after your lunch (you’re welcome, #sweettooth), or even paired with a yummy spring salad.
When deciding how to make the cornbread part of these muffins, Isaac suggested using tamale masa instead of corn meal. I was a little hesitant at first, but then decided “why not?” and wow, y’all. He’s a keeper, that’s for sure! It gave the muffins a softer texture, and it paired so perfectly with the cinnamon apples! I can’t wait to try this recipe out with other fillings like berries, or maybe even some chocolate chips?? What do y’all think?
Preheat oven to 400. Line 10 muffin tins with foil or silicone liners.
In a large bowl, mix together the masa, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
In a medium bowl, mix together the almond milk, eggs, coconut oil and honey until an even consistency is reached.
Carefully pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and stir until fully incorporated. Set aside- it will thicken as the masa soaks up the liquid.
Cut the apple into small pieces. I left the skin on, but you can peel it if you want! Mix with the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
Place 1 Tbsp of the cornbread mixture in the bottom of 10 muffin tins. Scoop some apples on top of it (about 1 Tbsp) and cover with another Tbsp of cornbread mixture. Press down the edges to seal.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the muffins are cooked through and golden brown.
Remove from the muffin pan, and let them cool completely on a wire rack before peeling off the liners.
Refrigerate for up to 7 days, and warm them before eating!
Now it’s your turn to talk! Answer one of these questions in the comments below:
Have you ever tried something different with a tried and true recipe?
What are your favorite ways to spruce up your lunch?
I am such a horrible baker- been on a big quinoa bowl kick for lunches. Super easy and you can pretty much grab anything!
Girl, the best thing about these muffins is that you don’t have to be a kitchen connoisseur. Trust me… even my husband (who’s expertise lays in quesadillas and steaks) can make these!
And quinoa bowls are SO good and healthy for you!
I love these ideas! I’m going to try to make the muffins, but first I need to find tamale masa in Amsterdam… or what it’s in Dutch ;)
Thanks Victoria! And hmmm if you can’t find it, you can sub for some regular corn meal. The texture won’t be as soft, but the flavor should still be about the same!
Those muffins are full of apples, delicious. I am really into wrapping food these days.
Yes! Apples and cornbread are amazing together. And isn’t it fun? Wraps really can change a recipe!
These sound amazing! My husband loves cornbread with honey, and I think the sweetness in these would make him happy. Although, he might insist on still drizzling honey on them!
Lisa… These muffins with honey would be DIVINE. I need to try that asap. :D
I love that they are stuffed! Great idea! :)
Thanks Shannon! Stuffing muffins is one of my favorite ways to make a been there done that recipe a little bit special.
I’m such a cornbread fan, but I’ve never thought to stuff it! I’m totally saving this one to try later. Thanks for sharing!
Girl, stuffing it is SUCH a game changer! I love stuffing my muffins with anything from fruit to meat to cheese. YUM.
This is such a unique recipe. I love cornbread and apples. I will give this a try.
Thank you Brittany! I was a little hesitant about the combo, but it works SO well. Definitely something I’ll keep adding to my cornbread to give it a little bit of pizzaz. :)
Wow these sounds delicious! I love cornbread recipes that have sweet ingredients. Definitely going to try this recipe soon!
Thanks Krissie! Sweet cornbread is my faavee. I blame my mom and southern roots ;)
MMmmm those muffins look so tasty! There’s something about the apple cinnamon combo I just can’t turn down. I love substituting a wrap for a sandwich too. Often I’ll crumb and bake some chicken tenderloins and have that in a salad wrap, with a good dose of aoli… so yummy!
Same here! I’m all about that apple and cinnamon.
And YUM. I’ll have to try making some chicken tenders like that. They’d be perfect for meal prepping for the week.
Ohhhh, these look sooooo delicious!!!
So many good ideas! I love the idea of using the corn muffin with the apple and cinnamon. This will be a great dish to take for a brunch.
These look mouth watering good. I love apple cinnamon!
OMG I want to crawl into this post, I’m drooling!
Omg, I start craving apples & cinnamon in EVERYTHING every fall – bookmarking these for September!
What a great idea! And a good way to add some fun to muffins!
Such a yummy recipe! My husband would love these. Saving this!!