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Wake Up to Mini Ham and Cheese Quinoa Cups

Published in Cancer Care, For the Health of It, Healthy Eating Tips Author: Clinical Dietitian Emily Rothstein, RD, CSO, Coborn Cancer Center

Raise your hand if you’re not a morning person. Keep them raised if you hate preparing breakfast in the morning. I’m right there with you.

These mini ham and cheese quinoa cups are the perfect make ahead breakfast you can simply pop in the microwave in the morning to reheat. Not to mention, they freeze well — score!

Quinoa (pronounced “KEEN-wah”) is a whole grain that has picked up in popularity throughout the United States. Packed with protein and fiber, it’s a great way to start your day.

Another plus to this recipe: it takes eggs — a classic protein-rich breakfast staple — and uses them in a whole new way. There’s nothing wrong with the classic scrambled, fried or poached eggs, but sometimes the exact thing you need to entice your appetite while going through cancer treatment is something new to spark your interest.

This recipe uses shredded zucchini to provide the necessary moisture to bind everything together and gets in some of those much-needed veggies most of us lack throughout the day. Add in small amounts of other toppings as you desire: finely chopped spinach, bell pepper or mushrooms would be great ones to start with. Just don’t go overboard with quantities or they might fall apart after you cook them.


  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (about ¾ cup uncooked)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup diced ham
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup onion, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Liberally spray a mini muffin tin with non-stick spray.
  3. Put all ingredients in a large bowl and mix to combine.
  4. Spoon mixture to the top of each muffin tin cup.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the edges of the cups are golden brown.
  6. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before removing from the mini muffin tin.

Serves 5
Calories: 225
Carbs: 19 g
Protein: 14 g
Fat: 10 g