Quinoa Mac and Cheese!

25 Feb

I LOVE macaroni and cheese. Especially the kind that comes in the box with the powdered cheese and butter overload. I love it because I think it tastes great and it is so easy and quick to make. But it definitely isn’t all that great for you. So I’m sharing with you today, a recipe for mac and cheese that I think is just as good (if not better!) than the traditional favorite. This recipe is still very simple and quick, tastes amazing (I love the flavor and texture of quinoa), it uses fresh cheese instead of the powdered kind, it is gluten-free and it had vegetables and a good source of protein!

Quinoa Mac and Cheese
1 cup quinoa (look for this in bulk bins to save $$)
3 tablespoons olive oil or grapeseed oil
8 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds (I only had toasted and it tasted great)
8 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
6 teaspoons lemon juice
1 cup grated cheese

  1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add quinoa and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat and simmer until quinoa is tender and all water is absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, stir in the sunflower seeds, and cook until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic, and cook until garlic softens, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and saute until it has just wilted.
  4. Stir the spinach mixture into the quinoa. Stir in the lemon juice and cheese until the cheese is melted.
  5. Top with cheese, if desired, and serve.

To make this dish even quicker you could substitute 1 teaspoon of powdered garlic instead of doing the fresh garlic. If you use powdered, just add it to the quinoa when you add the lemon juice and cheese.

Also, this dish can be mate with ANY kind of shredded cheese. I used a blend of cheddar and mozzarella, but you could use any kind you like.

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2 Responses to “Quinoa Mac and Cheese!”

  1. HealthierUJunction (HUJ) February 25, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

    Ah, Quinoa. Something I haven’t cooked with yet but am eager to try. I’ve done rissoto, polenta, couscous, and a few others that I thought you could only do at restaurants. I’ll have to try this recipe out, with low-fat or fat-free cheese of course. I also like the idea of some roasted almonds instead of sunflower seeds. As you mentioned roasted (I love all things roasted) I can image the almond flavor quite well. Thanks and happy continued cooking!

    • sheilaobb February 25, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

      Mmmm, roasted almonds sound like a great substitution! I hope you enjoy cooking with quinoa, it’s one of my favorites. Let us know how it works out for you!

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