Last night I was on a hunt for another Pinterest recipe I could try. I was torn between two but obviously decided to go with the one that had “pizza” in the title. I found a recipe for some quinoa pizza balls and while they looked good, I wanted to adapt the recipe a little to fit my particular tastes and make them even more scrumptious. So I did just that and low and behold they actually turned out really good! So here you have it… my delicious little Quinoa Pizza Bites recipe.
Quinoa Pizza Bites
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup drained, cooked black beans (a can is fine, just rinse well)
16 small square inch size pieces of mozzarella (can use cut up string cheese) – about 80g total- OPTIONAL
1/3 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 small cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp dried Italian herbs
1/2 tsp chilli flakes (feel free to use more if you like spice, I did)
Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 350f/175c
Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Taste a little (no, you can’t eat it all yet) and add salt if needed. Once again, a Pampered Chef Mix & Chop works really well for this part. Try to break up the beans so that the mixture sticks together well.
It will be quite wet but try rolling it into a ball. If it sticks together, great. If not, put it into the fridge for 10-15 minutes to set.
Start to roll the balls in your hand and press a small square of mozzarella in the middle, surround the cheese with more of the quinoa mixture and make sure it is completely covered. This step is optional if you are going for the dairy free version.
Place balls on a baking tray lined with wax paper. Since tomorrow is a day off from the diet I made 8 with cheese and 8 without.
Bake for roughly 15 minutes, turning the balls halfway through.
They will be quite crispy on the outside but fantastically gooey and cheesy on the inside – or, if you haven’t added the cheese, the quinoa will still be moist.
While the non-cheesy ones are pretty good, the cheese makes these 10 times better. Eek… yes I cheated and ate just one…or two… those 2 in the picture above in fact. I just HAD to in order to provide an accurate blog report, plus tomorrow is a day off so I just started it a few hours early!
Because it’s mozzarella, it doesn’t add too much fat so you don’t need to feel too guilty! So if you can add the cheese definitely do so, it’s worth it!
To top it all off, dip in some pizza/pasta sauce or ranch dressing.
Makes about 16 balls but next time I will definitely double the recipe because I ate about half of them in one sitting.
1 serving (4 bites) without mozzarella – 171 calories, 2.2g fat
1 serving (4 bites) WITH mozzarella – 231 calories, 6.6g fat
RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: Happy Healthy Mama