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When I was first started learning to cook, my go-to side dishes were Rice A Roni and Pasta Roni. Their versatility just couldn’t be beat – they go with just about any protein or vegetable and they come in all kinds of flavors. Having tacos? Grab some Spanish Rice A Roni. Having a steak? Whip up some White Cheddar Rice A Roni. And they’re quick and easy to throw together.
Then, I started trying to make more things from scratch, mostly just to prove to myself that I could, but there’s also the whole avoiding-processed-food thing that’s also a big perk. I started with just trying to copy the flavors of the boxed mixes and then I gradually started getting more and more bold and eventually even breaking away from the rice and noodles (*gasp*).
My mind was blown by all of the side dish possibilities – roasted sweet potatoes, mashed cauliflower, polenta, couscous, and….quinoa. The protein-packed super food of today. I started by just following the package directions and boiling it in water. Then I started boiling it in chicken broth for more flavor. Then I started mixing in vegetables and meats.
I have tried a bunch of different flavor combinations already and I’m not planning on stopping anytime soon.
This particular evening, I had grilled up some chicken and wanted something ranch flavored to go with it. “Something” quickly turned into a new quinoa bite.
A fresh, dippable, side dish of perfection.
I reheated the leftovers the next day as my main dish and it was just as satisfying, especially so when dipped into a ranch sour cream dip (I just stirred a little dry ranch mix into sour cream – easy peasy).Print
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix together all ingredients.
- Distribute mixture into a greased mini muffin tin, filling each cup to the top (~ 1Tbs each).
- Bake for 15-20 minutes.
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