I originally got interested in this "grain" (it's actually a seed, but most people use it like a grain) probably from watching Food Network. I heard people talking about it, but I had no idea that it was spelled the way it is. So I was quite surprised when I encountered it in written form.
But anyway, I heard some great things about it nutritionally, namely that it is high in protein, so I wanted to give a shot. And I did, but I had no idea how to prepare it, and it was mostly a bland failure. That made me step back from quinoa for a while, but then I saw this pin, and I knew I had to give quinoa another chance.
And I'm so glad I did. This is a great way to experience quinoa for the first, or fourth, or fourteenth time.
The original recipe called for making these in mini muffin tins, but as mine was stolen while I was in Libya, I decided that regular-sized muffins would work just fine. And that they did.
I think these muffins are great as a lunch, and two or three muffins seems to be a good adult-sized portion.
They reheat well and can be finger food if you so choose. If you do want to pick them up, you need to let them cool a bit. They fall apart a little if you try to get them out of the tins right out of the oven. So let them cool a little, and then they should pop right out.
You could also try using muffin liners, but I haven't personally tried it, so I don't know how much they would stick to paper.
But you are probably wondering about taste. They really do taste like pizza. And you can customize it to whatever toppings (add-ins in this case) that you like on your pizza. My favorite is black olives, but Jacob hates olives. So I went with my second favorite, pepperoni. And since I had less pepperoni than I thought, I added in some diced mushroom (Jacob doesn't like mushroom either, but I can get away with it if the pieces are small). But add whatever you so desire. I bet this would be good with ham cubes and pineapple for those hawaiian pizza lovers out there.
I mean, who doesn't like pizza? (Actually, I have an answer to that. My own flesh and blood, my son, will not eat one bite of any kind of pizza thing. But aside from him, I think this would be a great hit with kids.)
But for us "normal" people, who like pizza, this is a great way to get the taste of pizza, but without all the carbs and with extra protein. And for those that are sensitive to gluten, these are a great choice since quinoa is gluten-free!
So let's eat some pizza!
Quinoa Pizza Muffins
adapted from So Very Blessed
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
2 large eggs
1 small onion, diced
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped (or I used a few squirts of a basil paste I found in the produce section)
up to 2 cups pizza toppings of choice
1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano or pizza seasoning
(optional) pizza sauce for dipping
Cook the Quinoa
Rinse the quinoa in cold water using a fine mesh strainer. Then place in a pot with the water.
Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer.
Let it cook for 10-15 minutes. Then remove from heat and let sit for five minutes.
Fluff with fork.
Make the Muffins
Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Grease a muffin tin.
Mix all of the rest of the ingredients (aside from the pizza dipping sauce) with the cooked quinoa.
Scoop about a 1/4 cup of filling into each muffin well. Press down gently to compact.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until set.
Let cool and then enjoy with pizza sauce if desired.
Have you tried quinoa? How do you like to eat it?
Linked up on Tasty Tuesday, Making You Crave Monday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Mix it Up Monday, The Mommy Club, and Foodie Friday.