Supreme Pizza Quinoa Bites

By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by California Ripe Olives and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Football season is upon us! Here’s a game day snack that makes football worth watching! Have 4-6 of them and make it a meal that works for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Bite sized foods are just the best, and these are nutritionally balanced so you can feel good about munching on them. These mini pizza bites get a flavor boost from California black ripe olives, which contain monounsaturated fat, vitamin E (0.25  mg per serving), iron (.49 mg per serving), vitamin A (60 IU per serving), and fiber (0.5 grams per serving). If you have a can of these in your pantry, think beyond the typical Greek salad and try out these  pizza bites!

  
Ingredients:

(Serves 2-3 as a meal, 3-6 as a snack)

-1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked

-1 cup water

-1 tablespoon olive oil

-1/2 cup onion, diced

-1/2 cup zucchini, diced

-1/2 cup California ripe black olives, about 10, diced

-1/3 cup roasted red pepper, diced

-1/3 cup cooked and drained lean ground turkey

-1/2 teaspoon dried basil

-1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

-1 teaspoon garlic salt

-1 egg

-4 egg whites

-1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella

-1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled

-Cooking spray or olive oil for greasing muffin tins

-Pizza sauce, for serving

Preparation:

1. Begin by rinsing and draining the quinoa well in a mesh strainer. Combine the rinsed quinoa and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 15 minutes and remove from heat.

2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a 10″ skillet, add the diced onions and zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in diced black olives, roasted red pepper, cooked ground turkey, basil, oregano, and garlic salt. Set aside.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and transfer to a mixing bowl. Stir in egg, egg whites, mozzarella cheese, and cooked vegetable/ turkey mixture. 

4. Scoop the mix into a well greased muffin tin (12 cups) or mini muffin tin (24 cups). Sprinkle each with a bit of feta cheese and bake. The regular muffin tins will require 25-30 minutes and the mini muffins will require 15-20 minutes. 

5. Remove carefully from the tins using a spoon and serve warm with pizza sauce. 

  
I hope that you’ll enjoy these Mediterranean inspired supreme pizza bites this football season! They reheat easily in the microwave and store well in the fridge or freezer. 

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Perfect Quinoa With Veggies

I’m always surprised when people say they don’t love quinoa. Maybe they’ve been making it wrong. If you’re not convinced that quinoa is great, try this method and you won’t be disappointed!

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Ingredients
:

1 cup dry quinoa (I used tri-color quinoa)

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 tablespoon butter

1 clove garlic, minced

1/3 cup diced celery

1/3 cup diced onion
1/3 cup diced carrot

1/3 cup diced zucchini

1/2 teaspoon thyme

Salt & pepper

Directions:
1. Heat dry quinoa in a medium saucepan over high heat, stirring frequently until toasted (about 2 minutes).

2. Add chicken or vegetable stock and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover. Cook for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

3. In a separate frying pan, heat the butter until it bubbles. Add the onions, celery, onion, and garlic. Sauté, stirring often to prevent burning, for about 3 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften.

4. Add the diced zucchini and thyme to the vegetables and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

5. Stir the cooked vegetables in with the quinoa once it has absorbed all the stock. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

 Confession: I made this recipe a few months ago and forgot to post it! This was before I had my nice camera. Luckily, zucchini is in season a lot of the time in Vegas, so this recipe can be considered “seasonal” in the winter or summer here! For those of you in other parts of the country (or world), the zucchini will taste best and cost the least in summertime! Enjoy and check out some more seasonal recipes below:

Turkey and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

This month’s Recipe Redux theme is “Spring Cleaning!” Clearly, my pantry is still in need of it:

Never mind. I was going to include a picture of the mess in there, but it’s too embarrassing! 

As I was going through my pantry to find an ingredient for this month’s challenge, I found an entire Costco sized package of canned tomato sauce. Well, if you’ve ever accidentally bought too much tomato sauce like I did, I have a great recipe you can put in your lunch or dinner rotation now!

