Monday, January 7, 2013

Prepare Today Homemade- Quinoa "Mac" & Cheese

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I was bored one afternoon and I only had 3 people (versus the 7 I usually feed every night) to feed for dinner and I didn't want to cook one of our usual meals.  I found Quinoa Mac & Cheese on pinterest and it sounded way to good to pass up. I switched a few things up and with my 4 year old helper, we made it for dinner, and it was really good.  It smelled so good as we put it in the oven. 

I cooked the quinoa in my rice cooker while I assembled the rest of the ingredients and sauteed the veggies. Use a 2:1 ratio when cooking quinoa 2 C water to 1 C quinoa.  I cooked 2 cups of quinoa and 4 cups of chicken broth (for flavor).  Make sure to rinse your quinoa really well in a fine strainer berfore cooking, or you will have a very bitter taste to your meal.  We know from experience.  :)

I had quite a few veggies left over from a previous dinner.  I am sure all of your kids eat all the veggies that you cook, but we had leftovers ;)  I chopped them up super fine so no one would be picking them out of the dinner.   I sauteed them in a teeny, tiny little amount of olive oil before adding them to the other ingredients.  

  The spices for this dish were all in my cupboard and hopefully you have them on hand as well.

Here is my helper.  She begs every night to help with dinner.  It is hard sometimes to slow down and let her help, but she is so thrilled when I do let her cook.

  I used powdered eggs to bind everything together in this recipe.  I don't know what I used to do before I started using powdered eggs.  They are so handy to have on hand. 

After everything is combined, add a cheese topping and then...

We crushed some Ritz crackers for a topping, but you could use panko crumbs, bread crumbs, saltine crackers, or even corn flakes.  They make a yummy, crunchy topping on this casserole.

Quinoa "Mac" & Cheese
2 C quinoa, rinsed very well, and cooked (on the stove or rice cooker)
1 C finely chopped mixed veggies (leftover works great!!)
1 t olive oil
2 T powdered eggs + 4 T water
1 C milk
1 1/2 C cheese, plus more for the topping
1/2 t salt
sprinkle of pepper to taste
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t seasoning salt (I used McCormick's season all salt)
red pepper flakes to taste
1 1/2 C crushed crackers, bread crumbs, or corn flakes cereal

Preheat oven to 350°.  Cook quinoa on the stove top or rice cooker.  Meanwhile saute veggies in oil until warmed through but not brown.  Set aside.  In a bowl, combine the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, garlic powder, season salt, and red pepper flakes. Mix until combined.  Add in the veggies, quinoa, and cheese.  Stir and pour into a greased 13x9 pan. Sprinkle with cheese and then the crushed crackers.  Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes.        

Make this a food storage meal:
  • use dehydrated or freeze dried veggies
  • use 1 C water + 3 T powdered milk for the 1 C of milk in the recipe
  • use freeze dried cheese in place of perishable cheese
  • cook in a Sun Oven or a Volcano stove with a Dutch oven

We loved this dinner and you actually couldn't even tell there were veggies in it.  Not one of my kids mentioned anything about veggies in their dinner, or picked anything out of it.      

2 comments:

  1. It sounds good. I like quinoa but never thought of using it like this.

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    Replies
    1. Sande it smelled so good while it was cooking. All my kids kept asking what was for dinner. I hope you like it too!

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