Pizza Quinoa Muffins

I love pizza.

I REALLY love pizza and who doesn’t?!

The truth of the matter is that pizza is one of the worst things we can eat when on a clean diet.  The high fat cheese, high fat and calorie meats and empty calorie crust are all deal breakers.  They taste delicious, but in my case, make me MISERABLE later.  I feel bloated, heavy and just plain sluggish.  I hate the way I feel when I eat like that so I just don’t.  I’ll fully admit that I sometimes miss the delectability of pizza, but never miss what it does to me.

A few weeks ago, I was trying to find interesting quinoa recipes and came across a little gem.  Pizza quinoa muffins!!!  PIZZA!  I could finally indulge in PIZZA without feeling like a sloth!!!  THIS would be the new recipe I would try.

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Pizza Quinoa Muffins

1 cup uncooked quinoa

2 large eggs

1 small onion, minced

1 cup shredded mozzarella

2 large cloves garlic minced

2 tsp. dried basil

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, diced

8 oz. cooked shrimp, chopped

3 oz. roasted red peppers, chopped

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. dried oregano

Pizza sauce for dipping (if desired)

Cook quinoa according to package directions until tender.  Preheat oven to 350°.  Liberally spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.  Mix together all ingredients, except pizza sauce, in a medium mixing bowl.  Measure 1/3 cup (even) of mixture into each muffin well.  Press down to compact.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden.  Cool slightly.  Run a knife around the edges to remove from the tin.  Serve warm with pizza sauce is desired.

The skinny per muffin: 112 calories, 12 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fat, 8 grams of protein, 152 grams of sodium and 1 gram of sugar.

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I ate three of these for supper and felt very satisfied.  The high protein in the quinoa and shrimp kept me full until my next meal.

I can’t say enough about these.  If you think you don’t like quinoa because of the unique texture I really encourage you to try these.  Bringing it together as a muffin minimizes that grainy texture that some people don’t care for.  Grady, who usually doesn’t care for quinoa really liked it.  His exact words were, “Cade you should try those.  They really do taste like pizza.”  Cade even liked them and he usually turns his nose up to über unique foods.

I was so pleased with how these turned out that I can’t wait to make them again and completely change the ingredients.  To be honest this recipe could be changed to ANY flavor, not just pizza.  Omit the basil, oregano and mozzarella, replace it with chili powder, cumin and pepper jack cheese, add some sautéd onions and peppers and you have Mexican quinoa muffins.  The possibilities are endless.  You could even make them into a breakfast muffin with turkey sausage or bacon.  Freeze them and you have an anytime go-to meal.

I really SCORED with this one.  Not only did I find a good alternative to my pizza love, I found a recipe that I can change into virtually anything I want.  These things could have saved my hips in college!!!



Peace, love and guilt-free guilty pleasures!!!



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