I asked my Facebook world what they like to eat when they want to eat healthy and a few things stood out to me. What I heard was you guys like food that is:
3) Light and Easy
Alright, I got a little capsexcited there about quinoa but for a good reason. Mostly because it is such a versatile grain that is packed with lots of vitamins and protein and it also can be easily used for #2 and #3 on this little list.
Now, I find it particularly challenging to eat healthy when I am out and about and especially when I am at a party with friends. So I thought, in honor of the upcoming Super Bowl (Party) I should think smart, healthy and conscious of what I put in my mouth. But I still want to taste all the football flavors like buffalo and cheese and spicy goodness.
So we have two quinoa bites rolled up here today, each is pretty simple. Let’s start with the classic Buffalo!
Make your quinoa first. I just did one cup of quinoa and 2 cups water (bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes-just like rice). This will make about 4 cups cooked quinoa. So you’ve got your quinoa.
Then add your butter, buffalo sauce, olive oil and salt and pepper to a pan. Let it melty up together.
Next add in your quinoa and cheese. Add more sauce and cheese as you wish. Put the quinoa in a bowl so you can mix it all up and add an egg, breadcrumbs and some more seasoning. Now start rolling! Make little bite sized balls and then get creative. And by creative I mean stuff it with something-I did some blue cheese, some cream cheese pieces and some I kept just plain.
Bake those babies for 12-15 minutes, then flip em and bake for another 12-15 minutes. You want a little crunch on the outside but not too much.
Now if you made the buffalo bites you get the idea. It’s a very similar process for the jalapeño poppers too. Get your quinoa ready, and chop up your jalapeños, shallot and garlic and get those going in a pan.
Then you’ll add the quinoa, cheese and cream cheese. And again, bring it to a bowl, add your soy bacon crumbles (meaning already cook those up and crumble them), an egg and the breadcrumbs.
Again, pop them in the oven for 12-15 minutes, flip em and bake for another 12-15 minutes. See how much easier it seemed the second time around? That’s cause these are pretty easy to make and essentially you can do any flavor combo tossed in with the quinoa and you’ll have some sort of delicious bitey bites.
These are going to be great for the Super Bowl next week! And if you REALLY need your meat you can definitely add chicken to the buffalo bites and real bacon to the jalapeno. Get creative people and nosh on!
Buffalo Quinoa Bites
2 tbsps butter
1/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce
pinch of salt and pepper
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup cheddar cheese
blue cheese crumbles or cream cheese (cut into small pieces)
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp black pepper
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Cook quinoa according to package.
3) Melt butter in a sauce pan with the hot sauce, olive oil and salt and pepper.
4) Add quinoa and cheddar cheese to pan with sauce and stir just until cheese is melted and sauce is evenly distributed. If you feel you need a little more sauce add some more to the pan.
5) Combine quinoa/cheese/sauce mixture in a bowl with the egg, garlic powder, paprika, celery salt and black pepper. Then add breadcrumbs and stir together.
6) Roll the quinoa into bite sized balls and stuff with one piece of blue cheese or cream cheese, covering the cheese hole with the quinoa.
7) Place balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 12-15 minutes. Flip quinoa bites over after 15 minutes then bake for another 12-15 minutes. Let cool for 1-2 minutes then serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing.
Jalapeño Popper Quinoa Bites
2 cups cooked quinoa
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg, lightly beaten
2-3 jalapeños, diced
2 tbsps low fat cream cheese, cut into small pieces
2-3 slices of vegetarian soy bacon, crumbled
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1) Cook quinoa according to package.
2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3) In a pan over medium low heat, cook olive oil, shallot, garlic and jalapeño for 1-2 minutes then add quinoa, cheddar and cream cheese until the cheese is melted and cream cheese is incorporated.
4) In a bowl toss in soy bacon crumbles (already cooked and crumbled), panko and spices and mix into quinoa mixture. Roll quinoa into bite sized balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
5) Bake for 12-15 minutes, flip over bites then bake for an additional 12-15 minutes. Let cool for 1-2 minutes then serve with ranch for dipping.