Quinoa Pizza Bites

It was my brother-in-law Steve’s birthday last week.  He got out of work early, but my sister had grad school that night and wouldn’t be home until at least 9:00 pm.  They had dinner plans, so I decided to have Steve over for some drinks and appetizers beforehand.  (No one wants to sit home alone on their birthday!)

I have to say I was very impressed with myself.  We got back from Jamaica the night before at 1:00 am (which was wonderful!).  I spent the afternoon helping in my sister’s classroom, came home, planned the menu, cleaned the house, and went food shopping.  I didn’t get home until 5:30 but had everything prepped and ready to go into the oven by 6:50.  I picked up Steve, poured him a glass of red, turned the oven on, and 15-20 minutes later we were already munching on 3 *delicious* appetizers (all of which I found on Pinterest).

This is the first recipe I made.  It took the longest the make, but it was yummy for sure.  After trying a few quinoa salads this summer, I was excited to use it in another way.  I did make a minor error…I forgot the mozzarella cheese when I mixed all the ingredients together.  I realized after I filled half the muffin tin and there was no going back!  I did sprinkle some on top of each bite, which worked.  I think having the cheese throughout each bite would have helped hold them together a bit more, though.  Steve loved them.  My *very* picky sister even thought they were okay (minus the onion).

Start by preheating your oven to 350 making the quinoa…

  • Thoroughly rinse 1/2 cup of quinoa under cold water.

  • Place in a small saucepan and add 1 cup water.  (The ratio of quinoa to water is 1:2.)

  • Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook until the water is absorbed.

  • When the quinoa is finished, add it to the bottom of a large bowl and let cool.

Meanwhile, prep the other ingredients…

  • Chop up 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, some fresh basil, and about 3 ounces of pepperoni.

  • Add all of the ingredients to the cooled quinoa.

  • Add 1/2 teaspoon salt.

  • Then add 1 teaspoon each of paprika and dried oregano.

  • This is where I would add about 4 ounces of shredded mozzarella….key word here is “would”.
  • Add 2 eggs.

  • Take off your rings and get mixing!  Once everything is combined you can stop.

  • Coat a mini-muffin tray with nonstick cooking spray.

  • Fill each muffin hole with some of the quinoa mixture.  Press down with a spoon.  (It was the *perfect* amount of quinoa!  Nothing leftover!)

  • Sprinkle the top of each bite with some more shredded mozzarella.

  • Bake for 15-10 minutes, until the cheese on top is melted and the quinoa bites are golden brown.

  • While the bites are in the oven, heat up some pizza sauce.  (Since I was in a time crunch, I just used canned pizza sauce.  Make your own if you have time!)

Serve the bites with the warm pizza sauce for dipping.  Yum!  Enjoy!

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