Quinoa. How do you say that again? QUIN-OH-AH. Haha, no, just kidding. It’s KEEN-Wah. It’s a super healthy grain that is way better for you than rice or other starches and so… we’re trying to like it. Well, Heather is trying to like it. I, Melissa, actually really enjoy it in most of it’s forms. We liked it raw in these muffins and also cooked in a yummy summery salad. It’s pretty surprising that although we cook with quinoa fairly often, we’ve only blogged it twice. Until now.
To continue with our appetizers for the month of December, we’re coming at you with a healthy little snack. This is one that’s been a staple in the house for about a year now. This is the quinoa dish that finally brought Heather around to enjoying it! She likes the quinoa cooked in some sort of broth, that’s a must for her. I don’t necessarily cook it in broth every time, but I prefer it that way too. It’s just not a deal breaker for me. But if you don’t much like quinoa, you should probably cook it in some sort of broth so it has lots of extra flavor.
Then there’s the veggies. And the cheese. Use what you have. The recipe that follows uses cheddar cheese with spinach and carrots but I’ve also successfully made these using roasted broccoli and parmesan and even sweet potatoes and cheddar. Yum. A tiny bit of flour and two eggs bring this little snack together to form a pretty well-balanced dish. In fact, my little guy eats these for lunch at least once a week. Because that’s right, folks, they freeze well too! I tray freeze them for him to have on days where lunch is crazy and unplanned. I can just pull out a healthy meal for him and it’s thawed in less than an hour, or in 30 seconds in the microwave. Can you bring these to a party with your friends? I think yes. People will be pleasantly surprised that there are actual veggies in it rather than just cheese and bread. Not that there’s anything wrong with cheese and bread. At all.
Cheesy Quinoa Bites
Makes 12 large bites in a muffin tin or 24 mini bites in a mini muffin tin
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 large eggs
1 cup shredded carrots
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 – 3/4 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a muffin tin.
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly mixed.
- Spoon the mixture evenly into the greased muffin tin and with the back of the spoon, pat each cup down so that it’s well packed.
- Bake mini bites for 15-20 minutes or large bites for 20-25 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes and then remove from tins and serve hot.
Source: Slightly adapted from The Curvy Carrot