Do you miss macaroni and cheese?
Have you been thinking that you can’t find something that creamy and delicious without a ton of fat and cholesterol?
Think again. Because one thing quinoa does very well is make a little bit of cheese go a long way.
This quinoa recipe uses only 4 ounces of cheese, and trust me, it’s enough. Especially if you choose a full flavored cheese like the goat Gouda. Quinoa binds with the cheese and brings its own creaminess to achieve the same effect with a lot more vegetable than animal protein.
I saw this Quinoa “Mac and Cheese” with Spinach recipe on Cucee Sprouts a few months ago, and I have been looking for goat Gouda ever since.
When I finally found it and made this recipe, I loved it so much the first time that I decided to make it again the following night.
I used Vermont sharp cheddar cheese the second time. It was still delicious, though if you can be adventurous with your cheeses, I think the goat Gouda stands up to the garlic a little better and makes this a gourmet meal.
The sunflower seeds toast up beautifully and turn the oil and the quinoa golden brown. The spinach cooks away to nothing. I should remember that 2 cups of baby spinach is like six cups of mature curly leaves. I used one bunch of spinach the first night, and the other two the second. I could have used all three at once.
serves 3 as main dish, 6 as side
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup quinoa
- 3 T olive oil
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups spinach leaves
- 2 T lemon juice
- 1 cup grated goat Gouda cheese
Rinse the quinoa and then cook in 2 cups of water (bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer 15 mins).
Mince the garlic, tear the spinach leaves if necessary, and grate the cheese.
Heat the oil in a deep skillet, add the sunflower seeds and toast for 2 minutes or so, until they start to brown.
Add the garlic and cook until translucent.
Add the spinach and cook until it is wilted.
Stir in the quinoa, cheese, and lemon juice.
More or Less Water?
I have had some people tweet me recommending I use less than a 2:1 ratio on the liquids to quinoa. I tried it both ways in this recipe, using only 1¾ cups of water the first night to cook the quinoa. This does produce a drier quinoa, but I liked the texture better for “mac and cheese” effect when I used the full 2 cups of water.
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