Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tasty Snack Tuesday - Quinoa Pizza Bites

Have you ever eaten quinoa?

I'll be honest, I didn't even know how to pronounce it for a long time (for the record, its keen-wah).

If you're new to it, think rice meets pasta, or at least, that's how I perceive the texture.  I remember reading about it during my high-mileage running days, always touted as some kind of "super food."  To me, its definitely similar to rice or pasta in that it doesn't have much flavor on its own, but combine it with other flavors, and its great, not mention super healthy.  Per serving, its slightly lower in carbs that regular pasta, and has about 6 grams of protein.  It is also a complete protein, meaning that it contains all of your essential amino acids, so if you're vegan or vegetarian, this is a great option for you to make sure your body is getting everything it needs.

So I ask, do you like pizza?  Check.

Want to make it a bit healthier?  Check.

 Less work than making, from scratch, an actual pizza?  Check.

I stumbled up on this recipe and knew I had to try it.  Its pretty straight forward - cook the quinoa, mix it with everything you would put on your regular pizza, dollop it into muffin tins, and bake - that's it!  Here's the recipe:

Quinoa Pizza Bites

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 egg (or a flax egg, which I used, 1 tablespoon flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons water)
1/2 cup cheese of your choice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
few dashes of salt
other "toppings" of your choice - I diced up turkey pepperoni, onions, green pepper, and mushrooms
pizza sauce for dipping

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a mini muffin pan (you could use a regular muffin pan, you will just have to adjust your cooking time).  Cook the quinoa according to the package directions.  Then mix up all of the other ingredients and stir into the quinoa until everything is well combined.  Using a tablespoon, fill the muffin pan - depending on how many "toppings" you use, you should fill a 24-count mini muffin pan.  Bake for about 20 minutes and enjoy!  (You may want to bake a little longer, mine could have used another 5-10 minutes.)

I loved this recipe.  I could have devoured every last bite.  But, with this recipe, you can eat 12 of these for under 300 calories - how awesome is that?  With just a touch of pizza sauce, every bite was like a little taste of pizza - yum!

*I will update with a picture later.  For some reason, Blogger is not cooperating this morning.*

Recipe from Fit for Success