Bet you didn’t know that quinoa is more closely related to spinach than wheat or rice. Ninety percent of the world’s quinoa is grown in the Bolivian and Peruvian Andes, where natives eat the entire plant. This side of the equator, we’re mainly familiar with the plant’s gluten-free, protein-dense seed that has enjoyed an astronimcal rise in the American culinary lexicon in the past half decade. Buy it in its raw, native form (black, white/pearl or red) or in products such as quinoa pasta, quinoa-based bread, quinoa flour and even quinoa burger patties. More ways to love it, below.
Quinoa Jalapeno Poppers
- 2 jalapenos, halved and seeded
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 whole eggs
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Toss jalapenos with olive oil, and spread them evenly on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 8 minutes. When cool, dice jalapenos into confetti-like pieces.
- In a small bowl, combine goat cheese, cream cheese, honey and roasted jalapeno. Set aside, and lower oven to 350°.
- Rinse and cook quinoa according to package instructions. Let it cool slightly; then mix in eggs, spices, salt and pepper.
- Place a small amount of the quinoa mixture in a 1-inch cookie scoop and press it into a thin layer along the inside of the scoop. Place a 1/2 teaspoon of the cheese mixture in the scoop; then cover it with more quinoa. Place the scoop on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining mixture.
- Spray with cooking spray and bake for 18–20 minutes or until golden and the poppers hold together.