Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Cheesy Quinoa Bites (easily gluten free)

As a reminder, the meat and cheese sale is ending in about 12 hours (10am MST Thursday March 8th). these are some incredible deals, and you don't want to miss out on them. So call me at 714-683-7562 to place your order. I'm up early with my boys (7am) so don't put off the call until the last minute.

In honor of the cheese on sale, and quinoa being on sale with the March specials, I am posting my recipe for Cheesy Quinoa bites. I must first start by giving credit where credit is due - this recipe is an adaptation of the one you'll find on the blog  "So Very Blessed".  I saw the recipe on Pinterest, and I had been wanting to try a quinoa recipe for a while. Here's the finished result:

I'm going to give a disclaimer here. I experimented with gluten free baking, cooking with quinoa, and cooking in my Sun Oven, all at the same time with this recipe. Because I'm not an expert at any of those things (yet!) my attempt at this recipe didn't turn out as well as it could have, but I could still taste the potential. Everyone liked it and wanted the recipe, so it worked out in the end. But what I'm going to give you is the ideal recipe to set you up for success, (the recipe I will be following in the future), instead of what I actually did.

The main problem I had with mine is that they didn't set in the middle. They stayed too mushy. Three factors contributed to this:

  1. I started with cooked quinoa that was too gummy. Next time I need to use quinoa with less moisture in it. Too see a picture of my plain cooked quinoa that was too gummy, as well as instructions on how to cook quinoa, see my quinoa post. 
  2. I cooked in the Sun Oven, which requires less liquid than a normal oven and keeps your food more moist. Moist food is great... unless you are starting with too much moisture to begin with like I was. So the first time you try this recipe, use your normal oven, or else you'll have to add additional cooking time like I did. 
  3. The original recipe calls for all-purpose flour. I wanted to keep it gluten free, and so I swapped Rice flour for all-purpose flour. But because gluten is a binding agent, and rice flour is gluten free, the flour didn't bind the ingredients, and so the bites stayed mushy instead of firming up like they were supposed to. If you do want to keep it gluten free, mix some corn starch into your rice flour to help with the binding. 

Even with all those set backs, I just had to take the bites out of the tins, flip them onto some parchment paper to bake the other sides, and cook them for additional time (a few extra 15 minutes installments in my Sun Oven). 
This allowed the edges to harden up more and not be mushy. And my hubby and guests said they were still good enough to want the recipe. So here is the improved recipe for you to try, just keep in mind my stumbling blocks so you don't repeat my mistakes! 

1/4 cup THRIVE Carrots
1/4 cup THRIVE FD Onions
1 cup cooked THRIVE Quinoa (not too mushy)
1/2 cup THRIVE FD Cheddar Cheese, reconstituted
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp seasoning salt
1 tsp dried parsley (substitute 1 Tbsp fresh Parsley or fresh cilantro, if desired)
1 Tbsp finely chopped green onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1/8 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp THRIVE Egg powder
1 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
¼ cup water

Combine ¼ c carrots and ¼ c fd onions with 1 cup water in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until carrots are tender. Drain excess water, (should be very little) and pour the reconstituted veggies (should have expanded to about 1 cup) into a mixing bowl.
Add 1 cup cooked quinoa and ½ cup cheddar cheese (reconstituted).

In a smaller mixing bowl, combine the seasonings, herbs, flour, egg powder and water. Once combined, add to quinoa mixture and stir well until everything is combined. 

Spray a mini muffin tin, fill with quinoa mixture, then bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Edges should be slightly "crusted" and the middle of the bite should be firmed up. They taste great as is, or dipped in your choice of dressing. 

No comments: