Original recipe from Bakeaholic Mama.
Quinoa & Spinach Cheese Bake
2 cups cooked quinoa (I used a mix of the red & white quinoa)
4 handfuls fresh baby spinach
2 tbsp butter
2 small shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1.25 cups 2% lactose free milk
fresh pepper to taste
1/2 tsp prepared or dry mustard
3-4 shavings of fresh nutmeg
Corn starch mixture (gluten free ppl also eating) 1.5 tbsp of corn starch, mixed with 1.5 tbsp of cold water.
1.5 cups, mozerella, parmesean, chedder, or cheeses of your choice.
salt to taste, if needed
Saute shallots & garlic in butter over medium heat until translucent. About 5 minutes.
Add milk. Whisk in, pepper, mustard, nutmeg, cornstarch mix. Whisk for another 5 minutes or until mixture starts to thicken. Add grated cheese. Continuing to mix until cheese is melted. Take off heat. Taste, add salt if needed. Sometimes additional salt is not needed because depending on the batch of cheese, the mixture is salted enough.
Mix cheese sauce, spinach and quinoa together and put in a medium sized baking/cassorole dish.
Cook at 350 F, for about 20 minutes or until bubbling. If prepared ahead of time, take out of fridge & bring to room temperature before putting in oven. Otherwise the baking time may double.
My additions variations:
I made it ahead of time. Made the cheese sauce, cooled it down. Assembled & put in the fridge. Then pulled it out an hour before to bring to room temperature. If your assembling & then refrigerating make your cheese sauce a little looser/runnier because it will be too thick, when it's finished baking. Unless of course you like it that way.
I added double the spinach. So I used 4 handfuls.
Added 2 shallots, 3 garlic cloves, 1/2 tsp prepared mustard.
Use whatever cheese you like & have on hand. I used a mix of parmesan, mozzarella and marble cheese.
In comparison to mac & cheese because of course you will compare, I give this 3/5. I think it would have been just as good if I had used the nice aged cheddar that I find works best. Then the recipe would have gotten a 5/5. If I get a piece of old cheddar I'll try again and give an update.
I never bother with a breadcrumb topping because if it's baked on the top rack, the top gets a nice, golden crust on it.
Has anyone else tried this recipe? Thoughts?
Till next time,