Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Quinoa Mac N'Cheese

      I LOVE love love Quinoa! love it. I can't say enough positive things about it. It tastes great,seriously versatile and it's good for you. I use it in place of rice and pasta alot of the time and I am having so much fun learning new ways to incorporate it into our meals.

Take this recipe for instance..First lets get it out of the way that of course this isn't going to be like regular mac n'cheese. There is no pasta obviously..but my family hasn't missed it one bit. This recipe uses all of the regular ingredients and on top of that..it's low cal! YES! If you want to add in some sort of meat in there..diced up ham would be great or maybe left over chicken. I don't think it needs it though. You can switch up the veggies in this recipe aswell. I used a combination of regular onions and bell peppers simply because thats what I had on hand. Do not be alarmed when you put the casserole into the oven. It's going to be seriously soupy and you will have a hard time believing that it will firm up..but it will..trust me!

Quinoa Mac N'Cheese

2 tsp. Olive Oil
1 medium Leek,white and green parts halved and sliced
1/2 cup diced Tomato or Bell Peppers
1-1/2 cups Quinoa..rinsed and drained
Pinch of Salt
2 Garlic Cloves,minced 
3 cups of Water or Stock
2 Large Eggs
1 cup Milk..soy,low fat,full fat..you decide!
1-1/2 cups Grated Cheddar Cheese..or cheese of choice. You can use more but in order to keep it lower in fat stick with this amount.
 Optional Toppings: Panko Crumbs,Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Preheat oven to 350 or 180 celcius. Coat a 13x9 casserole dish with nonstick spray and set aside.

Heat oil in a medium/large saucepan over medium heat. Add in leeks,tomatoes(or whatever veggie combo you want),cover and cook for 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in quinoa,garlic and cook,uncovered,3-4mins, or until grain turns opaque.( They will not be fully cooked yet.)

Add the water or stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring to boil then cover,reduce heat to med-low and simmer 15-20 mins or more ( depends on what type of Quinoa you use) or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl,whisk together the eggs and milk. Fold in quinoa mixture and cheese. Stir well and allow some of the cheese to melt. Again..do not worry that it will appear "soupy". It will firm up. Top with  bread crumbs if using and bake in oven for 25-35 minutes,or until browned around edges.
Divivded into 6 servings it's about 339 calories per serving.

Yiled: 6 servings
Source: Monica Nelson Fitness