I came across an interesting recipe about six months ago and adapted it to the ingredients that I had in my refrigerator. It's super easy and you can have them on the table less than twenty-five minutes. Lo and behold, my kids loved them and while they are great to eat all year round, they are also kosher for Passover...
Quinoa Bites with Lemony Sun-Dried Tomato Mayo Dip
For the bites:
1 1/2 c. quinoa, cooked according to package instructions
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 large red onion, diced
3 handfuls of spinach, wilted and chopped, or three frozen spinach 'cakes', defrosted and chopped
2 eggs, whisked
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Italian herb spice (or dried basil, oregano and parsley)
Pepper to taste
3 heaping tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tsp. preserved lemon sauce
2 tsp. sun-dried tomato paste in olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare quinoa according to package instructions. (It's very important to rinse the dried quinoa very well before cooking, as it removes the soapy taste that sometimes lingers if it's not rinsed well). Set aside to cool. (I've laid out specific instructions as to how I cook quinoa in a separate post, but most packages come with instructions printed on the back of the package.)
While the quinoa is cooking, set your oven to 350 degrees. Take 2 mini cupcake trays and spray with Pam. In a large frying pan on medium-high heat, sauté the red onion and red pepper in the olive oil until softened, golden at the edges and fragrant. Let cool. Add to cooked quinoa along with the spinach and spices. Using a wooden spoon, stir in whisked eggs until mixed in evenly. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Spoon a heaping tablespoon quinoa mixture into each mini cupcake indentation and press down with back of spoon to pack it in tightly. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Let cool. To remove from pan, run a sharp knife around each quinoa bite to loosen it from the pan and they should pop out.
For the dip, combine the mayonnaise with the preserved lemon sauce and the sun-dried tomato paste and mix well. Serve quinoa bites at room temperature or slightly warmed with dipping sauce on the side. Garnish with fresh sprigs of parsley or coriander. Makes about 48 bites.
You can substitute any vegetables and spices and experiment with different flavors and textures. Some ideas:
Mushroom, leeks and onions
Beet, arugula and caramelized onion
Sweet potato and onion
Grated zucchini, yellow pepper and red onion
You can even make it dairy and add cheese! Have fun with them!