Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ham and Cheese Quinoa Cups

I am horrible when it comes to eating breakfast.  I know I should.  But most mornings that extra few minutes of sleep usually out ranks the need to properly fuel up for the day ahead.  Often I pour a cup of coffee and bolt out of the door. 

One trick that seems to work well for me is to make a large batch of something ahead that can be quickly reheated in the microwave, stove top or toaster oven.  Quiche cups, frittata, and turkey/fennel sausage patties were key players when I planned ahead.  But it is possible to overload on quiche, believe it or not.  Quinoa thrown into the mix adds excitement (and a fun texture) back to my breakfast routine.

In a bit of poor planning I discovered I did not have enough quinoa to make Kristin's full recipe from Iowa Girl Eats.  But it halved easily enough.  I omitted the additional egg whites and stuck with whole eggs.  And I used a standard muffin tin instead of the Kristin's mini tins.  As a result, I needed to extend the baking time a bit.

But I was set for a few days of breakfast, with surprising little hands-on time.

adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

yields 6 Quinoa Cups

The Ingredients:
1 cups cooked quinoa (about 3/4 cup uncooked)
2 eggs
1 small zucchini, shredded
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 oz diced ham
2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
1 green onions,thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste

The Process:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients and whisk together until well combined.   Lightly butter or oil a standard-size muffin tin.  Spoon mixture into the tin, bringing the mixture level to the tin's lip.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the edges of the cups are golden brown. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before removing from the tin.

The Review:
These truly were heaven sent for a non-morning person such as myself,  The day after making them, I had something to look forward to that I knew would fill me up without needing much time.  Granted, the quinoa cups were much, much better fresh out of the oven.  After a night in the fridge they lost that beautiful crispness to their browned edges.  But I'll take a warm, albeit slightly soggy breakfast over toast or cold cereal any day.

The filling combination here is classic.  Ham and Cheddar.  But the recipe is in no way limiting.  Spinach, mushroom and Gruyere may be my next batch.  Turkey sausage and Swiss?   Tomato, olive and feta?  So many wonderful flavor combinations.  The quinoa and eggs provide a near perfect canvas for these flavors, with the quinoa added a welcome pop of texture.


1 comment:

  1. Those would be perfect for a cocktail party. Love them!