Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ham & Broccoli Quinoa Bites

I've been intrigued by quinoa lately. I feel like it's popping up in all sorts of recipes...and it's delicious. I don't know what it is about the texture, or the taste...and supposedly it's very healthy...but I love it. I've made some soup, and these yummy things. They're fun when you actually make them in the mini muffin tins; you just pop a whole bunch in your mouth. Cheesy Ham and Broccoli Quinoa Bites
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Ham & Broccoli Quinoa Bites
Makes 2-3 dozen mini bites
3 cups cooked quinoa, chilled or at room temperature (I prefer to cook quinoa in low-sodium chicken broth for added flavor)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
8 ounces deli ham, chopped fine {I used less, and will continue to}
1-2 cups finely chopped steamed broccoli {see note}
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, stir together all the ingredients except the cheese until combined. Stir in the cheese until well-distributed. Lightly grease a mini muffin cup tin. Scoop the quinoa mixture into the tin, filling the cups all the way to the top and lightly pressing to pack the mixture a bit. I found it helpful to use my cookie scoop (about 2 tablespoon size) to scoop the mixture into the tin. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden on top. Remove from the tin and repeat with the remaining mixture (you can scoop it into the warm tin and bake again). Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: I like lightly steamed broccoli here versus raw. If you don’t have broccoli, try subbing in zucchini, carrots or a myriad of other veggies. Good quality ham is key here – I really like the Hormel Natural Choice ham or leftover baked ham. While this recipe is written for a mini muffin tin, you could just as easily use a standard size muffin tin, increasing the baking time until they are heated through. If you are cooking your quinoa in water, you will probably want to increase the salt in the recipe a bit.

Recipe Source: Slightly adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

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