At a recent blogging event, I was given a beautiful Wilton 6 cavity mini pie pan. So very cute. But then I remembered, I don't bake. Sure, I can throw a pie or cake together if necessary, or even a French tarte tatin, but I'm a savory gal. Pulling together savory dishes is much more exciting for me, and yes, of course food has varying levels of excitement in my world. Seeing as I didn't see any dessert police in my kitchen, I set out to turn my mini pie pan into a vessel where I could prepare a dinner worthy dish, and not the dinner where you eat dessert for your meal, though I would never diss the idea.
I decided to make a healthy patty using quinoa as the base, and throwing in some tasty and complementary ingredients like spinach and tomatoes. A little egg acted as a binding agent so it wasn't a quinoa salad, though that's an option if eggs aren't your thing. A couple of spices kept things interesting, and baking them in the oven made for perfect little patties for immediate dining or heating in the toaster oven for lunch the next day.
I loved the size of the patty I got by using the mini pie pans, and enjoyed the flavor so much that I decided to bring my quinoa concoction to a recent food blogger party. At our parties, everyone gets a taste of everything, so I downsized my pan to a mini 24 cup sheet, which proved to be a good amount for all the fellow eaters to get a taste, but not fill up before sampling everyone's dishes.
These quinoa cuties have proven quite versatile. Enjoy as a healthy individual meal at home, or make them into little bites to entertain a group. Just let someone else bring the dessert.
Quinoa Spinach Cakes
Makes 24 mini-muffins or 6 larger cakes
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 cups thawed spinach (if frozen)
- 1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
- 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha or other hot sauce
- 2 large eggs (or flax eggs)
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese (optional)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Place olive oil in a pan and once hot, add the onions. Sautee until translucent and then add the garlic, followed by the spinach. Once all ingredients are cooked and combined, take off heat.
- Add the the quinoa, tomatoes, Sriracha, eggs and goat cheese to the quinoa mixture. Stir until all elements are combined and season with salt and pepper.
- Distribute mixture in a greased cupcake or mini pie tin and bake for 15-20 minutes until set.