Ham & Cheese Quinoa Protein Cupcakes

My fiance and I are terrible about consistently eating breakfast and we don’t have time to make something before work. I am lucky to have a cafe in my office building that allows me to make healthy breakfast choices’ however, he is not so lucky and will often grab something that is calorie and carb loaded. If I don’t eat, I am starving until lunch and make terrible snacking choices or I overeat at lunch. Not eating breakfast makes me hangry. Eating breakfast is good for your health, as well as the health of others around you.

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Studies have shown that breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Eating a healthy breakfast is essential for maintaining a healthy body weight. Because eating a healthy breakfast is not always convenient, many people will gravitate towards foods that are high in sugar and/or fat in order to keep them full until lunch. My fiance bought frozen breakfast sandwiches but the unhealthy calories and ridiculous sodium content made it a rather unhealthy option. As a solution, I found a great recipe for a healthy, grab and go egg cupcake that is loaded with protein to keep us full until lunch. Original recipe here. Give it a try and make your coworkers jealous of your mad Martha skills!

Ham & Cheese Quinoa Protein Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes

  • 3/4 cups quinoa, makes 2 cups cooked (I used Bob’s Red Mills Tri Color)
  • 3 eggs (original recipe called for 2 but I felt the mix was too dry. Start with 2 and add a 3rd if you need it)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 medium to large zucchini, shredded
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup diced ham
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Boil 2 cups of water or chicken broth and add uncooked quinoa. Bring back to a boil. Cover, reduce to medium heat and simmer until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff, cover, and let sit.

While quinoa is cooking/resting, prep the remaining ingredients. Wash the medium to large zucchini and using the large hole side of a grater, shred the zucchini until you have 1 cup. Make sure you don’t shred your fingers! As much as this recipe can be modified, finger flavored is not recommended!

Dice ham, if needed, until you have 1/2 cup. I bought pre-diced ham to save time and dishes. Measure 1 cup of shredded cheese and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.

Grab a handful of parsley and rip off leaves, discarding stems. Chop finely until you have 1/4 cup. Wash 2 scallions and chop.

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Chopped parsley, shredded zucchini, diced ham

Crack 2 eggs and 2 egg whites into a bowl. Have another egg on hand in case you feel the mix is too dry.

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All ingredients prepped and ready for mixing!

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Don’t forget to salt and pepper! If mix looks too dry, add the 5th egg.

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All ingredients added into mixing bowl

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All mixed!

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Extra egg

Spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray and spoon mixture to the top of each cup.

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Cute cupcake liners a bonus!

Fill to the top! Egg cupcakes do not rise like regular cupcakes

Fill to the top! Egg cupcakes do not rise like regular cupcakes

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the edges of the cups are golden brown. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before removing from the muffin tin.

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Place on backing rack to cool.

To reheat, place on/in microwave safe container. Microwave in 10 second intervals until hot. At work, I microwaved the egg cupcake for 30 seconds (3 ten second intervals), but it will depend on the strength of your microwave.

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My fiance and I LOVED this breakfast cupcake and will put it into our grab n’ go breakfast rotation with overnight oatmeal. Next time I make these, I want to use spinach, feta, and tomatoes! Or, crumbled sausage, peppers, and olives with taco seasoned cheese for a Mexican twist. The flavor combinations are endless!

ENJOY! Let us know if you try this at home and what you used for filling!

 

For more healthy recipes and inspiration, check out Katie’s Mason Jar Salads and Spiralizer Review.

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