Weeknight Dinner: Oozy Spicy Broccoli Quinoa Mac ‘N Cheese

Mr. G and I have a slight addiction to macaroni and cheese. In fact, it is probably the sole reason why this is my life:Like A Model

Anyway… 

So, I sought to find a healthy mac 'n cheese recipe, and stumbled upon this on Pinterest (yes, I have an addiction to that too). A recipe I adapted from Tablespoon.com's spicy broccoli casserole - and it was tasty!

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What You'll Need:

  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (i.e., 2 tbsp buttermilk powder + 1/2 cup water)
  • 3 cups cheddar and colby jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed (not cooked)
  • 1 cup chopped pickled jalapeno peppers
  • 2 heads of broccoli, cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

First, preheat your oven to 350. Then, grease a baking dish – I used my biggest one because this makes a LOT of food, but is great for leftovers. Just beware of opening your tupperware in the lunch room because broccoli is super stinky when released from tupperware, and I don't want you losing friends over me.

Then, chop your onion, garlic and jalapeno, and rinse the quinoa. Shred your cheese if you buy it in blocks like we do (Mr. G has an addiction to cheese in general, which is very confusing considering he is slightly lactose intolerant…). Then, heat a wok pan (if you have one) over medium heat with olive oil. Cook the onion, salt and pepper in the oil for about 4 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent. Then, add the quinoa to toast it, and cook stirring often for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds, until you can smell its aroma. Add milk, buttermilk, 2 cups of cheese, broccoli and jalapeno. Cook, stirring the entire time, for one more minute. Remove from heat and keep stirring until everything is evenly mixed. 

Pour the cheesy goodness into your casserole dish, and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Ok, listen – I know at this point you're like, "Cari! I thought you said this would be a HEALTHY mac 'n cheese recipe, and you're suggesting I use 3 cups of cheese?!?!?! GYST!!!!" To which I reply, no one is perfect. Buy low-fat cheese and work out for 30 minutes.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the cheese on top is brownish, and the liquid is absorbed (when you serve this, there will still be a little bit of liquid on the bottom but it won't go onto your bowl). Remove from the oven, and let it sit for 6 minutes. Serve, and enjoy!  

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