gluten-free quinoa garlic bread bites.

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I read recently that we shouldn't "trick ourselves into thinking bread is healthy, because it's not".

Pretty tough, hey? 

But true. Oh so very true.

Bread is one of those foods that I'd consider in the "fun" category... we don't eat it every day, but there can be a {mindful} place for it in our diets a couple of times a week. I think this is especially true for sprouted grain breads (Ezekiel is a good one) and simple gluten-free breads (containing a gluten-free flour, water, and xantham gum; that's all that should be on the label).

Uber-refined flours - including white, semolina, and yes, even whole wheat* - spike blood sugar, causing cravings, weight retention, and insulin resistance. Plus, because they spike our blood sugar and throw the body out of balance, they just make us hungrier for other foods. This is exactly what eating should not do. Eating should make us stop being hungry. That's the whole idea, right?

As often as possible, we should aim to include whole grains in our meals. Even legitimately whole grain pastas or breads have their place (think mung bean pasta, brown rice noodles, or millet bread) are good on occasion. The best rule of thumb is still "If it has a label, it might not be real food". The difference between bagged quinoa and Wonder Bread is that quinoa has one ingredient (quinoa); a loaf of Wonder Bread has more than 20. Oh, and the 4th, 5th, and 6th are sugar {what??}. The fewer ingredients, the better. Always read that label and ensure what's in the package is a whole option. 

Thus concludes my anti-bread / pro-whole grain rant for the day! And here we arrive at the piece de resistance: 


I know. I was excited, too! :) 

We rarely have bread-like things at home, but when I came across this recipe for Buffalo Quinoa Bites from Hummasapien, I knew I had to give them a go. Mr. Height has a ceaseless love of all things buffalo; plus, this is an incredibly inventive way to use cooked quinoa -- I give Alexis gigantic kudos for coming up with this!

I adapted the recipe to be vegan (omitting eggs and cow's dairy), but swapped in flax meal with water [the best vegan egg substitute] and nutritional yeast + Daiya for the cheesiness. I also left the buffalo sauce out: I'm not a huge fan, and figured it would make a good dip if the bites turned out as planned. 

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Turns out, without adding the buffalo sauce in (and tweaking the ingredients a tad), these little muffins are like delicious handheld bites of garlic bread! (Number of years since I've had garlic bread: 8. I can actually tell you the last time, too: March 2006 in the Place Vanier dining hall at UBC. Why do I remember this? I don't know. Clearly it was a formative time. And clearly, I haven't missed GB all that much since. But this is a great reintroduction to the dense, flavorful treat I remember. And bonus! It's gluten-free!)

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We paired these with sautéed greens and white beans mixed with tahini + curry spices. A nice little well-rounded meal [and a sweet tin of leftovers in the fridge for the next couple of days]. Come to think of it, these are a fabulously portable grab-and-go snack! Because easy-to-transport foods are something we focus on a lot in my practice (preparedness = incredibly important to maintaining your commitment to great eating), I'd absolutely encourage you to whip up a batch of these and pack them for work, play, etc. Whole food for the win!

What are your favorite ways to use whole unrefined grains?

P.S. Registration is now open for the next online session of Rewire Your Food Brain. If you're struggling to make the 'right' choices when it comes to food, even though you 'know' what you should be doing, this course is for you! Check out the details here.

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*There is no labeling requirement for 'whole grain' or 'whole wheat' bread. These products are often upwards of 70% refined white flour with some bran added back in. No bueno. 

gluten-free quinoa garlic bread bites
Yields 6
A gluten-free take on cheesy garlic bread -- because who needs flour when you can have quinoa and Daiya all in a gooey little bite?
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 1 cup cooked red quinoa
  2. 2 tbsp flax meal
  3. 6 tbsp hot water
  4. 2 tbsp almond meal
  5. 2 tbsp garlic powder or 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  6. ¼ cup shredded mozzarella Daiya cheese
  7. 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  8. coconut oil or olive oil for pan
  1. 1. Boil water. Combine water with flax meal and set aside to gel up.
  2. 2. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease muffin tray with coconut oil or olive oil.
  3. 3. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, flax mixture, almond meal, garlic, grated cheese and nutritional yeast. Stir well to combine.
  4. 4. Spoon batter into muffin tin.
  5. 5. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from muffin tray.
  1. We made ours in a regular muffin tin, but you could also use a mini muffin tin to double the yield (and make your garlic bread even more adorable).
Adapted from Hummusapien
Adapted from Hummusapien
From The Ground Up Wellness
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Posted in dinner, gluten-free recipes, health coaching info, homepage featured, kid-friendly recipes, lunch, recipes, side dishes, snacks

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