Recipe: Quinoa Protein Bites

It’s the weekend!

To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.

~ Winston Churchill

Happy Saturday all!

I hope you are all enjoying the start of a wonderful weekend as spring has officially sprung, our days are getting longer, and we are starting to plan for the spring and summer season ahead!

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m a reasonably busy gal…

“You too? I knew it!”

Eating well on limited time is always a challenge – especially when we want to be outside during the warmer months coming up.

Enter this recipe.

I make these little nuggets of pure complete plant protein and have them in the fridge to heat up (or eat cold) when I come in and need a quick healthy meal that will make me feel great. They are rock solid in a salad, or wrapped in a lightly heated corn tortilla and doused in this yummy cilantro sauce (an upcoming post!).

Quinoa is indeed an almost perfect food. I mean, it’s got it all, doesn’t it? Few are the foods which provide such solid nutritional sustenance and complete proteins while being tasty, light, easy to cook, and so versatile!

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”

~ Dr. Seuss

The Less:

Less heavy protein from animal sources can add a little more (light) variety if you are an animal protein guy or gal. Less processed vegetarian ‘protein’ foods means cleaner, more accessible nutrition. Less worrying about complete proteins as vegetarian means more freedom in choosing your foods.

The More:

More complete protein means better all round nutrition in one stop. More nuts and grains means more grounding and more satisfying texture and flavor. More easy to eat homemade ‘convenience’ foods means easy snacking when time is tight. So make these almost perfect nuggets ahead of time and don’t look back!

Quinoa Protein Bites:

  • (1) cup uncooked quinoa cooked in 1 3/4 cup cold water*
  • (1) cup walnuts ground fine
  • (2) tbsp chia seeds, soaked in 5 tbsp water (or sub one egg for the chia)
  • (1) cup nut milk, soy milk, or regular milk
  • (1/2) cup quick oats
  • (2) tbsp Bragg’s Aminos or soy sauce
  • (1) tsp salt
  • (1) tsp cumin ground
  • (2) tbsp chopped scallions/green onions/chives
  • roasted sesame seeds to top the bites before baking (optional)
  • olive oil for the pan

Put up the quinoa to cook by combining the water and quinoa in a pan. Cover the quinoa and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat with the lid still on. Cook, covered, on low for 20-25 minutes.

While the quinoa cooks, soak your chia in a small bowl with the water. Stir after a minute to ensure the water and chia soak together evenly. Grind the walnuts, using either a hand grinder or the attachment to your hand blender (or your food processor 🙂 )

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Chop the scallions, and combine with the salt and cumin in a large mixing bowl.

Once your quinoa is cooked, add (1/2)-(3/4) of the cooked grain to a blender (or food processor – hehe) along with the soaked chia, nut milk, and Braggs or soy sauce. Blend to a paste, stirring as needed with a spatula.

Remove the mixture into the mixing bowl with the seasonings and follow with the remaining cooked quinoa, oats, and ground nuts.

Get in there and mix this with your hands – and have fun!

You should end up with a beautiful mix that will stick together beautifully to form wonderful round discs of protein madness (add oats if they are falling apart at all).

Oil a flat cookie pan with olive oil. Form your bites and add to the pan, one by one, mindfully (and don’t worry about them being perfect). Add sesame seeds to one side one by one with a little spoon if you like, it looks nice and they add a nice flavor.

Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes on each side, turning them over at the halfway mark. Remove from oven and cool! Voila! Perfect little protein bites.

These little guys will keep in the fridge for about a week and will also freeze well. To re-heat, you can fry them a little in a skillet, or bake them with or without cheese on top. Serve with any sauce you desire – they are shown here with a Jalapeno Cilantro sauce (posting soon and so good!).

I was pleasantly surprised to awake this morning to a similar post this morning from Emmy over at emmycooks – proving that there are so many great ways to use this grain and enjoy a little bit of perfect protein heaven – I love Emmy’s version as she makes a brilliant use of leftovers from a previous meal.

Of course if you have a favorite way to eat quinoa, I’d love to know…feel free to share your faves in the comments today!

Be intent upon the perfection of the present day.

~ William Law

  • What does perfection mean to you?
  • Are you a convert to quinoa?

I hope you all have a super mindful and deliciously fab weekend – and as always – I love to hear from you all!

As for me? I am off to get the new trowel (just a little) dirty for the 1st time this year…

Yours in Less,


Filed under Cooking, Food, Gluten Free, Nut Recipes, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Savory, Vegan, Vegetarian

35 responses to “Recipe: Quinoa Protein Bites

  1. Once again, another healthy recipe! I AM a convert to Quinoa, always looking for more recipes with it, and this one looks like a lot of fun too!!

    Your Diet Diva

    • Thanks Teri! I like to have these ready in the fridge to have when the family wants another meal! Saves me too much work! Cheers! S 🙂

  2. Yum, I love the idea of having a batch of these in the fridge for snacking. I can’t wait for your spicy cilantro sauce recipe!

    • Thanks Emmy! The sauce is sooooo good! I am just running out of my last batch…all your faves: lime, cilantro, jalapeno…and (just wee little) kale (cuz I always have it!)….have a great weekend!

