Sunday, January 3, 2021

Ham and Cheese Quinoa Cups

Twinkling New Year's Lanterns
Hi All! I hope you had a fantastic New Year's Eve! How do you typically celebrate? This year is the first year I opted out of celebrating it at all! Normally I would join my parents and grandparents for a long evening of family bonding, passing the time with food, movies, games, sometimes dancing, and did I mention food? We would always finish the night tuning into "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin Eve Party" on TV to watch all the performers and of course the fireworks and dropping of the ball in New York City's Times Square. At the stroke of midnight, we would all scream "Happy New Year" at the top of our lungs, jumping up and down like maniacs, exchanging hugs and wet kisses, and then after some time once things have settled we'd all each as individuals would turn to our phones to make calls and send out well wishes to others who were not with us. 

 Thinking on these past traditions warms my heart, but they did not happen this year, for various reasons. Instead, In my apartment all alone, I turned in early for the night... or at least tried. I was still awake by midnight and I will admit jumped out of bed to peer out the window and see if I could notice any evidence of the world around me celebrating. Not too much was to be seen or heard, unless closely observed. For a couple of magical moments, my eyes were able to catch a subtle cluster of twinkling lanterns gently floating up into the sky from some unknown source toward some unknown destination. They made my soul smile. Then I went back to bed. 

 This year I made an attempt to start a new tradition to celebrate the New Year, a New Year's Family Breakfast the morning of January 1st. I think it was successful. I went to my parents' place and we had pancakes, bacon, fruit, Nutella fill crescents, and I made these amazing Ham and Cheese Quinoa Cups which were absolutely delicious and is the recipe I will be sharing with you today! This is my new favorite recipe to make for breakfasts and I think you are going to love it too!

I stumbled upon this recipe looking for a way to use the leftover quinoa sitting on my shelf. I fell in love with this recipe because it is quick, easy to make, and is flexible with the ingredients that are needed; I already had the bare minimum ingredients required and the fun part is there is room for creativity with the rest!

Fun fact: I write all of my recipes on the back of old business cards to recycle and save space!


  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (about 3/4 cup uncooked) -I really enjoyed using Tri-colored quinoa for adding a pop of color and texture to this recipe but it doesn't have to be.
Short Rant: QUINOA is amazing! I always feel so healthy eating quinoa knowing it is an excellent source of fiber and protein. It naturally feels right to eat at any meal, any time of the day, especially with this recipe. It is light in the tummy but nutritionally substantial. New to quinoa? If you haven't tried it yet, you're gonna LOVE it! It can often be found in the grocery aisle where the rice is kept.
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites (about 6 Tbsp. from the carton)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons shredded or grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup diced ham - I used what I had, shredded pieces of deli meat and it worked out just fine
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini (*optional- but highly recommended for additional color and flavor. I did not have a zucchini to make this recipe on January 1st, BUT I have made this recipe once before for a friend using it and it was delicious; not too strong of a flavor but definitely complementary to the other ingredients) OR add any other veggies you think might go well! Check out the following link for other awesome quinoa cup veggie and meat combinations at: 
  • 2 green onions, chopped (the same situation with the zucchini, I did not have green onions January 1st for the batch featured in these photos, that I made for my family, but they just as well turned out quite tasty anyway.
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed parsley, chopped - I actually just used a couple of shakes of dried parsley seasoning which worked out fine.
  • Salt and pepper to flavor


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grab your muffin tin (either regular-sized or mini) and spray down cups lightly with cooking spray. 
  2. Combine and mix all ingredients together in a large bowl 
  3. Spoon out mixture to the top of each cup.
  4. Bake mini muffins for about 15-20 mins. in mini muffin tins, and 25-30 mins in regular-sized OR until the edges of the cups are golden brown.

my quinoa cups were baked in a regular-sized muffin tin.

Nutella Crescent recipe coming soon! 

Buen Porvecho!

Give this delicious recipe a try, 
and then please let us know how yours turned out!
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