Cheesy Chicken Quinoa Enchilada Meatloaf Muffins are a great healthy dinner option – flavorful, moist, low-carb and packed with protein!
Today I have a few things to get off my chest. Perhaps it’s me silently having a conversation with myself here but whatever the case, I just need a place to reflect.
I’ve been thinking quite a bit about my career, passion, and future goals. Overall I feel pretty accomplished for being 25. I’m satisfied… but unsatisfied. Does that make sense? Yes, I love my blog and I enjoy my full-time job, but something is definitely missing.
I’ve felt this for a few months. Perhaps it’s because I’ve become too comfortable. After all, I don’t want to be in the same place forever and I’m fairly certain Minnesota just isn’t for me. Unfortunately, unfamiliarity is really scary, but it’s also more exhilarating and compelling. And to be honest, I’m missing that. I feel like without it, I can’t grow. I WANT and NEED to take risks and screw up. God knows, we’re all bound to fail at some point in our lives. Our experiences are what makes us better.
Ultimately it comes down to this: I believe that anything worth having is worth fighting for. This holds true in love, careers, friendship, etc. I don’t want to miss an opportunity to be happy or to find exactly what I’m seeking. I have goals and dreams, and if I don’t pursue them now, when will I?
I guess now that I’ve been thinking about all of this, I should probably start making some changes in my life. More to come.
In the meantime, MEATLOAF MUFFINS! YOU GUYS they’re basically packed healthy flavor bombs.
If I’m going to make a traditional dish like meatloaf, it’s obvious that a few things are going to happen:
1. It’s going to be stuffed in muffin tins so they turn out cute.
2. You know it’s going to be healthy.
3. Bring on the Mexican flavors!
I love these muffins because they are perfectly portioned and great for re-heating and enjoying with a salad or fresh veggies. They’re also great as a midnight snack. I would know.
How you make them is fairly simple, too: Just saute garlic, onions, and peppers, cook up some quinoa, mix all the ingredients together in a big bowl with some spices and place into muffin cups to bake! Who wouldn’t love these?
Oh and don’t worry, these babies aren’t dry like some meat loaves. Instead they’re perfectly flavored, moist, and topped with cheesy goodness plus a spoonful of your favorite enchilada sauce. Clean eating at it’s finest!
My favorite part of these mini meat loaves (besides being cute) is that 2 muffins are only around 208 calories and are pretty low-carb.
Tips: You can definitely use either ground chicken breast or ground turkey breast in this recipe – both will taste amazing! I would just make sure it’s pretty lean since we’re trying to keep these healthy and low-calorie! If you have trouble finding ground chicken, you can always ask your local butcher. I asked the butchers at Whole Foods if they would grind up a pound of chicken breast for me and they were more than happy to!
- Serves: 6
- Serving size: 2 muffins
- Calories: 208
- Fat: 6.5g
- Carbohydrates: 13.3g
- Sugar: 3.7g
- Fiber: 2.1g
- Protein: 25.9g
- 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2/3 cup water
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 1 red or orange pepperpepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- few dashes of your favorite hot sauce
- few dashes red pepper flakes, if desired
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 2/3 cup red enchilada sauce
- freshly ground salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 pound ground chicken breast or extra lean gound turkey breast
- 2 egg whites
- 2/3 cup reduced fat shredded colby jack or mexican cheese
- To cook quinoa: Rinse quinoa with cold water in mesh strainer. In a small saucepan, bring water and quinoa to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa has absorbed all of the liquid. Remove from heat and fluff quinoa with fork; set aside to cool for about 5 minutes. While the quinoa cooks you can move on to the next step.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin generously with cooking spray. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, and bell pepper. Cook for a few minutes or until the onions have softened. Transfer to a large bowl to cool for a few minutes.
- Add quinoa, cumin, oregano, chili powder, hot sauce, red pepper flakes, cilantro, salt and pepper and half of enchilada sauce (you'll reserve the rest for topping the muffins later). Next stir in ground chicken (or turkey) and egg whites and 1/4 cup of the cheese. You made need to use your hands to ensure all ingredients are well combined. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup or an ice cream scoop to add meatloaf mixture evenly to muffin cups.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and spoon remaining enchilada sauce and cheese over the tops of muffins. Place back in oven and bake for an additional 3-5 minutes or until cheese melts and muffins are cooked. Let cool for a few minutes then serve with fresh vegetables for a full meal. Makes 6 servings - 2 muffins each.
If you can't find ground chicken breast, you can ask the butcher to grind it for you at the grocery store - they always do this for me at whole foods. Another option is extra lean ground turkey!
Feel free to use 1 egg instead of 2 egg whites.