Eat: Quinoa Pizza Muffins
I don’t know about you, but quinoa (pronounced “keen-waa”) is a relatively new ingredient in my cooking at home.
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.
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!
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.