Yesterday I had leftover BBQ chicken from the previous nights din din, so I decided to whip up some quinoa BBQ chicken salad. Nom nom nom. Well today, I had leftover quinoa. People ask me all the time, how do I get my kids to eat veggies. Simple, I trick them or a shrink down foods into mini bites so they can pick them up and gobble away. Don’t get me wrong, I am a HUGE advocate for farm fresh and having my kids taste veggies (and fruits) in their purest forms, but let’s get real. My kids are 3 and a half and 2 and a half, you plop a plain piece of zucchini in front of them, they are not touching it. Well, except my daughter Maryn because she will eat anything (as long as her brother and sister are not around to tell her it tastes like poop) and she doesn’t care what it is.
So, leftover quinoa, kids who need some veggies, lunch right around the corner….QUINOA ZUCCHINI APPLE BITES!!! I did make one batch sans apple, but the apple made them even more yummy. These took about 5 minutes to throw together and 25 minutes to bake. The best part, no oil or butter so these are super healthy and I promise you, your kids will LOVE them. If you don’t have my specific ingredients on hand (and you will not unless you are in Traverse City, MI and shop at Bay Bread and get dried apple slices from Nature’s Treats), don’t worry. Use what you have or get creative and put your own spin on these.
Quinoa Zucchini Apple Bites
3/4 cup cooked quinoa (note that I cooked my quinoa the day before in some simple chicken stock)
2 medium to large zucchini, skin on, grated
1/2 vidalia onion, grated
1/2 cup dried cinnamon apple slices, crushed in big (not fine) pieces
3/4 cup asiago cheese breadcrumbs (I made these myself using a leftover asiago cheese baguette that I had on hand. Note also that my breadcrumbs were more rustic aka coarser than a traditional fine ground breadcrumb. So maybe try using some garlic cheese croutons pulsed in the food processor for a few seconds)
2 large eggs
1/2 fresh grated parmesan (cheddar would be awesome too)
Few healthy shakes of some granulated garlic, sea salt (to taste), and hot shot (red/black pepper mix, also to taste), and a smidge of celery salt.
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Put all ingredients into a bowl and mix mix mix
3. Using a small spoon, spoon into a mini muffin pan. If using a traditional non stick pan, spray with a little Pam (or a spray equivalent). I used a non stick silicone mini muffin pan so I didn’t even spray it and they pop right out after a few minutes of cooling.
4. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes
5. Mow down and thank me later
I got about 36 mini bites out of this recipe. They will not last, they are SO good. Now go, cook, eat, be happy. : )