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Quinoa Mac and Cheese

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 15 mins
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds broccoli or cauliflower chopped into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup nuts (any kind will do, I prefer cashew)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • tsp paprika salt & pepper
  • 1.5 cup grated cheese (any kind will do; follow your gut!)
  • 4-5 cup quinoa
  • 1/4 cup chopped rosemary
  • 1 tsp homemade ranch

Homemade ranch

  • Greek yogurt
  • Pinch of garlic and onion powders
  • 2 tsp dried dill weed

Instructions
 

  • Prepare all the ingredients and tools you need on hand. First, you must preheat the oven to 195°C. Afterwards, spray cooking oil or grease up the pan with an oiled-up paper towel. Put it aside. Remember to add a generous amount of oil when doing this as this will be used not until later.
  • The second big step is to wash and boil the chopped broccoli or cauliflower pieces for around 10-15 minutes. We don’t want these veggies to be too mushy. We want to feel the crispy, yet chewy texture in every bite.
  • After boiling for a couple of minutes, remove the vegetables from the pot, then transfer it to a blender. dd nuts, 1/4 cup of almond milk, *homemade ranch dressing, and spices. Blend them together until smooth and creamy. To help with the texture, you may add more almond milk -- 1 tablespoon at each time until you are satisfied with the feel of the mixture. Put aside. This paste or mixture will be your sauce used later.
  • *For the homemade ranch, just mix the greek yogurt, water, garlic, onion powders, and 2 teaspoons of dried dill weed in a small jar or container. Let it sit for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to enhance.
  • Third, cook the quinoa. You can cook it in a rice cooker, but it is best to do it on a stovetop. Place the quinoa into simmering water (not cold water!). We don’t want it to sit in cold water and destroy the water-to-grain ratio. Otherwise, it will taste soggy and your mac and cheese will suck! We don’t want that now, do we?
  • Cover the stovetop with the lid and let it cook for 15 minutes. Do not open the lid to check from time to time. Doing so will release too much steam and harden the quinoa.
  • For a tender batch, let it sit out with the lid still on for another 20 minutes. It is optional to prepare this first before actually cooking this recipe. It can save up time or you can just follow this recipe as is. It’s your choice!
  • Fourth, place the cooked quinoa in a large mixing bowl. I know this is your favorite part as well: mixing them all of these together! Pour the sauce we’ve made in Step 2 over the quinoa. Add 1 cup of cheese of your choice.
  • You may also add some of the almond milk if it’s too thick for you. Stir all of these ingredients up. You may add more cheese to your liking. Now, add in the chopped rosemary. Don’t forget to sprinkle some on top!