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.


  • 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


  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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Sound Bytes – February 2014 Link-Up

The formerly weekly audiobook review link-up Sound Bytes is now a monthly link-up. I encourage you to leave links to any audiobooks you review throughout the month and check out the links of other reviewers for your next great listen. Thanks to Pam for creating the button.


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Girl on the Golden Coin by Marci Jefferson – Giveaway

Today I have a giveaway for The Girl on the Golden Coin by Marci Jefferson. I’m really excited for this book because, hey, new time period! I have two copies to give away to readers in the continental US. To enter, fill out the form at the bottom of this post by Sunday, February 2nd. Here’s the description:

A debut historical novel about the beautiful Royalist exile Frances Stuart, who must walk a fine line between pleasing kings and protecting her family’s secret

In 1660, the Restoration of Stuart Monarchy in England returns Frances Stuart and her family to favor. Frances discards threadbare gowns and goes to gilded Fontainebleau Palace, where she soon catches the Sun King’s eye. But Frances is no ordinary court beauty-she has Stuart secrets to keep and her family to protect. King Louis XIV turns vengeful when she rejects his offer to become his Official Mistress. He sends her to England with orders to seduce King Charles II and help him form an alliance with England. The Queen Mother likewise orders Frances to become her son’s mistress, in the interest of luring him away from the Protestant mistress he currently keeps.

Armed in pearls and silk, Frances maneuvers the political turbulence of Whitehall Palace, but still can’t afford to stir a scandal, determined to keep her family from shame. Her tactic to inspire King Charles to greatness captivates him and the two embark on a tenuous relationship. Frances survives the Great Fire, the Great Plague, and the debauchery of the Restoration Court, yet loses her heart to the very king she must control. A startling discovery will leave her with no other choice but to break his heart, while the fate of England hangs in the balance.

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For Fitness: Foot Pain

When I anticipated starting to write about fitness here occasionally, I mostly thought that I would write about running and training for an 8k or 10k, maybe about yoga, about my TRX. What I didn’t expect to write about right away was Plantar Fasciitis. Despite the fact that I rarely ran over the holidays, I’ve been having feel pain in my left foot over the same basic time frame. Earlier this week I finally did some reading up about it and determined it was definitely tissue pain, and not joint pain, meaning it was very likely my plantar fascia.

So now I’m off of running and any treadmill walking through the end of the month. I’ve set a recovery plan for myself for now since that pain hasn’t been happening for too long and isn’t too bad, if it doesn’t work I’ll explore a medical opinion. Instead of running, I’ll be doing the exercise bike (thank goodness I joined a gym last month when it got too snowy/icy/cold to run outside), as well as strength and stretching exercises, including machines at the gym, TRX, and yoga. I also went and bought myself a Feetures! Plantar Fasciitis compression sleeve that I am wearing all day (they say you can wear it at night too, but it keeps bugging me in the middle of the night, so I’m not sure if I’m going to keep trying or just take it off before bed) and over that I’ve been wearing shoes all day, even around the house.

I’m actually amazed at how much better my foot is feeling already. The night I finally decided to do something about it, I could feel a particular spot on my heel that hurt to touch, whereas now I really can’t any more. Obviously the rest can’t have fixed it yet, not in half a week, but I think the combination of the sleeve and wearing shoes (good, supportive Born flats) is doing amazing things. When the weather is nice and dry and I run outside first thing in the morning I tend to just keep my shoes on all day; since the ground has been covered with snow and ice and melted snow, whatever shoes I wear outside have to come off right away. I suspect that this is the reason that my heel started hurting at almost the exact same time I stopped running outside and thus starting hanging out around the house without shoes all day. At this rate I’m very hopeful about the beginning of February being okay to get back to running, and I’m also glad I set myself a minimum amount of time I needed to rest before starting the treatment, because if I hadn’t I suspect I might have tried to run next week and not actually rested as long as I should.

How do you get through injuries in your training regimen?

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Some Cozy Mysteries I Have Been Enjoying

While stuff has been crazy this fall I’ve been reading quite a few cozy mysteries. They are fun and light and often quite delightful. Also I tend to have the WORLD’S MOST DIFFICULT TIME reviewing them, particularly once I’m past the first book in the series. So, instead of three or four reviews, here’s a roundup.

The Christie Curse and The Sawyers Swindle by Victoria Abbott – Jordan Kelly needs a job and by some miracle, she seems to have found the perfect one, curating the library of Vera Van Alst, a rare book collector. Tracking down rare mysteries is a more dangerous job than it seems, however. Luckily for Jordan, she has great resources in her uncles who aren’t always on the right side of the law, but who love Jordan dearly.

A Chorus Lineup by Joelle Charbonneau – the third in the Glee Club Mystery series. Paige’s glee club has the opportunity to perform in a huge Nashville competition, but when most of the teams’ costumes are destroyed and Paige is blamed, she gets sucked back an investigation that could put her and those she loves in serious danger. Charbonneau writes two other great series and she is really getting on a roll with this cozy series. I particularly liked the revelations about Paige’s personal life.

Home of the Braised by Julie Hyzy – the White House Chef Mystery series is one of my very favorite cozy series, I look forward to them every January. In Home of the Braised Olivia is back in the White House and is all ready to focus on her upcoming marriage to her secret service beau Gav when the two of them inadvertently walk in on a mass murder just before the secret service gets there. Now Olivia is back in the middle of things and it may be up to her to save the President.

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