Friday, April 15, 2011

Quinoa Mac and Cheese

Browsing one of my favorite food blogs a few weeks ago, I found THIS post. Of course I had to try the cinnamon leaves right away. I think I made them within a day of printing the recipe. I'm not going to share with you what a messy disaster my kitchen looked like during and after the process, but I will share a picture of the delicious outcome. I personally loved these because I could peel off slices at my leisure rather than having to get out a knife and cut into the bread. I've already decided to use this recipe to make cinnamon rolls too. If only we had more mornings to make all the breakfast recipes I've acquired.

In that same post was a link to Quinoa Mac and Cheese. This piqued my interest for three reasons:

1. Chase always tells me that he doesn't like mac and cheese, and I'm determined to find something he likes.
2. I've really been wanting to try quinoa but hadn't found that perfect recipe yet.
3. Chase and I are always looking for healthier alternatives to "soul food" type recipes.

That weekend we made a special trip to whole foods in search of quinoa and goat cheese gouda. I'm sure we could find quinoa at any grocery store, but it somehow seemed healthier buying it from whole foods. Plus, I've been looking for an excuse to buy something from those bulk containers where you measure yourself. I love this idea over buying a pre-packaged box. Despite our best efforts, we never did find the goat gouda, and ended up settling for a nice Havarti cheese instead. Obviously it was quite tasty because we decided to make it again tonight! This time we actually bought a small block of gouda at Wal-Mart (yes, we shop all extremes in this house, even the evil Wal-Mart).

You can check out the link for the full recipe, but here's a play-by-play of our cooking!

Saute 8 tablespoons of sunflower seeds in 3 tablespoons of EVOO. Add 8 cloves of minced garlic and saute another 2 minutes. (I do realize this sounds like a lot, I thought so too. Too be honest, I have only used about 4-5 cloves of garlic both times I made this, mostly because I'm lazy and got tired of prepping the garlic. Add to your own taste.)

Add the cooked Quinoa (1 cup uncooked expands to about 2-3 cups cooked) and 2 cups of Fresh Spinach. Saute until quinoa is warm and spinach starts to wilt.

Add 6 teaspoons of lemon juice and 1 cup of shredded cheese. Stir until cheese melts.

We had big plans to grill some chicken tonight but it was raining and cold, so that plan was scrapped. Instead, we chose to enjoy our Quinoa Mac and Cheese with these sandwiches. Grilled turkey and muenster on focaccia. After tonight, this has become my new favorite sandwich. I want another one just thinking about it! So flavorful.

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