Mini Ham & Cheese Quinoa Cups

quinoa quiche bites
I found these little guys on Iowa Girl Eats and fell in love. They are just so cute...and sounded yummy and good for you at the same time. I left the ham out when I made mine this time, but I'm sure the salty ham is a nice addition to the flavors in the little quiches. These have been great to have on hand for breakfast for me, just heat some up and I'm ready to go! Plus, as she mentions, you could try any variety of ingredient combinations!

Makes 28 mini cups
Ingredients:
2 cups cooked quinoa (about 3/4 cup uncooked)
2 eggs
2 egg whites
1 cup zucchini, shredded
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup diced ham (I left out this time)
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese
2 green onions, sliced
salt & pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix to combine. Liberally spray a mini muffin tin with non-stick spray and spoon mixture to the top of each cup. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges of the cups are golden brown. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before removing from the mini muffin tin.
nutritionals

Quinoa Mac n' Cheese Casserole

quinoa mac n cheese
I added the 'casserole' to the name because you bake it and it's not quite as creamy as typical mac n' cheese BUT it IS delicious! I made this for myself to have on hand for lunches one week after seeing a link to it on The Daily Dish. The recipe originally comes from Monica Nelson Fitness and I really loved it. It is filling and savory and perfect for lunch. I love having something yummy in the fridge ready for me at lunch time when I am super hungry!

Ingredients:
* 2 tsp olive oil
* 1 med. leek white and pale green parts halved and sliced (1 cup)(I used green onions)
* 1/2 cup diced tomato, or red/green pepper
* 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
* good pinch of salt
* a few grinds of seasoning salt
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 large eggs
* 1 cup soy milk, non-fat milk, or milk of choice
* 1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese, more for sprinkling
* Optional- Crushed Red Pepper, Panko Bread crumbs for topping
* Toppings (optional)- salsa, hot sauce, sour cream, scallions

Directions:
1. Heat oil in med. saucepan over med. heat. Add leek and tomatoes (or bell peppers-or any veggies you want really); cover and cook 5 mins or until tender. Stir in quinoa and garlic, and cook, uncovered, 3-4 mins, or until grains start to turn opaque. (They will not fully be cooked yet.)
2. Add 3 cups water and season with salt and the Seasoning Salt (I used Goya). Cover and reduce heat to med-low and simmer 5-10 more, or until most liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand 5 mins.
3. Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat 13x9 inch dish with cooking spray. Whisk together eggs and milk in large bowl. Fold in quinoa mixture and cheese. Stir very well and let some of the cheese melt. Transfer to prepared baking dish and if using Panko Crumbs or Bread crumbs add now and bake 30-35 mins, (or until browned around edges.)
4. Now you can toss with many toppings, some ideas: salsa, scallions, sour cream, and hot sauce! I serve with a side of steamed broccoli or a salad and a nice slice of good hearty bread.
*divided into 6 servings, it is 339 calories per serving*

Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs

cheese meatballs
(picture here)
These guys were a HUGE hit with the entire family! I got my recipe from Fabulously Delicious and we will definitely be making them again! I ate some of the extra meatballs the next day for lunch with a little sauce to dip them in. YUM!

Ingredients
2 lbs. ground turkey
2 eggs
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs (I used gluten-free Italian bread crumbs)
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. deli (brown) mustard
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3-4 sticks string cheese, each stick cut into 5 pieces

Directions
1. In a large bowl, combine turkey and all other ingredients except string cheese. Mix well to combine (use your hands to get the best results!).
2. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray (or each cup of a muffin tin, if using). Take 1/4 cup of meat mixture and roll into a ball. Press your finger into the center to make an indent, and place a piece of string cheese into it. Roll meat mixture again to cover the cheese completely and make a meatball shape. Place meatballs onto baking sheet or into muffin pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through and cheese starts to ooze out. Remember, in this case, ooze is a good thing! Cook them too long and the cheese will start to harden and not be melty. Serve immediately.
(I then simmered mine in a large saucepan with the spaghetti sauce)

Zucchini Noodles

zucchini noodles
We just got back from a fabulous spring break trip to Florida. One not so fabulous thing that happened on the trip however was that my laptop disappeared, and with it lots of the pictures I hadn't edited yet. The week before we left I made some yummy cheese stuffed meatballs and zucchini noodles to go with them, but I don't have the pictures anymore. I found this picture here and it this is very much what mine looked like. Hopefully I'll get the meatball recipe up tomorrow, they were SUPER yummy!

