Makes 12 / These zesty muffins pair deliciously with soup, salad, or a breakfast scramble. This recipe packs a light kick; to turn up the heat, chop some of the seeds and membranes of the serrano chiles and add them to the batter. As always, either wear gloves while handling chiles, or take care to wash hands thoroughly afterwards. Recipe by Trina Kaufman.

4 tablespoons butter or mild extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for greasing muffin tins

2 serrano chile peppers

1/3 cup minced shallots

1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour

1 cup cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 cup low-fat buttermilk

3 tablespoons honey

1 egg

¾ cup crumbled feta cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly grease muffin tins (12 standard-sized muffin cups total) with butter or olive oil. Seed and remove white membranes from serranos; chop finely.

2. Heat a small skillet over medium heat; add 1 tablespoon butter or oil. Once hot, add shallots and serranos; sauté 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 3 tablespoons butter or olive oil. Set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour through oregano). In a small bowl, whisk buttermilk, egg, and honey. Pour buttermilk mixture into cornmeal mixture and stir until just combined. Add serrano mixture and feta; stir until evenly distributed. Divide batter into tins and bake for 15 minutes, or until tester inserted into center of muffin comes out clean. Let cool on rack about 5 minutes. Remove from pans and serve hot.

PER SERVING (1): 163 cal, 37% fat cal, 7g fat, 4g sat fat, 37mg sodium, 5g protein, 22g carb, 2g fiber, 422mg sodium