Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Quinoa Pizza Bites

What do you do when two of your culinary worlds collide?

Do you reject it?

Or do you embrace it?

The answer?  You embrace it.  You embrace it like it's a teddy bear and you're this cat:
The old culinary world I am referring to is junk food (as I have so mournfully mentioned in past posts - like here and here).  My love for mac & cheese, buffalo anything, and pizza is insatiable.  Not to mention in major withdrawal.

The new culinary world I am referring to is my recent delve into the universe of quinoa - the goofy little nutritious supergrain with which I am having a blast lately.

My curiosity immediately perked when I came across this recipe this past Friday evening.  With an already-stocked kitchen and the knowledge that I had a few hours to kill before a dinner date with Bracks, I decided to whip up a batch.

Get Bizzy Living readers, meet your new favorite snack:

These things are off the charts.  And at one WW point+ each, they're a guilt-free savory snack that you'll come back to again and again and again.

So, let's get started, shall we?

Quinoa Pizza Bites

Adapted from this FitSugar recipe.

Printable recipe.


1 Cup Quinoa, pre-rinsed and uncooked
2 Large Eggs
1 Cup Mozzarella, shredded
15-17 Turkey Pepperoni Slices, quartered
1/2 Cup Onion, chopped
2 Tsp Garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp Basil, dried (OR 1/2 Cup Fresh Basil)
Salt to Taste
1 Tsp Paprika
1 Tsp Oregano


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Prepare the quinoa normally, as you would rice - using either this method or a rice cooker.
You see, the trick is to NOT have the quinoa explode out of the top of your rice cooker while you're preparing it. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.
3.  Combine all of the other ingredients in a large bowl.  Stir to combine.
Pre-pepperoni addition.  Forgot to take a pic, d'oh!
4.  Once the quinoa has been prepared, add it to the bowl.  Stir well to combine.
5.  Apply cooking spray to two 12-cup mini-muffin baking tins.
6.  Using a tablespoon, put a heaping spoonful into each cup (I would recommend patting them down just a little bit, so that they're easier to pick up and gobble down after they're cooked).
7.  Bake the two tins together for 15-20 minutes.
8.  Give them a few minutes to cool so that they're easier to remove from the muffin tins.
9.  Serve them immediately - whether it's to a crowd with pizza sauce, or to yourself, sans sauce (they're really good on their own, and it keeps the WW point intake low!).

A few notes about the recipe:
  • I didn't include garlic since it's not really my thing.
  • Although these were excellent with the dried basil, I can imagine that fresh basil would take them over the top.  So if you're preparing this recipe ahead of time, make sure to snag some fresh basil.
  • The original FitSugar recipe calls for a whole onion, but half is more than plenty.
  • Chances are you'll still have leftovers after filling the two tins.  Feel free to start the process over after the first batch comes out of the oven (or you can be like me and just keep adding to the already-prepared tins until quinoa is spilling all over the place.  But hey, that's nothing I'm not already used to - see my rice cooker picture above).
Since this recipe makes (minimally) 24 mini-muffins, I ate three, saved three for Bracks, and then bagged the rest and put them in the freezer, three bites to a bag.  Any time we want a quick bite, we just pull a baggy out, microwave on high for one-and-a-half to two minutes, and voila - pizza & quinoa goodness on the go!

Bracks could not stop talking about how much he enjoyed them - and even went so far as to suggest I bring them to football gatherings in the fall (we love us some Sunday football, and the grub that tends to come with it).  I most certainly will, armed with the aforementioned pizza sauce for dipping.
If this picture were taken in the future, I could pretty much guarantee that we would be staring at quinoa pizza bites.
Give these guys a go.  They're amazing, a crowd-pleaser, and super great at satisfying those little salty cravings we all tend to get from time to time.

Pizza and quinoa?  Totally the new peanut butter and jelly.  I'm calling it now.

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