The recipe calls this "mac and cheese", but I feel like it is more of a "cheesy casserole". Either way, it is tasty and good for you - packed with protein rich quinoa and tasty veggies. You can make it even healthier by using fat free milk and fat free cheese. It is also totally customizable to your tastes!
Start by sauteing whatever veggies you want to use. I went with leeks and tomatoes as suggested by the recipe, but you could do onions or shallots, bell peppers, corn, spinach, anything you want.
Add the quinoa and allow to toast a little bit to get extra flavor.
Then add water and simmer until fully cooked - the quinoa will absorb all the flavor from the veggies.
Mix the quinoa mixture with eggs, milk, and cheese and pour into a baking dish. It will look a little thin, but it will set up in the oven.
When it bakes up, it will be firm enough to cut into little squares, but still creamy and delicious. This is a great substitution for mac and cheese, grits, polenta, or even corn bread.
Quinoa Mac and Cheese
adapted from Moni Meals
2 tsp olive oil
1 med leek, white and pale green parts halved and sliced (or shallots, onions, chives)
1/2 cup diced tomato (and/or bell pepper, corn, etc)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
3 cups of water (or stock)
2 large eggs
1 cup milk of choice
1 1/2 cups or more grated Cheddar cheese (can use reduced fat or fat free)
Optional- Crushed Red Pepper, Panko Bread crumbs for topping
Toppings (optional)- salsa, hot sauce, sour cream, scallions, etc
Preheat oven to 350 F. Heat oil in med saucepan over med heat. Add leek and tomatoes (or whatever you are using); cover and cook 5 min or until tender. Stir in garlic and quinoa and cook, uncovered, 3-4 min, or until grains start to turn opaque. (They will not fully be cooked yet).
Add 3 cups water (or stock) and season with salt and Seasoning Salt (I like Lawry’s). Cover and reduce heat to med-low and simmer 15-20 min or more, (depending on what kind of quinoa you use) or until most liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand 5 min.
Coat 13×9 inch dish with cooking spray. 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 set up).
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 min, or until browned around edges.
Per serving (based on 7 servings): 275 cal, 10.5g Fat, 30g Carb, 14.5g Protein, 5.25g sugar