  
Turkey and Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

  

Ingredients (makes 6):

6 bell peppers: red, orange, and/or yellow

15 oz can tomato sauce

1 cup dry quinoa

2 cups chicken broth or water

16 oz lean ground turkey

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

1 small can diced green chilis

3 garlic cloves, chopped

Taco seasoning, to taste

6-12 oz shredded cheese (I used 2% fat Mozzarella)

Preparation:

1. Remove the tops and seeds from each bell pepper. Heat a large pot with enough boiling water to just cover the bottom below a steamer basket. Place bell peppers in the steamer basket and steam, covered, for about 5-10 minutes or until desired tenderness is achieved. You can boil the peppers submerged in water to soften them instead. Remove the peppers, pat dry with a paper towel, and allow to cool on an aluminum lined baking sheet.

2. As the peppers cool, toast the dry quinoa in a saucepan, stirring frequently for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups boiling water or broth and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook covered for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

3. While the quinoa is cooking, sauté the onions And garlic in 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once softened and golden, set aside. Brown ground turkey in the pan until there is no pink visible and the meat is in small crumbles. 

4. Stir taco seasoning, tomato sauce, cooked onions, cooked quinoa, and diced green chilis into the turkey. 

5. Distribute the meat and quinoa mixture evenly among the bell peppers, top each one with 1-2 oz shredded cheese, and broil until golden and bubbly.

  
These reheat well in the microwave and pack easily for lunch at work! Enjoy with a side of salad. 

  
Check out other Recipe Redux creations below:

Patriotic Quinoa

Hello! Today I have a patriotic breakfast recipe for you. Enjoy this blueberry quinoa topped with greek yogurt and strawberries as a hearty breakfast or guilt-free dessert. The quinoa is packed with protein and fiber, while the berries provide a healthy dose of antioxidants. The creamy greek yogurt packs enough protein to keep you feeling satisfied until your next meal!
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Ingredients:
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
3 cups frozen blueberries
2-3 packets stevia, to taste
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 container strawberries, sliced
3 cups vanilla greek yogurt (nonfat plain Fage + 3 tsp vanilla extract and 3 packets stevia stirred together)

Directions:
1. Toast the quinoa in a hot, dry saucepan for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the water, bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and chill if desired.
2. When ready to serve the quinoa, defrost the frozen blueberries in a saucepan or in the microwave. You can add stevia and vanilla extract to the blueberries to enhance their flavor.
3. Serve 1/2 cup quinoa with 1/2 cup blueberries, 1/2 cup vanilla greek yogurt, and a few sliced strawberries. (Serves 6)

Nutrition per serving: 228 cal/ 37 g carb/ 16 g pro/ 2 g fat

Enjoy!

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Green Lentil Quinoa Pilaf

On this overcast day, I decided to make a satisfying vegetarian lunch bowl. The following recipe can be served solo or as a tasty and protein packed vegetarian side dish! The chewy quinoa and lentils have a wonderful texture, while the tomato, garlic, and cumin bring the dish to life with a big burst of flavor.

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Ingredients:
1/2 c dry green lentils
1/2 c dry quinoa
2 c vegetable broth
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp tarragon
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs minced onion
1 c tomato sauce

1. Being quinoa, lentils, and vegetable broth to a boil.

2. Add olive oil and seasonings (everything except tomato sauce). Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until all liquid is absorbed.

3. Stir in tomato sauce and adjust seasonings to taste. Serve warm or chilled.

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Salmon, Quinoa, and Veggies in 20 Minutes

Try this meal when you only have 20 minutes to get a balanced dinner on the table! Salmon cooks quickly in the oven, quinoa is a breeze to prepare on the stovetop, and veggies are sautéed to perfection in under 10 minutes. Here we go!

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Ingredients:
2 marinated salmon filets, 6 oz each
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1 tsp + 1 tbs olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic, divided
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
2/3 cup grape tomatoes

1. Place 2 salmon filets on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until fork tender. (I used Costco’s wild Alaskan marinated salmon)

2. While the salmon is in the oven, heat dry quinoa in a saucepan until hot and fragrant. Add water, chicken broth, 1 tsp olive oil, and 1 tsp minced garlic. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

3. Once the quinoa is cooking, slice the veggies. Heat 1 tbs olive oil in a skillet. Add the onion and bell pepper. Move around the pan for a few minutes until golden. Add a splash of water if the pan is getting dry. Add the grape tomatoes and 1 tsp minced garlic to the pan and continue to sauté for a couple minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. The salmon and quinoa should be done shortly after the veggies are finished. Split everything between 2 plates and serve!

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