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Healthy Superbowl Snacks – Spicy Quinoa Cakes

This quinoa bites recipe has been on my Pinterest board for over a year now. I’ve made it a couple of times and decided to tweak the recipe for a spicier option. What can I say, I just can’t help myself! Adding a little spice here and there can really elevate a dish, even if it’s just a few pepper flakes.

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These spicy quinoa mini cakes are a healthy alternative to the numerous fried and cheese laden appetizers that will be consumed during next weekend’s super bowl. If you’re looking for ideas on what to make and want to balance out your menu, this is it! Quinoa is a grain used in many dishes across South America and has gained popularity across the US for it’s high protein content and health benefits. It’s the super food of choice for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. It’s high in fiber, rich in iron and has been known to regulate insulin levels in your body. How could you not want to eat this?!

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These are great little snacks you can munch on between meals, as appetizers or just serve up as a side dish. The original recipe called for a sauce but these are moist enough that you don’t need one. If you do want something extra, serve with a salsa. You can also use regular size cupcake pans and serve as a side with vegetables or grilled chicken.

Spicy Quinoa Mini Cakes
adapted from So Very Blessed
yields 48 mini cakes

2 cups quinoa, cooked
2 egg whites
1/4 cup Gouda cheese
1 jalapeno, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 small onion, diced
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp sea salt

1. In a small bowl add all the ingredients and mix well.

2. Grease a mini cupcake pan and spoon in the quinoa mix into each mold.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Note: The recipe calls for 2 cups of cooked quinoa. You can cook 1 cup of quinoa in about 1 1/2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock for extra flavor. I used a low sodium chicken stock and boiled quinoa for about 15 minutes. You want the quinoa to crack open and be light and fluffy.

Quinoa has too many health benefits not to include in your diet. Use any leftover cooked quinoa to toss in your salad or add some texture to your smoothies. Enjoy!

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