Mini quinoa broccoli pies

In my never-ending quest to find new methods of working quinoa into dishes, I came across this funny little recipe on a Polish blog that google had to translate into English for me.  I wasn’t sure if some of the words were really correct, but I took what I could from it and voila, a delightful little snack.  This isn’t quite substantial enough for a dinner unless you eat them with a salad and a side of some other sort, but it’s a great lunch or snack.  I love the automatic portion control that comes with the cute way they are baked in a muffin pan.

The original recipe calls for goat cheese but I had feta cheese leftover from making the most amazing frittatas ever and I don’t actually like plain cheese unless it’s cooked into something, so I figured I’d just try with feta and see how it went.  They turned out great.  I was intrigued by the addition of a little oatmeal – they could almost be eaten as a savoury breakfast.  I prefer them for lunch or a snack, but who I am to regulate your quinoa eating habits…they could be good any time of day.  Although it involves a few steps it’s a fun new way to work quinoa into your meals so consider it particularly if you are bored with your regular quinoa recipes (I feel like that is just me talking to myself since I do not know a single soul who makes quinoa as much as me…but throwing it out there anyway).

Mini quinoa broccoli pies 

Ingredients (approx. 10 pcs.)
1 cup quinoa, cooked
150g broccoli florets – I didn’t really measure this, I just cut up one head of broccoli
100g goat cheese or feta cheese
2 eggs
2 tbsp. oatmeal
1/2 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper

Directions
Cook the quinoa according to package directions (best rule of thumb is 1 part quinoa to 3 cups water) – just make sure all the liquid is absorbed and it’s translucent and expanded. Then cut the feta or goat cheese into small pieces and mix into the warm quinoa, stirring so that the cheese melts into it.

Set aside and cook your broccoli – just chop it up into a bunch of little florets and put in a pot of boiling water.  Let it cook for 3-5 minutes but keep a close eye on it as overcooked broccoli is gross.  Drain the water out and let it cool so you don’t burn yourself.  Then chop it finely and mix into the quinoa.  Add the  eggs and oatmeal and then mix in the salt and pepper.  This won’t be a dough by any means, but it’s easy enough to spoon it into a greased muffin pan.  It would also look cute in little ramekins, or you could even make a slice of it by putting it in a square pan.  But I liked the muffin pan idea because it’s automatic portion control and who can resist an adorable quinoa muffin pie thing.

Cook in a 180 C / 350 F oven for 20 minutes or so until the edges of the quinoa pies become golden brown and appear firm.  You may need longer – honestly when it comes to cooking savoury stuff I rarely go by a specific time and instead just check on it frequently to see if it’s done.  They will smell great so use that as your timer to start checking for doneness.

IMG_4911Mixing the feta into the quinoa

IMG_4912Mixing all the broccoli in

IMG_4916Fill up the greased muffin cups most of the way

IMG_4917

Finished little pies – they are basically like muffins but savoury and full of goodness.  Seriously though how cute are they?

This is another recipe like those little spinach and feta frittatas that I could actually eat straight out of the fridge cold, but they do taste better at room temperature and warmed in the microwave.  They are a perfect mid-afternoon pick me up or eat several with a side salad for lunch.  Enjoy!

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