Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cheesy Quinoa Mac & Cheese


I have discovered my new favorite dish. I am a huge fan of Quinoa as you have seen in some of my latest posts, but this recipe has put this super grain over the top. I love mac and cheese from every angle. The cheese, the crunchy topping, the richness. Gosh, it tugs at my heart strings. This recipe makes it at least healthy for you. I used reduced far sharp cheddar, almond milk, and quinoa. I say that is a major win. Leanne 1, thunder thighs 0.


This dish touched on every reason as to why I love Mac & Cheese in the first place. The quinoa's texture tastes like pasta, but has more flavor. The cheese is creamy and sharp as ever and the topping. Oh the panko topping. This may have made the dish. If you are a cheerleader for texture, add the panko. I just put them on plain( no oil or butter) and they were super crunchy. I added some local hot sauce for some zing and broccoli to bump up the nutrition. You can make this as a side dish or main. It would be perfect with a side salad with a vinaigrette dressing to cut the richness of this cheesy delight.  I also served them in the cutest individual ramekins. It makes it easy to figure our serving size and they are really cute if you have guests. You can literally top these with anything. Salsa, more cheese, hot sauce. I used a local hot sauce, which is to die for!
Hello my new favorite ( & local) hot sauce!

I found this recipe on Pinterest, but check it out on the main website for Monica Nelson Fitness.
Hello Cheesy Quinoa!

Serving Size: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • Veggies of your choice (optional)
  • good pinch of salt
  • a few grinds of seasoning salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup soy milk or non-fat milk
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese, more for sprinkling
  • Optional- Crushed Red Pepper, Panko Bread crumbs for topping
  • Toppings (optional)- salsa, hot sauce, sour cream, scallions
    
  1. Lightly saute any veggies you would like in this dish. 
  2. Cook quinoa to packaged instructions until fully cooked. (About 15 minutes)
  3. Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat 13x9 inch dish( or 8 individual ramekins) with cooking spray.Whisk together eggs and milk in large bowl. Fold in quinoa mixture and cheese. Stir very well and let some of the cheese melt.  Transfer to prepared baking dish and if using Panko Crumbs or Bread crumbs add now and bake 30-35 mins, until bread crumbs are browned. 



217 comments:

  1. Yep, I have GOT to make this! Thanks!

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    1. Can you email me directions for this? I saved the page, but can pony get the list of ingredients, not the directions!
      Heather7686@gmail.com
      Thanks, it looks so good!

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    2. That's probably because the color of the print for the directions is white. If you cut and pasted to save in a document, control a (to select it all), then go up to the tool bar and click on any color (I use black--no imagination!) and voila! You can see it all.

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  2. I can't wait to try this. I love cheese and quinoa and I bet the panko adds a great texture I've been missing from my childhood.

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  3. I tried a very similar recipe after I found... wait for it... QUINOA PASTA at my local Sprouts Market! Delicious and so cute in my new green and orange ramekins from World Market. I'm glad I'm not the only quinoa nut out there :)

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  4. I've heard quinoa pasta is so good! I will have to try it out next time I am at Whole Foods! I put this mac & cheese in my orange ramekins too! I like your style! ;)

    Might I add everyone.. I had this for lunch today and it is yummy next day !

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  5. Have some leftover quinoa and broccoli in the fridge.... went and bought the cheese at lunch.... making this for dinner!

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  6. I just saw a recipe for this on Pinterest recently too and was so excited! This looks so delightful, and if I haven't said this before, I am quinoa crazy these days! What a powerhouse!

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  7. You have so many tasty recipes on here now! I haven't checked in awhile! I love the addition of Quinoa to mac and cheese, and I WISH that I had that bottle of hot sauce. It looks right up my alley! Beautiful recipes! Keep them coming!

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  8. What a nice comment! Thanks Jeff! ps.. that hot sauce is really amazing. It reminds me of siracha. Yum.

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  9. Made this for dinner last night... came out great! I used paprika and chili powder to season the dish loved it! So easy to make could be a great side dish or for me was the main dish!

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  10. Oh this is perfect. Mac&Cheese is my weakness, my comfort, my downfall. I fail every diet the minute I see a really good mac&cheese coming my way. This recipe is perfect, I am going to try it toooonight! Thanks for sharing! :D

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  11. Good Deborah! Let me know how it goes!!!

