Cauliflower & Quinoa “Mac and Cheese”

This isn’t typically a ‘post a recipe’ type of blog, but I tonight I made some adaptations to something I found on Pinterest and it was delicious and a bunch of people wanted the recipe, so… voila! (and because I’m not typically a food blogger, I didn’t think about taking a picture until way too late, so, sorry, maybe next time I make it?)

The recipe, for cauliflower and quinoa “mac and cheese,” is an adaptation primarily of the cheesy quinoa mac and cheese from Around the Table, as well as the fauxtatoes (mashed cauliflower and quinoa) that we typically make as a mashed potato substitute. We tried the Around the Table quinoa mac a few weeks ago and didn’t love it. The recipe itself was fine, good enough to make again even, but we were expecting something creamier from a recipe calling itself mac and cheese.

I decided to make the recipe again for tonight, as I have instituted Meatless Mondays at our house, despite objections of a certain someone. I spent much of the morning thinking about it, thinking about all the extra cheese my husband wanted me to add to make the dish creamier and how much less healthy that was going to make it. And then I thought about the fauxtatoes we make, and how much creamier they are than the quinoa mac recipe. While making the recipe, I also decided to substitute yogurt for half of the milk in the recipe. The result was a really creamy and really delicious dish that just about everyone ate gleefully. The girls even asked for more, although E didn’t love the crust.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of dry quinoa
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 2 cups grated cheese (cheddar, colby jack, etc)
  • 1/4 cup Panko (optional)
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black papper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Onion powder
  • Oil to grease the pan

Directions:

  1. Cut cauliflower into chunks, add to a pot of boiling water, cook until cauliflower is tender enough to cut with a fork (will depend on how big your chunks are). Drain cauliflower and mash with a potato masher
  2. While the cauliflower is cooking, prepare quinoa as per package instructions.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  4. When cauliflower is mashed and quinoa is cooked, combine them with the garlic and onion powder, salt, and pepper to taste.
  5. Mix milk, yogurt, and eggs together in a small bowl, fold into quinoa/cauliflower mixture.
  6. Add about 3/4 of the cheese into cauliflower and quinoa mix, stir so that some of the cheese melts, then transfer the mix into the greased 9×13
  7. Top with Panko and the remaining cheese, bake long enough to brown the cheese and Panko (for me, 25 minutes, then another 10 at 400)

As the main dish this serves 8 at roughly 260 calories as prepared here. We served it with sides of kidney beans and roasted broccoli (cooked with olive oil and kosher salt at 350 until lightly browned). I ate just this and the broccoli and it was a completely satisfying meal.

Leanne at Around the Table has a bunch of other suggestions for serving, all of which would probably also be delicious.

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