March 18th, 2014
August 6th, 2013
I am always looking for interesting breakfast options. There is something very special about food that can be picked up on the run when you have very little time. When you add to that a healthy alternative to heavy egg and cheese concoctions, I am delighted. I found this quinoa muffin recipe on Pinterest from Iowa Girl Eats. Kristin actually made her muffins in mini muffin cups and figured the calorie count to be 48 calories for each. I made mine in a standard size muffin pan. I was not so much interested in the calories as I was in the healthy ingredients.
The quinoa takes the place of flour in the muffins. There are only two eggs and two egg whites in the mix. The other ingredients are zucchini, cheese, ham (I used Canadian Bacon), green onions and parsley. But what is so special about the ingredients is that you can use anything that you would like. Leave out the ham and you would have a good vegetarian muffin, substitute spicy cooked sausage and you would have an added kick.
I plan to tuck these muffins away in the fridge and freezer for future quick breakfasts. We will be traveling back to Lake Lure at the end of the month. David usually likes to stop for a chicken biscuit at MacDonald’s. Even though he eats just the bottom half of the biscuit with his fried chicken patty, these muffins are a far better choice. The only down side that I see is that Daisy, our dog, won’t get her favorite top biscuit treat.
I am entering the recipe in Tasty Tuesday over at The Comforts of Home. I hope you will give these tasty muffins a try.
HAM, CHEESE AND QUINOA FRITTATA MUFFINS
2 cups cooked quinoa (about 3/4 cup uncooked)
2 egg whites
1 cup zucchini, shredded
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup diced ham
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese
2 green onions, sliced
salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix to combine. Liberally spray a mini muffin tin with non-stick spray and spoon mixture to the top of each cup. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges of the cups are golden brown. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before removing from the mini muffin tin.
- TO FREEZE: Place baked cups on a baking sheet then freeze until solid and transfer to a freezer bag. Microwave for 20-40 seconds depending on how many you’re reheating.
- FOR REGULAR-SIZED MUFFIN TINS: Bake for 25-30 minutes
This quinoa salad is a lovely dish to serve with any of your Southwestern inspired dinners. Quinoa is one of those grain-like seeds that have become fashionable because of both its exotic nature and because it is good for you. Unfortunately its popularity has resulted in a price increase for this native South American staple. It has always been a mainstay of the diets in the Andean highlands of Bolivia and Peru. In the last three years the price of quinoa has increased three times. Because of the demand for this healthy foodstuff, local villagers in South America have to pay more. Some believe that the people are eating less of it because of the price. But another theory is that because the farmers are making more money they can afford more imported products like white rice and noodles. Children, given a choice between a sweetened water and quinoa drink or a coca cola will choose the coke. But the farmers are happy and eventually the supply and demand will equalize and everyone will be better off from the consumption of this protein rich seed. At least I hope that is the case.
I found this recipe on the Food 52 website. Because it has so many of the fresh summertime vegetables in it, I knew that it would be a bowl full of goodness. I love the way that the quinoa cooks up to almost translucent bubbles. The corn is charred in a skillet with cumin seeds which brings out the flavors of both in a big way. Add black beans, tomatoes and scallions and a lime and orange vinaigrette and you have a nutritious and delicious salad.
SOUTHWESTERN QUINOA SALAD
- 1 1/2cups quinoa
- 1 cup corn (or two ears of corn, with the kernels sliced off)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 1/2cups black beans, cooked (or use canned beans rinsed and drained)
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup feta, crumbled (I omitted this because I didn’t have it)
- 3 green onions, sliced (the whites and the greens)
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 poblano chiles
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- Bring three cups of salted water to boil in a large saucepan. While it warms, rinse the quinoa well under cold water. When the water boils, add the quinoa and stir. Cover the pot, reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes — the quinoa should still have a slight bite. (You want it well before mushy.) Then drain it well and add to a large salad bowl.
- While the quinoa cooks, heat a cast-iron skillet or wok on high, without adding oil. When the pan is hot, toss in the corn, stirring occasionally, until the kernels are singed. It should take at least five minutes, possibly as much as ten. When they are almost done, add the cumin seeds to the skillet and toast briefly. Then add both to the large salad bowl.
- To the same salad bowl, add the halved cherry tomatoes, the cooked beans (drained and rinsed, if using canned), the feta, the sliced green onions, and the smoked paprika.
- Roast the poblano peppers until blackened. (I use the open flame on the stove.) Let cool, then peel, seed, and chop roughly. Add these to the bowl too.
- Toss the salad together and add salt to taste. Then whisk together the oil, lime juice, and orange juice. Toss the salad with the dressing. Taste. You may want more oil or more lime juice. Adjust as desired. Taste again. Serve.