Quinoa Mac and Cheese

Tuesday night I decided it was time to try something new for dinner. I took to my trusty “I heart food” board on Pinterest and decided to try the Quinoa Mac and Cheese I pinned ages ago.  The recipe was from here  and I was concerned a few times that it was going to be an epic failure, but it turned out awesome and yummy and will definitely be put into rotation in our dinner menu.  It made a ton as well so we had two dinners and three lunches out of it! I’ve included the recipe below and you can see my comments in blue!

Ingredients
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 med. leek white and pale green parts halved and sliced (1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup diced tomato, or red/green pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained (OR you can just use pre-cooked and cut back on the water and cooking time)
  • good pinch of salt
  • a few grinds of seasoning salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups of water (or stock)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup soy milk, non-fat milk, or milk of choice
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese, more for sprinkling- NOTE: (You may find you need more cheese, BUT I use this amount to still keep the dish ‘lighter’ yet very flavorful.)
  • Optional- Crushed Red Pepper, Panko Bread crumbs for topping
  • Toppings (optional)- salsa, hot sauce, sour cream, scallions (you get the picture)
Directions

Go to make dinner and realize G used remainder of the milk in his morning coffee…scoot out to store, remembering while you are in line that you also need garlic, scramble to produce and grab some. Text Harrison plans of dinner making, and prepare for having to order pizza in case it doesn’t work out

  1. Heat oil in med. saucepan over med. heat. Add leek and tomatoes (or bell peppers-or any veggies you want really); cover and cook 5 mins or until tender. Stir in quinoa and garlic, and cook, uncovered, 3-4 mins, or until grains start to turn opaque.  (They will not fully be cooked yet.)
  2. Add 3 cups water (or stock) and season with salt and the Seasoning Salt (I like Lawry’s or Everyday Seasoning)Cover and reduce heat to med-low and simmer 15-20 mins or more, (depends and also what kind of quinoa you use) or until most liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand 5 mins. Wonder why it seems to be taking FOREVER, realize that when you turned it down you actually turned the gas off. Vow to pay more attention whilst cooking
  3. Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat 13×9 inch dish with cooking spray. Grab spray out of cupboard and note that it expired in 2007.  Question how we can have Pam as old as our relationship.  Throw it out.  Whisk together eggs and milk in large bowl. Fold in quinoa mixture and cheese (if you feel you need more cheese, add here.) Stir very well and let some of the cheese melt. (Will seem a little “soupy”, do not worry, it will all mold together.) Seemed VERY soupy, got phone out to call Pizza Pizza just in case
  4. Transfer to prepared baking dish and if using Panko Crumbs or Bread crumbs, add now.You can also sprinkle a bit more cheese on now if you prefer for topping. Bake 25-35 mins, (or until browned around edges.) Yell in frustration as you realize that the freshly prepared 9×13 pan does not fit into microwave oven.  Get G into kitchen to help tetris like fit pan.  Discuss need for real sized oven!
  5. Now you can toss with many toppings, some ideas: salsa, scallions, sour cream,  and hot sauce! Garret doused his in Frank’s and said it was amazing. Cheer yourself on for making healthy delicious dinner then pack up leftovers for lunch the next day (which you forget to bring with you in the morning)
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