1 and 1/4 cup quinoa (uncooked)
4 cups vegetable stock (or chicken)
4 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
100g spinach leaves
200g feta cheese
1 cup tasty cheese
A handful of fresh herbs like dill, parsley, chives – any or all is fine!
Salt and Pepper
Sesame seeds for the crust PLUS cooking oil spray (rice bran or olive oil or whatever you have)
Turn on the oven. 180 degrees is good.
Bring 4 cups of stock to the boil in a saucepan and add rinsed quinoa. Lower the heat and let it simmer away until the quinoa is cooked (about 15-20 minutes). NOTE: If you find there is still some liquid in the pot when the quinoa is cooked then just drain it off – you want the quinoa to be dry not runny! Once it’s cooked let it cool.
Finely chop the leek and fry gently in the olive oil. Add the spinach leaves and garlic and stir until the spinach has wilted. Take it off the heat and let it cool.
Once the quinoa and the spinach mixture are cool, grab a big bowl. Into the bowl throw the quinoa, the spinach mixture, crumbled feta, grated tasty cheese, 2 beaten eggs, fresh herbs, salt and pepper. Give it a really good mix until everything is well combined – think of it as a meatball mix. ( I use my hands!)
Spray a 12 cup muffin tray with non stick oil (I used rice bran oil but you can use olive oil). Cover the bottom of each muffin cup with sesame seeds (about 1cm thick). Now this bit sounds tricky but it’s not I promise…although you may want to do it over the sink because it could rain sesame seeds and get messy! (Kenny the dog takes care of any seeds that drop onto my floor). Pick the muffin tray up and shake it around a bit, gently tapping one side and then the other as you turn it round (as you would when you’re flouring the bottom of a greased cake tin). The idea is to get the sesame seeds to stick to not only the bottom of the muffin cup, but also to the sides! This is what forms the sesame crust.
Once you’ve managed with those sesame seeds….just use a spoon to pile the spinach and quinoa mixture into the muffin cups. Don’t be afraid to pile high because remember they won’t rise during cooking. NOTE: If you want to make smaller, flat muffins this recipe will make about 24 and you’ll have to bake in two batches.
Give the tops a spray with a bit of rice bran oil (or olive oil) and sometimes a sprinkle a few pine nuts on top too. Bake in pre heated over for 45 mins – 1 hour. They need quite a bit of cooking time to become crispy and brown on top.
EAT on their own or with a salad. They heat well in the microwave and they can also be frozen. YUM.
Let me know how you go.