Spinach & cheese quinoa cups

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A few years ago, quinoa has taken the health food world by storm and today it can be found in most health-minded households.

But when I dig a little deeper while talking with clients and friends, I realize not that many people actually like the taste. And even more so do they struggle to make their children eat it.

Even behind the Goodnesst scenes, quinoa wasn’t an instant love affair for most of us. But with some little tweaks, such as the addition of tamari during the cooking process, or mixing in some herbs, spices, or tomato sauce, quinoa has become a weekly guest at our family dinner table.

More recently I discovered a new way to pack quinoa into a delicious little treat that can be eaten for lunch (ideal for school lunch boxes!), meatless dinners, or as a quick and satisfying snack.

Meet the “spinach & cheese quinoa cups”. Or commonly referred to as “those green quinoa thingies” in our family.  

Why do I urge you to try these asap?

  • At the most you’ll lose 15 minutes of your precious time
  • You just need to combine 4 ingredients in a bowl
  • They’re packed with healthy protein thanks to the quinoa, cheese, and eggs
  • They’re full of spinach!
  • They’re gluten free (always a plus, even if you’re not intolerant)
  • You can make them with anything you like, as long as you keep quinoa and eggs as the base. Think ham, zucchini, beets, carrots, feta, mushrooms…
  • They will keep you and your kids full for a long while
  • They’re perfect in lunch boxes, for dinner, as a snack, or appetizer (in mini-format)

Why is quinoa so healthy?

This little seed, once called “the gold of the Aztecs”, has exceptional health benefits. It’s one of few complete plant-based protein sources (meaning it provides all of the 9 essential amino acids), and an excellent source of dietary fiber. It’s also high in minerals like manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, and phosphorus and contains good levels of vitamin E and B2. And last but not least, it’s gluten-free.

In the same category and equally delicious, check out my vegetarian egg muffins with zucchini and feta.

 

Prep time:

20 minutes

Baking time:

15 min

Makes:

12 cups

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (300 g/10.5 oz.) cooked quinoa (about 1 cup uncooked)
  • 1.5 cups (150 g/5 oz.) shredded cheese (I use Gouda) + 50 g extra for grilling
  • 200 g (7 oz.) fresh spinach, or frozen (defrost, drained and excess moisture squeezed out)
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • Optional: one garlic clove or a pinch of garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Cook the quinoa (Click here for instructions)
  2. Heat the oven to 180° C (360° F)
  3. Briefly blend the fresh spinach and eggs in a blender or food processor. I like to keep some structure, but feel free to blend until you get a fine green mixture. Alternatively, you can also just chop the spinach leaves with a knife and beat the eggs separately.
  4. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and spoon into a well-greased muffin tray, or use muffin cups to avoid sticking.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the edges start to brown.
  6. Enjoy them hot, lukewarm, or cold, with some salad, raw or cooked veggies.
  7. They keep well in the fridge for a week and up to 6 months in the freezer.