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  12. This looks amazing and I'm totally going to make it... But one question - the recipe calls for minced garlic... Where do you add it?

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  13. Hey Emelie! I actually added it while I was cooking the quinoa so it would be infused in the quinoa stand also so it would cook a bit.

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  14. My boyfriend just made this and we love it!

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  15. Quinoa mac is in my oven right now! I didn't have bread crumbs so I turned some whole wheat pretzels into crumbs to use on top.

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  16. OMG! Let me know how it goes! Pretzels sound amazing as a topping!

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  17. This recipe sounds amazing! One quick question, when it calls for 1 1/2 cup quinoa does that mean cooked or dry?? I just want to make sure I have the right amount when I try it hopefully tonight! Thanks!

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    1. It is dry! Basically cook the quinoa as usual then add cheese,egg etc. Good luck! Let me know how it comes out!

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  18. Yumm. This looks so good! Thank you for posting.
    Just found your blog today. Love it:)

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    1. I'm so happy you found me!! Glad you liked the recipe!

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  19. I want to try this recipe tonight... quick question, do you add the veggies to the quinoa before you bake it?

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    1. Hey Jackie! Put the veggies in before you bake. Like when you put the cheese and egg in. Good luck!

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    2. Perfect timing! It's now in the oven as I type. Can't wait. Thanks so much!!

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  20. This was so delish! Thank you for the recipe! It was my first time using quinoa and I loved it.

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    1. I'm so glad you liked it! I think quinoa is a really easy grain to cook. Stick with it!

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  21. Leanne - what kind of cheese did you use to make this? I used an Australian cheddar from Whole Foods, and I found the quinoa absorbed a lot of it so it didn't taste that cheesy. I am disappointed because I love cheddar cheese, any suggestions for other kinds (even other cheddars) that work well?

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    1. Hey Jessica. I used a sharp cheddar ( Sargento maybe?) It may be creamy if you tear up some slices of American also. I undercooked mine since it was just the egg that needs to set and it didn't dry out. My friend just told me she made it twice with 2 different cheeses and it was totally different each time. Hope this time it works out!!

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    2. I had the same experience. I just made this and it was not very cheesy and not really creamy at all. I used grocery store shredded sharp cheddar (probably Sargento also). It was very tasty, but not mac-n-cheesy. If anyone figures out why that happens sometimes, I'd love to know!

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    3. Perhaps it was because you bought pre-shredded cheddar. I think they have to put something on it to keep it from sticking together that also prevents it from being as creamy. I have run across the same issue in other Mac and cheese recipes.

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    4. Absolutely! We never buy preshredded for use in recipes.

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    5. Made this last night, and I used reduced fat cheese. It came out very very dry I was so dissapointed! I'm going to make it again someday, but use reg cheddar cheese not the low fat. However someone just said the problem could be from it being preshredded

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    6. use velveta.....creamy

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    7. Tried this with the addition of almost fat free cream cheese and reduced fat cheddar. Way more creamy than just with the cheddar - just what I was after!

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    8. Try adding in some plain greek yogurt with your eggs & milk... creamy & delicious.. I added about half a cup

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  22. Found this on Pinterest. Definitely going to try this!! Thanks!

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  23. Leanne, Thank you so much for posting this! Mine is in the oven right now. I doctored it up a little with broccoli, chicken, white and orange sharp cheddar and hot sauce! Can't wait to try it!
    Happy Cooking!

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    1. I like the idea of adding chicken, but can you tell me if you added it precooked or did you just toss it in with everything else uncooked?

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  24. Think I could do this without egg??

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    1. Yeah I think so! Realistically, you don't even have to bake it. If you just add some milk and cheese and mix you would be fine. You can also bake it after that and omit the egg.

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  25. The recipe is delicious! I made it for the first time tonight, and it was a hit!

    Thanks for sharing the deliciousness.

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  26. I keep TRYING to like quinoa and have not been successful. Something about the texture is just a turnoff for me. As such, I still have a lot in my pantry since I never cook with it anymore. I was looking for something quick, easy, and reasonablly healthy on Pinterest a few days ago and stumbled on this and figured what the heck. I used 1% milk, reduced fat sharp cheddar, and crumbled up a little bacon in it. I loved it, and it was even better the next couple of days for lunches at work. This will become a new go-to recipe. Thanks!!

