Packed with nutrition, these 90-calorie quinoa, mushroom and kale “muffins” are perfect portable mini-meals! They are naturally vegan and gluten-free, too.
Hi everyone! I hope that it’s been a good weekend all around for each of you. I managed to squeeze in a long run on Saturday morning (before it reached 96 degrees–where are you, fall weather???–and prior to Nick’s baseball double header),and (hallelujah!) clean out the closet in my office. I know, living large! But the latter has been nagging me for ages, so it was a gift to myself to get ‘er done.
I tried to avoid the oven as much as possible (heat!), except for the creation of these pucks. Their inspiration was simple: I’ve been craving mushrooms like crazy.
My sister-in -law’s brother-in-law (my second brother-in-law? Once removed? I am not sure, but he is a great guy) researches these and other such cravings, including how they indicate our body’s instincts to crave what it needs. I must in need of a boost of antioxidants (they are as antioxidant-packed as brightly colored fruit and vegetables), selenium (great for detoxification and reduction of inflammation), and folate (for serious cell repair).
Either that, or I simply need a punch of deep, umami flavor!
For any and all of the reason above, these mushroom pucks are pure satisfaction.
I wanted these to be worthy of an entire lunch, so quinoa co-stars (protein, fiber, whole grains), add heft as well as nutty flavor.
Kale plays a supporting role, but any number of greens–or broccoli–could take its place. It may not be as “in’ as it was a few years ago, but is still a superfood in my book. I buy large bags of cleaned, torn kale leave and store them in the freezer for convenience (you can grab a handful for smoothies, or crumble into soup or a scramble); I don’t have to worry about using the big bag in a hurry, either (i.e., it won’t turn into an unrecognizable entity in the vegetable crisper).
To keep this recipe streamlined, the mushrooms and kale (along with some green onions, for extra flavor) are chopped fine in the food processor and then added straight into the bowl with cooked quinoa; no need to saute.
The only remaining ingredients are flax “eggs” to hold everything together and some salt & pepper. That’s it!
Trust me, the sum is far greater than the parts!
These muffin-size meals are:
*Rich and meaty-tasting (thanks to the mushrooms & quinoa)
*High in protein & fiber (serious satisfaction for hours)
*Loaded with vegetables
*Full of vitamins and minerals (iron, manganese, magnesium, potassium, thiamin, & vitamins A, B6 & C)
*A perfect, all-in-one lunch or breakfast
*A most excellent mini-meal or snack
Here’s to a great week, everyone!
- 4 packed cups of coarsely chopped, trimmed kale leaves
- 8 ounces white mushrooms
- 1 green onion, cut into pieces
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- ⅓ cup plain nondairy milk
- ¼ cup flaxseed meal
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375F. Grease, spray or line 6 cups of a standard size muffin tin.
- In a food processor, process the kale, mushrooms and green onions until finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the quinoa, milk, flaxseed meal, salt and pepper.
- Divide mixture evenly between prepared cups, smoothing the tops.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes until golden brwon at edges and set at the centers. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool into the tin for at least 20 minutes before removing from tin. Serve warm or room temperature.