Tuesday, April 23, 2013

sweet potato quinoa "mac" & cheese.

in browsing through recipes one day, i came across one for “sweet potato and spinach mac and cheese”. it sounded really delicious. then, i found one for “quinoa spinach mac and cheese”, which, especially considering the quinoa kick i’m on, also sounded great. so, I did what any sensible cook would do: i combined the recipes & created something of my own.

holy amazingness.
i concocted the recipe, baked it, and it definitely lived up to my expectations. it’s fantastic! flavorful, good texture, and not too shabby to look at either. :) plus, it is a "mac" and cheese, but with (superfood!) quinoa in place of macaroni noodles, and the addition of spinach & sweet potato, i think it's definitely a "healthier" way to get your mac & cheese fix, despite the amount of cheese!

try it--i guarantee you will be as obsessed with it as i am {& i made it for myself when i was home alone for the weekend...so i kinda sorta ate it for lunch & dinner 2 days in a row!}

1 cup dry quinoa (+ 2 cups of water for cooking)
1 medium sweet potato
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cup extra sharp white cheddar cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 1/2 cups fresh (or frozen--thawed/cooked) spinach

combine dry quinoa with water and cook according to package directions. set aside.

cube sweet potato (peeling is optional--I left skin on). bring a pot of water to a boil, add sweet potato, and cook until tender, 8-12 minutes. drain. place cooked sweet potato in a food processor/blender with ¼ cup of milk. pulse until smooth and set aside.

mix together mozzarella + 1 cup of white cheddar and set aside.

preheat oven to 400 F.

in a sauce pan, melt butter. once melted, whisk in flour and let cook for 1-2 minutes. whisk in remaining 1¼
cup of milk and cook until mixture begins to thicken. whisk in sweet potato puree and continue to cook for 1-2 more minutes. remove from heat and add cheese mixture.

in a large casserole dish, add quinoa, spinach, and cheese sauce. stir until everything is thoroughly mixed together. combine remaining 1/2 cup of white cheddar + breadcrumbs & sprinkle over top of casserole.

bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cheeses on top are browning. enjoy!

linking up with ashley & jessica for taste of tuesday!
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