Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Southwestern Quinoa Bites


After all the sweets we have had around our house since the bake sale I decided we needed a snack that actually had some nutritional value. I think we have all had a serious lack of vegetables around our house lately, so I was in the mood for something nice and savory. I had to laugh that my kids had a plate of these quinoa bites waiting for them when they came home from school the other day. They were shocked at how fancy they looked--they are used to a much simpler snack..you know, like an apple or a piece of toast. I didn't tell them that these quinoa bites were really simple to make and filled with nutrients :) I took Melanie's quinoa bite recipe from her blog and gave it a Southwestern make-over. I loved the flavor combination! The avocado dressing on the top pulled all of the flavors together and made these super yummy. They were even delicious cold out of the fridge the next morning for breakfast. If you are knew to quinoa, give it a try. It cooks up just like rice but is packed with more vitamins and minerals and has a softer more subtle flavor. Next time you need a quick pick-me-up snack without all of the calories and sugar, this is the snack for you!



 
Southwestern Quinoa Bites
4 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno, diced
1 avocado, diced
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. cumin
3/4 tsp. salt
Juice 1/2 lime
4 eggs
1/2 cup queso fresco cheese
2 1/2 cups colby jack cheese, shredded (or Monterey)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook the quinoa and let rest until room temperature. Put quinoa in a bowl and add with it the corn, tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeno, avocado, spices and eggs. Combine together. Add the colby jack cheese and queso fresco cheese and mix. Spray a mini muffin tin thoroughly and press a tablespoon of the mixture to fill each cup up completely. Bake for 17-18 minutes, or until tops are light golden brown and they are firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5-7 minutes. Once they cool down you can use a knife or fork to loosen them from the pan and place them on a cooling rack while you make the avocado sauce. Continue baking until all of the quinoa mixture has been baked.

Avocado Sauce
3/4 cup mayo
Juice 1/2 lime
2 Tbls. cilantro
1 avocado, peeled and seed removed
Salt and pepper
Combine the above ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Top each quinoa bite with the avocado sauce and some more queso fresco cheese. A garnish of cilantro also looks nice if you would like.

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