Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Quinoa Tuesday~ "Mac" N Cheese

Here in China I only cook three nights a week; Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday (a total perk of living in China!) It is more convenient and cheaper to eat out or order in. It presents some problems about being healthy but I love a challenge (more about being healthy as an expat later). 

I brought back a Costco bag of quinoa from the States and I have declared "Quinoa Tuesday" for the last few months. I have tried a variety of recipes and every member of my family has their favorite. 

This week's recipe was my favorite so far and it is taken right off Iowa Girl Eats. SO YUMMY! 

My version was slightly modified due what was Behind My Refrigerator Door. . . here is what I did:
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cup green onion (reserve some for the top)
  • 1/2 cup diced tomato and red/green pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained (OR you can just use pre-cooked and cut back on the water and cooking time)
  • good pinch of salt
  • a few grinds of seasoning salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups of water (or stock)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup soy milk, non-fat milk, or milk of choice
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese, more for sprinkling- 
  • Toppings (optional)- salsa, hot sauce, sour cream, scallions


  1. Heat oil in med. saucepan over med. heat. Add leek and tomatoes (or bell peppers-or any veggies you want really); cover and cook 5 mins or until tender. Stir in quinoa and garlic, and cook, uncovered, 3-4 mins, or until grains start to turn opaque.  (They will not fully be cooked yet.)
  2. Add 3 cups water (or stock) and season with salt and the Seasoning Salt (I like Lawry’s or Everyday Seasoning). Cover and reduce heat to med-low and simmer 15-20 mins or more, (depends and also what kind of quinoa you use) or until most liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand 5 mins.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 F. 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 all mold together.)
  4. 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. NOTE:(The Cooking TIME VARIES!). Bake 25-45 mins, (or until browned around edges.)
  5. Now you can toss with many toppings, some ideas: salsa, scallions, sour cream,  and hot sauce! 

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