  3. Pingback: Quinoa Cakes with Cheese, Garlic, and Herbs « emmycooks

  4. The bright red tomato, vibrant green sauce and those adorable proteiny, nutty, cuminy bites – ya done outdid yourself again!

  5. The pictures look so beautiful and delicious 🙂

  6. Quinoa is one of those foods that I do not care for: I was served it as a breakfast cereal at a meditation retreat, and in salads at lunch and I never got over it. I look forward to reading about your spicy cilantro sauce though.

  7. Gorgeous photos! This recipe looks like it would be a good one to pack in my work lunches! I have a habit of packing the same thing every day…cooked rice/quinoa veggies and avocado with a sauce- while delicious, I could use a change-up!

    • Thanks! You are always so kind! For sure on the lunches too – this would be a nice alternative if you already love these foods! They are great at room temp – and once I publish the sauce it would be great for your regular lunch too! 🙂 Hope you are well! 🙂

  8. Love the recipe! I am a total quinoa convert. I’ve been eating a mix of the three different colours (red, black, and white) and enjoy it’s nutty flavour. I also try and buy a sustainanble brand made closer by in tasmania. Since the grain’s popularity has risen, Peru has struggled to keep enough of it’s native grain in the country because they receive more profit for its export. This has meant they now have to rely on other sources of food for fuel that may not be as nutritious.

    • Hi Sarah, I am so glad you brought this up about Peru! I wanted to mention it in my post, but left it out as it was getting too long 🙂 Ever since that news came out I make sure to enjoy every bite of quinoa – what is the brand you buy from Tasmania? I’d love to know if it is available here in Canada?

  9. So good to have something to reach for – quick! – that’s nutritious and tasty. I love quinoa – have included it as part of a salad (with pomegranates and cheese and greens, so good) but apart from that I generally tend to eat it cooked as a pilaf sort-of, with toasted pine nuts, raisins or currants, a little green onion, s&p and maybe a dash of cinnamon. I’m ready to branch out! thanks for a nice recipe Shira. all looks so pretty!

    • Yes Spree – thanks! I love your additions — they sound delicious and I love quinoa as a pilaf! Yum – I never thought to add cinnnamon though, that sounds really nice! I love the convenience as I am often last on the list at dinnertime – especially if I am making dinner for a brood that all have different likes…ah family life! 🙂

  10. S – You sound happy! 🙂

    I’m looking forward to the cilantro sauce recipe. THAT looks seriously fab’ (and I think it would be a tasty wee something for us meat eaters to have on hand at BBQ time).

    As for quinoa, my current fave’ is a cauliflower tabbouleh (using quinoa instead of burghul) chock full of goodies – chopped mint & coriander (cilantro to you!), dried cranberries and toasted walnuts. I could flick you the recipe when I send the mango daiquiri one thru’, perhaps…

    • Hello J! Yes! I am glad it came through in my post – been a great few days here! Love the sound of your tabbouleh (a must for sharing I think!) – I love everything about the sounds of that…LOVE!
      This sauce will please all for sure – my meat eating husband has been all over it this week on chicken! I too have loved having it in the fridge (I’ve actually got 3 yummy versions I’ve been working on)…all soon to be up!
      Hope you are having a great weekend! We are off to dine at our favorite restaurant tonight with out of towners! 🙂

  11. Shira I absolutely love your photos and the way you convey information… LOVE. I don’t experiment with new foods enough (at all), and I’ve never tried Quinoa before, so I am starting with this recipe. Thankyou!!!

    • Oh thank you! If you haven’t tried it before, then this is a great way to start – just be sure to cook it right at the beginning! It might become a regular staple – I hope you enjoy it, keep me posted on how it goes! 🙂

  12. This recipe may prove handy when wanting to make a falafel sandwich — sub these Quinoa bites for the falafel =)

    • What a fab idea! I can see it now with tahini lemon sauce and shredded lettuce….great call! A nice change if you want a switch up from beans! You are very clever Miss Frances!:)

  13. These sound absolutely perfect! I love, love, love quinoa. I need the jalapeno cliantro dip recipe would make these AMAZING!! I do like the above idea to use these for falafel, too 🙂

  14. I can just scroll up and down your blog on and on…and it never stops to amaze me 🙂 Love the way you line up the photographs and weave in everything 🙂

  15. definitely going to have to try this recipe! thanks 🙂
    (great blog btw!)

  16. Yum yum yum yum YUM!! I LOVE quinoa (my parents just brought me a huge, $15 dollar bag to school-lucky me!) and have all of the ingredients to make this even with my limited food supply at college! I’ll definitely be trying these out with red quinoa soon, thanks for posting! What a perfect snack.

    • Oh fabulous! (you have wonderful parents!) – look at you with your amazing healthy food supplies! Very impressive – I hope you love them! Keep us posted! 🙂

  17. I’m definitely a quinoa convert. I switched from white rice to a combination of quinoa, spelt, barley, oat groats and wheat berries, which I cook just like rice. This is so much better! I haven’t found a way of using quinoa that I don’t like. One of my favorites (though probably not the most healthful) is Andean Dream’s chocolate orange quinoa cookies. Thanks for the new idea!

    • That sounds hearty and wonderfully healthy (and the cookies sound delish too!) – I hope you enjoy these and maybe get a few more ideas too! Thanks for stooping by! Hope to see you again! 🙂

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