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Try these delicious sweet and savory school day snacks!

Recipes of the Week: Cheesy Quinoa Bites & Pine Nut Strawberry Rice Bars

As children head back to school and parents work to balance hectic schedules, it can be difficult to maintain a meal plan that doesn’t consume too much time. Make your morning meals, lunchbox packing and meal prepping easier by including time-saving hacks like easy-to-use ingredients and recipes.

Getting back into a routine can be stressful, but Cheesy Quinoa Bites offer a kid-friendly, parent-approved breakfast option that can be enjoyed at the kitchen counter, on the way to school or as a snack during the day. Try making them Sunday evening then simply reheating throughout the week for an appetizing way to encourage kiddos to eat their veggies and start the day strong.

For a snack to be enjoyed as a mid-morning treat or afternoon pick-me-up, pack these Pine Nut Strawberry Rice Bars in lunchboxes to help boost energy with a sweet-and-savory combination. Or, you can store them in the fridge and keep them at home as a reward after a long day of learning.

Cheesy Quinoa Bites
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12

3 oz. dry quinoa (cooked)
2 cups aged cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
2 eggs
3/4 cup broccoli florets, cooked and finely chopped
1/3 cup orange bell pepper, finely diced
3/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease 12 muffin cups.

Stir together cooked quinoa, 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, eggs, broccoli, bell pepper and salt. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top.

Bake 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown and set. Let cool slightly in pan on rack; invert onto rack and let cool completely or serve warm.

Substitution: Use finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, black olives or pickled jalapeno peppers for orange bell pepper, if desired.

Image of Pine Nut Strawberry Rice Bars.

Pine Nut Strawberry Rice Bars

Pine Nut Strawberry Rice Bars
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Yield: 36 bars

4 oz. dry white or brown rice (cooked)
nonstick cooking spray
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup strawberry jam
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon lemon extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 cup unsalted pine nuts, chopped

Coat 9-by-13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 F.

In bowl or electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, sugar and strawberry jam until thoroughly combined. Add eggs and lemon extract; continue beating until well mixed.

In separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, turmeric and baking soda.

Add cooked rice to flour mixture and mix thoroughly. Combine rice mixture with egg mixture. Gently fold in strawberries and nuts.

Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake 25 minutes.

Remove bars from oven and cool in pan. Once cool, transfer to cutting board and cut into 36 bars. Store in refrigerator.

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Sierra News Online

Sierra News Online