Cheese is the best food in the whole entire world, and I will not hear otherwise.
I grew up in a cheese-loving family. My dad and I bond over Brie. Needless to say, mozzarella sticks are one of my all-time favorite foods. Unfortunately, they are full of fat, salt, and future heart attacks, so they don’t really fit into my current lifestyle! I set out to create a healthy alternative without using white bread crumbs.
And then it came to me! Quinoa, the trendiest of the grains, can stand in for breadcrumbs. They turned out deliciously crispy, flavorful, and filling.
Ingredients (serves 2-3)
10-12 string mozzarella cheese sticks (I used Light Organic Trader Joes, but I would recommend Light Saragento next time. Better flavor!)
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup oat or whole wheat flour
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
1 tbsp dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Chop the mozzarella sticks in half and put them in the freezer. This is NECESSARY! While you’re waiting for the cheese to freeze, cook the quinoa and set aside. Scoop a cup of the quinoa into a bowl. Add the cheese, parsley, salt and pepper to the quinoa and mix. Put the egg and flour into separate bowls. Remove the cheese from the freezer. Dip each piece into flour, then egg, and the quinoa last. Press the quinoa firmly onto each stick.
This is also necessary: PUT THEM BACK IN THE FREEZER. If you don’t freeze the sticks, they will become mozzarella pancakes. Which doesn’t sound too bad. But still. Keep the sticks in the freezer for at least a half an hour. Spray the tops with cooking spray and place in the oven for 10 minutes.
Serve with marinara sauce, or eat them by themselves!
When made with a healthy cheese, these mozzarella sticks can be filling option for lunch or dinner! The quinoa is high in protein and fiber. It’s also full of calcium and riboflavin, which helps stimulate your metabolism! Mozzarella is also full of protein, and also contains niacin, riboflavin, and biotin.