I guess it doesn’t really make sense calling this dish “mac and cheese” considering there is no mac to be found. Instead, quinoa replaces your usual elbow shaped noodles for a higher protein and more interesting textured dish. Remember that plethora of leftover oscar night cheese? Well, into this dish it went! And boy was I happy to have that leftover cheese after Adam and I ate this for two dinners in a row. We only made an 8 x 8 pan of the cheesy grain, but make a 9 x 13 dish and you have dinners or lunches set for the week!
Quinoa and Vegetable “Mac and Cheese” (Adapted from this recipe)
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2-3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 red pepper, diced
handful of spinach, chopped
2 small or one large zucchini, chopped
3/4 cup quinoa
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup skim milk
1 cup of grated cheese (whatever you have works…I used a mixture of mozzarella, cheddar, and goat cheese)
Heat oil in a pot over medium-high heat and add onion, tomato, zucchini, and pepper. Saute until softened. Add quinoa and cook for about 3-4 minutes, until toasted. Add spinach and stir until wilted. Add 1 1/2 cups of water, bring to a boil, and turn down pot to a simmer, cover, and cook until water is absorbed about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix egg, milk, and 3/4 cup of cheese, and salt and pepper together in a bowl. Mix into quinoa mixture and stir until some of the cheese has melted. Spread into an 8 x 8 baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray and top with remaining cheese. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until brown around edges.