Easy Spinach and Parmesan Quinoa Muffins

Take your savory muffin game to a new level with these easy, high protein quinoa muffins. Made with quinoa, eggs, spinach and parmesan cheese, these vegetarian-friendly muffins are packed with nutrition, and make a great snack or meatless protein alternative. Serve them hot or cold-- either way they’re delicious, healthy and gluten-free!

 Healthy spinach and parmesan quinoa muffins: Vegetarian, gluten-free and delicious.

Healthy spinach and parmesan quinoa muffins: Vegetarian, gluten-free and delicious.

Fun fact: I didn’t really eat eggs until I was in my mid 20s. There was something about the texture and smell that didn’t appeal to me. I was much more of a pancake-eater than an omelet-orderer at breakfast.

But over time something changed. I started eating scrambled egg whites with salt and pepper -- the easiest thing to stomach for a non-egg eater. Gradually, I liked them more and more. Then I conquered omelets, and whole scrambled eggs. These days egg whites are still my preferred taste-wise, but I will quite happily down a whole egg omelet on a Sunday morning.

Forming A New Habit Takes Time

My journey with eggs is not unlike other dietary changes. Whether you’re trying to eat more veggies, or cut back on sweets, it takes patience and practice to get used to new tastes and behaviors. And you might not enjoy it very much at first. Rest assured, it gets better (if it didn’t I wouldn’t be eating omelets on weekends).

Speaking of eggs, I have a great egg-containing recipe for you this week. These little quinoa and muffins have become a staple in our house. We eat them as a high protein snack or as a light lunch/dinner paired with a salad. They’re vegetarian-friendly, gluten-free, and can be prepped ahead of time...because weekdays are fairly busy around here.

Before I sign-off, there’s one more egg-y thing that’s worth a mention: the yolk. Egg yolks got a bad wrap in the 90s when low-fat was cool, and have been struggling to shake their not-so-healthy image ever since.

Are Egg Yolks Bad For You?

Good news, yolk lovers! Eating 6-12 eggs a week does not appear to impact cholesterol, LDL or triglycerides if you otherwise follow a reasonably heart healthy diet (lots of veggies, whole grains, plant-based fats, and lean protein/seafood) [1, 2].

Eggs are great source of high quality protein and the yolk offers several nutrients including:

  • Vitamin A and carotenoids: Support vision,  immunity and reproduction

  • Vitamin B12 and folate: Support cell division, DNA replication, neurological function, and more.

  • Phosphorus: Supports bone health, metabolism, and cell structure.

  • Selenium: Supports reproduction, immunity, thyroid hormone metabolism, and DNA synthesis

  • Choline: Support the brain and neurological system, fat metabolism, and cell integrity.

 Savory spinach and parmesan quinoa muffins, dotted with cherry tomatoes.

Savory spinach and parmesan quinoa muffins, dotted with cherry tomatoes.

Savory Spinach and Parmesan Quinoa Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups baby spinach

  • 12 cherry tomatoes

  • 6 eggs

  • 3 cups cooked and cooled quinoa

  • ⅔ cup parmesan cheese, shredded (or crumbled feta)

  • 2 tsp dried basil

  • ¼ tsp garlic powder

  • ½ tsp salt

  • ½ tsp baking powder

  • Cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350℉/180℃.

  2. Shred the baby spinach, and halve the cherry tomatoes.

  3. Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine and aerate.

  4. Add the cooked quinoa, parmesan/feta, baby spinach, dried basil, garlic powder, salt, and baking powder to the mixing bowl. Stir until all the ingredients are well-combined.

  5. Liberally grease a non-stick muffin tin with cooking spray and line each muffin cup with a thin strip of parchment to make removing the muffins easier (see picture above). Alternatively, you can line the muffin tin with silicone muffin cups like these ones to stop the quinoa muffins from sticking to the pan.

  6. Spoon the quinoa and egg mixture into the pre-greased muffin cups. Press two cherry tomato halves into the top of each muffin.

  7. Insert the muffin tin into the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the egg is just cooked.

  8. Allow the quinoa muffins to cool. Run a knife around the edge of each muffin, and gently lift the muffins out of the tin using the parchment paper as handles. Serve hot or cold.

Makes 12 quinoa muffins.

Pro tip:

Baked eggs stick to everything! Be sure to spray your muffin tin liberally with cooking spray or line your tin with silicone muffin cups (like these ones) before you add the quinoa muffin mix to the tin to avoid extra scrubbing.

Hungry for more recipes? Find them here.

 These high protein, vegetarian quinoa muffins make a delicious snack or light meal.

These high protein, vegetarian quinoa muffins make a delicious snack or light meal.


References:

[1] Impact of Egg Consumption on Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes and at Risk for Developing Diabetes: A Systematic Review of Randomized Nutritional Intervention Studies. Richard C, Cristall L, Fleming E, Lewis ED, Ricupero M, Jacobs RL, Field CJ. Can J Diabetes. 2017 Aug;41(4):453-463. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjd.2016.12.002. Epub 2017 Mar 27. Review.

[2] Egg Consumption and Human Cardio-Metabolic Health in People with and without Diabetes. Nicholas R. Fuller, Amanda Sainsbury, Ian D. Caterson, Tania P. Markovic. Nutrients. 2015 Sep; 7(9): 7399–7420. Published online 2015 Sep 3. doi: 10.3390/nu7095344