For zucchini noodles all you need is zucchini, olive oil and some salt and pepper.
I used my potato peeler to thinly slice the zucchini and left my strips wide (you can cut them in half to make them thinner). Heat them in some olive oil and you're done.

I have been seeing these pop up on all kinds of blogs recently and was pleasantly surprised at the mild flavor and the pasta-like consistency. Plus, they cook in minutes, way faster than real pasta!

Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce


chicken with mustard cream sauce
I just HAD to try this recipe right after seeing it on The Pioneer Woman 's blog, plus asparagus is on sale again (hooray!) and I knew it would pair perfectly! We ended up eating it with a Mediterranean quinoa mix and my favorite asparagus ...and it was perfect!

Ingredients
4 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
3 whole Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 cup Brandy (or White Wine If Preferred) (I used white cooking wine)
1 Tablespoon (heaping) Dijon Mustard
1 Tablespoon (heaping) Grainy Mustard
1/4 cup (to 1/2) Heavy Cream
1/4 cup (to 1/2) Chicken Broth
Salt And Pepper, to taste

Directions:
Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise so that you have eight smaller, thinner chicken cutlets. Salt and pepper both sides.
Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook cutlets on both sides until nice and golden brown and cooked through. Remove chicken from the skillet and keep on a plate.
Reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic to the pan and saute it for a minute, stirring to make sure it won't burn. Next pour in the brandy (or wine if using) being careful if cooking over an open flame. Then just let the booze bubble up and cook until it's reduced by half.
Throw in the mustards and stir to combine, then pour in the cream. Stir in chicken broth, adding more if the sauce seems too thick. Taste sauce and adjust whatever you think it needs. Add chicken breasts back to the pan, nestling them into the sauce. Allow sauce to cook for another few minutes, shaking the pan if needed to move things around.

Jane Foxs Famous Tortilla Soup

famous tortilla soup
This soup was in a recent issue of Rachael Ray's magazine and I am in love with it. We tried it for the first time last week and I actually put it back on the menu for this week again because I loved it so much! We had it last night and it was delicious once again. I am such a tortilla soup fan and the tortillas in this one make it a little extra special.

Ingredients
* 12 corn tortillas, 6 sliced lengthwise into 1-inch-wide strips and 6 cut into 1 1/2 squares
* Vegetable cooking spray
* Salt and pepper
* 1/4 corn oil
* 1 large yellow onion, chopped
* 2 - 3 cloves garlic, chopped
* A handful cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped.
* 2 bay leaves
* 2 tablespoons mild to medium chili powder (about a couple scant palmfuls)
* 1 tablespoon ground cumin (about a palmful)
* 6 cups chicken stock
* 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles
* 2 rotisserie chicken breasts, skin and bones discarded, meat shredded or diced
* 2 avocados
* 2 limes, cut into wedges
* 1 small red onion, finely chopped
* 2 large jalapeno chile peppers, seeded and chopped
* Crumbled queso fresco and sour cream, for topping

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees . Arrange the tortilla strips on a baking sheet in a single layer; spray with cooking spray. Bake until deep golden, about 15 minutes. Season with salt.
2. Meanwhile, in a soup pot or dutch oven, heat 3 tbsp. oil over medium heat. Add the tortilla squares and cook, stirring, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tbsp. oil, the yellow onion, garlic, cilantro, bay leaves, chili powder and cumin; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the spices are toasted and the onion is softened, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the stock and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add the chicken and lower the heat to a simmer until ready to serve.
3. Peel, seed and dice the avocados. Place some at the bottom of each soup bowl and douse with a healthy squeeze of lime juice. Pour the soup into the bowls. At the table, top with the red onion, baked tortilla strips, jalapenos, queso fresco and sour cream. Serve with the remaining lime wedges.