Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tiny Grains of Quinoa

I didn't really have any intention of cooking Monday night, but then I came across a tasty looking Quinoa "Mac and Cheese" with Spinach recipe on  Aside from looking delicious, it also looked pretty quick and easy - a must when I have about 20-30 minutes to throw dinner together when I get home from work.  I love quinoa since it's high in protein, and can make a balanced meal just by adding some veggies.

As per usual, I tweaked the recipe. Since I don't have grated goat Gouda cheese (and to be honest, I'm really not a fan of goat cheese), I opted for my trusty shredded mozzarella instead.  I also left the sunflower seeds out, partly because I didn't have them, but also because Henry is still not the best chewer, and I wasn't looking for a choking incident.

Turns out I really didn't need to worry about Henry choking.  He wouldn't even touch the stuff.  I then tried again today at lunch.  After a few minutes of refusing, he decided to be adventurous and take a bite.  Clearly he was not a fan because he immediately spit it out and then kept spitting to try and get the tiny grains of quinoa out of his mouth.  That then turned into him having a temper tantrum, which means anything in front of him got swiped to the floor in a matter of seconds.  Unfortunately, the bowl of quinoa was in front of him.  Even more unfortunate is that I had just had my house professionally cleaned for the first time in months right before lunchtime.  (It's really not fun to pick up individual grains of quinoa).

Just in case you were wondering, even though this dish was a no-go for Henry, it was a big hit with me.  If not for the fact that I am aware of proper portion sizes, I'm pretty sure I would have eaten the whole pot in one sitting.

Quinoa "Mac and Cheese" with Spinach (adapted from
1 cup quinoa (rinsed)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup frozen spinach
juice and zest of 1 lemon
2/3 cup shredded mozzarella

1.  In a pot, combine 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed.

2.  In a saute pan, heat olive oil, and saute garlic until soft.  Add spinach and allow to defrost and warm through.  Turn off heat.  Add cooked quinoa to saute pan and mix together.  Then add lemon zest and juice, as well as the mozzarella.  Stir to combine.

Happy and (mostly) healthy eating!


  1. Sounds tasty & easy to make. I may try it as a side dish for tomorrow's dinner. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Excited to try this, and sounds like a perfect Pesach food!