But these ham, cheese and broccoli bites? Um, I kind of, sort of ate them for five days in a row and forgot any other quinoa recipe existed. In fact, I hid them in the back of the refrigerator behind the blue cheese (which my husband abhors) so I could sneak them at my leisure. I didn’t even feel bad about it either. Every taste was divine.
They are tasty. And completely addictive. And I don’t know about you, but there’s worse things to be craving than quinoa (don’t worry, my dark chocolate addiction is severely intact still). My kids’ grubby and adorable little fingers snatched these up as quick as can be and they all requested them in their school lunch the next day. Most of the time that would be a major win…children requesting healthy lunch fare. But in this case, I was hard pressed not to convince them to go with the ol’ standby (PB&J) so I could, well, you know, eat them myself. I know. Mothers are supposed to be selfless. Work in progress when it comes to cheesy quinoa bites. Go ahead. Make them and you’ll see what I mean.
Note: I like lightly steamed broccoli here versus raw. I throw my broccoli florets into a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 3-4 minutes. 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.
- 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 (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1-2 cups finely chopped steamed broccoli (see note above)
- 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.
Recipe Source: adapted from Iowa Girl Eats