Monday, April 23, 2012

Quinoa "Mac" and Cheese

It's been a very busy two weeks since the last post. To catch up a little, after celebrating Easter and my parent's 30th Anniversary, the following week was full of spring season events for work. That weekend, Mr. Max lured me to his home state of Wisconsin and asked me to be his Mrs!!! It's been a whirlwind since then and I still have a number of recipes drafted that I haven't been able to get around to - oops.


This past Friday, I got to partake in another moment a girl looks forward to, the ability to ask two of my oldest and dearest friends, Amy and Greer, to be my Maids of Honor! These two have been mentioned in several posts, and they are part of our monthly Girls Night In cooking group. We met circa 1988-ish after my family had just joined University Park United Methodist Church. I have very vivid memories of the first time I met both of them and how our friendship grew from there: play dates, family dinners, singing in the church choir together, musicals, mission trips, summer camp, homecoming and prom dress shopping, visiting each other in college and starting our lives post-college in the real world. I feel so blessed to have known these girls and their families for all these years, they are the closest things to sisters to me, and know me better than I know myself sometimes. Greer was coming into town this weekend so I knew it was my chance to get them both together for dinner and the big ask.

As we talked everything wedding, we shared our common love and bond of friendship, food! Greer provided appetizers for us to graze on as we made dinner and caught up, Amy ran point on the quinoa recipe that she found, and I prepared the salmon dish. Due to everything going on, I actually missed the first couple steps in pictures, but still wanted to share because it was so good, applause to Amy for suggesting it! You can add broccoli or spinach to the mix, but we decided to roast our broccoli and eat it as a separate side dish.

Click here to read the nutritional facts calculated at According to Weight Watchers points, for a 1/2 cup serving, this is 5 points.

Grocery List:
(makes 6 servings)
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup non-fat skim milk
  • 1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs (optional)
  • Creole Seasoning (optional - but so recommended!)
To start, preheat your oven to 425 degrees and grease an 8x8 casserole dish. Rinse the quinoa in a fine-strain colander, then lightly toast in a pot on low heat until it smells a little like popcorn, stirring frequently to prevent from burning. Add the water and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Lower the heat and allow the quinoa to absorb the water until it is gone and the curlicue in the grain has popped, about 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the eggs and milk, mix well until egg is fully beaten. Fold in the quinoa, garlic and half of the cheese, stir well to combine. 

Pour the quinoa mac and cheese into the casserole dish, then lightly top with the Panko bread crumbs and remaining cheese. Finally, dust the top layer with Creole seasoning and pop in the oven for 20 minutes until bubbling and lightly browned.

Remove from oven, dish it out and dig in!
Served with 4 oz. honey-soy glazed salmon and roasted broccoli with garlic

Tastefully yours, 

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