Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) is quickly becoming a staple around our house. If you haven’t had it before, it’s a seed that cooks up similar to rice, in about fifteen minutes. Like rice, you can season it just about any way you want, including sweet for breakfast. Unlike rice, though, it’s a great source of fiber and protein – offering all nine essential amino acids – so I feel morally superior when I eat it 😉
I tossed these quinoa “cupcakes” together the other morning, aiming for a flavor similar to a ham and Swiss cheese soup I make. I didn’t quite get there (which just means I’ll try again, and if it comes out well I’ll let you know), but these are definitely good enough to share. They have the added bonus of being endlessly modifiable till you land on something that suits you. Cheddar and green onions or southwest-style with black beans and corn would be great. This combo is perfect for brunch.
3/4 cup dry quinoa
~6 oz diced ham
~8 oz broccoli florets
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
-Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh sieve until it’s done foaming (if you don’t rinse it, it can taste bitter). Prepare according to package directions.
-Preheat oven to 350F. Grease bottoms and sides of regular-sized muffin tin.
-Saute onions until translucent, and then toss in the ham and broccoli while you wait for the quinoa to finish cooking. It’ll absorb all the liquid, much like rice.
-Transfer everything to a large bowl, and mix with remaining ingredients until well-blended.
-Spoon into muffin tin, level with tops, or even over – they won’t raise much.
-Bake for ~25 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. Cool for about five minutes and then remove from cups.