For years I've been asked about Quinoa. Do you have any recipes for it? What's your favorite dish using it? Truth be told. I hated Quinoa. Hate. HAAATE. I knew all the health benefits: protein, high in iron, magnesium, anti-inflammatory benefits BUT the taste, grassy, it's like something you feed farm animals. I could never understand how people loved it so much. I tried it in salads, stews, as a hot breakfast cereal type thing, stuffed in peppers, ground into a flour. You name it, I tried it and HATED it every time, till now.
This weekend at Fitbloggin' I tried it in a breakfast frittata and while I did not hate it, I did not love it. I did think though that I might be able to adapt it into one of my Bites (crustless quiches) and with a few changes and additions I might finally have a quinoa recipe I love. Voila! I love these little suckers...
Shelly's Quinoa Bites
5 eggs, beaten
1 cup cooked* Quinoa, cooled
1 onion, diced
1/4 cup Roasted Red Pepper, diced
2 cups fresh Baby Spinach leaves
1/4 cup 4 Cheese Italian Blend Cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
a few twists of Black Pepper
* How to Cook Quinoa: 1 cup broth to 1/2 cup Quinoa grain (rinse it it cold water and drain.) I used boxed mushroom broth to keep the dish vegetarian and Meatless Monday useable but chicken broth would be great too. Bring broth to a boil (do not over boil). Add quinoa grain. Bring back to boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook until all the water is absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Cooked quinoa will keep for three or four days in the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 350. Add 1 cup of the cooked quinoa to the beaten eggs and set aside.
Saute onion till golden. Add spinach. It looks like a lot of spinach but it cooks down. Cook till spinach is wilted. Add chopped red pepper (I used jarred) and mix together. Set aside to cool.
When cool add to egg mixture and mix in all remaining ingredients. Spoon into lightly greased (Pam non-stick spray works great for this) mini muffin tin.
Bake for 30 minutes at 350. Let them cool a few moments they pull away and pop right out. Makes 24. These are great for breakfast on the go, on a brunch buffet, lunch or dinner with a little green salad or with a cup of chili, or party appetizers. They heat up great the next day (toaster oven, regular oven, microwave.)
If you love quinoa you will flip for these. If you hate quinoa, I feel ya, give these a try.
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