Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Quinoa (KEEN-wah) Pizza Bites


Quinoa Pizza Bites packed up for the fridge 
to add to my lunchbox throughout the week.
Makes 24 Quinoa Pizza Bites
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

These are just fun and easy to make and quite tasty too.  They make a great appetizer or snack for a casual party.  I make them to have on hand for my lunchbox.  Did you know that you can freeze cooked quinoa?  Cook up a couple of batches of quinoa on the weekend and once the quinoa is cool, pack it in 1- or 2-cup freezer containers and pop them in the freezer. Then, when you are ready to make Quinoa Pizza Bites or Sriracha Quinoa Bites, just thaw the quinoa in the fridge and mix in the remaining ingredients.

2 cups cooked quinoa** (Recipe follows.)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 large eggs
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
6 Tablespoons marinara or pizza sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
6 teaspoons Italian seasoning
¼ to ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 Tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)
Cooking spray for greasing muffin pan

Preheat oven to 400F.  Grease mini muffin pan(s) with cooking spray.  Mix all the ingredients together (except the 4 Tablespoons cheese.)  Put a Tablespoon of the mixture into each muffin tin, packing it in a bit.  Bake for 12-15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and top with the remaining 4 Tablespoons cheese, if using.  Broil for 1 minute, watching carefully so they don’t burn.  After broiling, remove the pan from the oven and allow them to cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes.  Remove the pizza bites from the pan.  Serve or store for later.

**How to Prepare Quinoa
Cooked quinoa will keep for three or four days in the refrigerator. You can also freeze cooked quinoa. Just 1 cup of uncooked quinoa will yield almost 4 cups cooked.

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water for cooking


Place 1 cup of uncooked quinoa in a sieve (strainer.) Quinoa has a bitter coating that must be rinsed off.  An effective method for rinsing off the bitter coating is to place the quinoa seeds in a fine-meshed strainer and run cold water over the quinoa while gently rubbing the seeds together in your hands. Place the rinsed quinoa in a saucepan and add 2 cups water. Bring the cooking liquid to a rolling boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer. Place a tight-fitting lid on the saucepan. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes. (Set a kitchen timer to 15 minutes so you won't forget to check for doneness.)  Fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork.

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