Monday, April 23, 2012

Quinoa Mac and Cheese

I love Pinterest!

A few weeks ago, I was craving Mac and Cheese and was just about to start a pot of water when I stopped(/got distracted and decided) to check out Pinterest. 

There it WAS...

(for those of you not familiar with quinoa it's a super food that has been classified as a grain but is really high in protein and cooks like rice)

I, of course, took some liberties with this recipe 

First- while I do love quinoa it  can be bland, so I always cook it in chicken stock (prepare like the package says but sub the water for stock)

Quinoa Mac and Cheese (slightly modified)
(serves 8)

1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
(prepared in 3 cups of chicken stock)
pinch of salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper 
2 large eggs

1 cup non-fat milk (or any milk of your choosing) 
1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese, more for sprinkling
Panko Bread crumbs for topping (you could leave this out for a gluten free recipe)

(Cook quinoa to packaged instructions until fully cooked. (About 15 minutes))

Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat 13x9 inch dish with cooking spray. Whisk together eggs and milk in large bowl. Fold in quinoa mixture and cheese. Stir very well and let some of the cheese melt.  Transfer to prepared baking dish and sprinkle with bread crumbs and and bake 30-35 mins, until bread crumbs are browned. 


Recipe Notes:
You could always add sautéed vegetables, especially for the kids to "sneak" in a few veggies. 
In most mac and cheese recipes, 2% or whole milk is called for- I use skim as it's what I have on hand but used full fat cheese.  In my mac and cheese experience, I've found you can get away with ONE lower fat dairy and still achieve the perfect melty/ gooey balance.