Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is an ancient grain most often associated with the Incan Indians of Peru. It is the only grain that contains all the essential amino acids of meat, making it a complete protein. Just as wheat, barley, oats, and rye all have their own unique taste, so does quinoa, of course. I admit I'm still in the process of learning to love it. I'm in the "I really really like you but I'd like tokeep seeing other grains" stage of dating with it. The more I cook with it, the more recipes I gather like this, that are very good, the closer I get to saying the big "I love you" and putting it in a special place in the front of the pantry of my heart.
Does this taste EXACTLY like macaroni and cheese? No, because it's quinoa instead of pasta, but it is very good and very healthy. It would also be very tasty with half quinoa, half brown rice.
Thank you to Monica Nelson for posting this to her web site!
Quinoa "Mac 'N Cheese"
Original Recipe by Monica Nelson
Recipe adapted by Glenna Anderson Muse. The original recipe's volume is twice this so I needed to cut it back to work for just Gene and I (with leftovers). I also added some different vegetables and put the recipe together slightly differently but the finished dish will be extremely close to Monica's version.
- 3/4 cup Quinoa, rinsed well and drained
- pinch of salt
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp green onion, onion, or chives, minced
- 1 cup vegetables, diced small. I added fresh mushrooms, a little red pepper, and tomatoes (seeds removed)
- 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup skim or low fat milk
- 1 tsp Cavender's Seasoning Salt (or your favorite blend of Mrs Dash or other)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Fat Free or Light Cheddar Cheese
1) Prepare quinoa with pinch of salt according to package directions.
2) While quinoa cooks, saute garlic in oil. Add onions. When translucent, add rest of vegetables (except parsley) and saute until tender but not mushy.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
3) Allow quinoa and veggies to cool enough that they won't curdle the eggs when combined.
4) In a medium bowl, beat egg, add milk, cheese, parsley, and seasoning. Mix together and then add quinoa and veggies. Mix well and spoon into a cooking sprayed casserole dish.
5) Bake for 30 minutes, uncovered, until top is nicely browned. If using crockware to bake in, add 10 minutes to cooking time (crock takes longer to heat up than glass or metal casserole dishes).
Can top with salsa, sour cream, greek yogurt, etc.
Serves 4 as a side or 2 as an entree.
Nutrition per 1/4 using lightest ingredients and no toppings: Calories: 237; Protein: 14; Carbs: 27; Fat: 4; Fiber: 3; Weight Watchers Points: 5