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    1. That is so great! Texture is always a tough thing to get over with food. I'm so glad you liked the recipe!!! I will need to try bacon in mine next time. Yum!!

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  27. I thought this was a very bare bones recipe. Also, unclear as to what to do with the garlic etc. I ended up throwing the garlic in when I sauteed the vegetables. I also used twice as much cheese as the recipe called for and still didn't find this very cheesy and definitely not creamy. Next time I think I will try to make a cheese sauce like I do for regular mac and cheese and see if it turns out better.

    It did taste good, just really nothing like mac and cheese.

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    1. Hey Stephanie! Maybe we can call it cheesy baked quinoa?? I also added the garlic with the veggies. I find that many people get different results depending on what cheese,quinoa they use. Since I did not write the original recipe I cannot comment on that, but def let me know how the cream sauce goes. I think it would def be like mac & cheese then! Good luck!

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  28. Jennifer StephensonMarch 4, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    I found you on pinterest and made this tonight. I love it - husband, not so much. I have the cheese problem from above. I used zucchini and carrots. Next time I think I would add just a bit of 2% velveeta for just a creamier cheese flavor. I would also like to try this with shredded chicken as a casserole. Yummy!

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  29. easy, and so delicious! made mine in muffin tins and added in some broccoli. batch makes good leftovers for lunch!

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  30. I just took this out of the oven........tastes yummy! I didn't have panko, but wanted a topping, so I crumbled up Triscuits. Worked out pretty well!

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  31. Could you put this on my Foodie Friday Linky. I have some gluten-free readers that would love this.

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    1. Hey Diane! I added it! Hopefully your readers like it!

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  32. I'm so glad you shared this. This is such a healthier, gluten-free version of a meal that my family loves.

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  33. Trying to figure out nutrition info... How many servings will this recipe make when served as a side dish?

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    1. I would say 8+ at 1/2 cup a serving maybe more. Hope this helps!!

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  34. Yessss, finally, a healthy way to eat mac and cheese! Thanks for this!

    www.existation.com

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  35. made this recipe last night and served it with some homemade salsa as a topping...it was CRAZY delicious! thanks so much for sharing! :)

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  36. I made this today for lunch, added tuna to the recipe, and used individual ramekins. Made little cakes out of the balance of recipe. what a great recipe, may become a regular recipe at my place

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  37. Just wanted you to know that I featured this recipe on my "Foodie Friday Linky" Hope you post another one this week. Thanks for the great recipe.

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  38. Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe. It's delicious!

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  39. I am very excited to try this as I am just beginning to love this lovely grain!!

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  40. Making this tonight and I'm adding goat cheese!
    Megan

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  41. Thought you might want to know you're being copied. http://www.neatpins.com/2012/03/cheesy-quinoa-mac-cheese.html

    This looks delicious, by the way. I'm a quinoa newby!

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    1. Thank you for letting me know! I had no idea. I am all about sharing recipes, but copying my post and not even crediting me is pretty shady. I will reach out.

      You should totally try this recipe. Quinoa=amazingness

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  42. This is in the oven as I type this! Can't wait to try it. I boiled up some cauliflower then ran it through the food processor and added that to my cheese/milk/egg mixture before mixing it into the quinoa, plus added some cooked broccoli. I think it's going to be amazing if my pre-tastes are any indicator :) Thanks for the recipe!

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    1. This is so good and creamy with the cauliflower in the sauce!

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    2. Oh yum!!! What a good twist! I will have to try it. Yum!

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  43. I just discovered this recipe via Pinterest and I'm so excited - my name is Leanne too! :-) My husband has a gluten intolerance, so we eat a lot of quinoa. This looks delicious!

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  44. Holy yum, this looks delicious! You're a genius! :)

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  45. This was very good! I added some parmesan to the top with panko and added a little extra cheese as well. Not the cheesey experience I had hoped for but still absolutely delicious regardless. Best of all, my husband and son loved it, too. I'm thinking that I might try a suggestion from above and make a cheese sauce similar to homemade mac n' cheese next time.

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    1. Great Idea Lynn!!!I might try that too! I have a feeling I will be trying different variations of this often.

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  46. I used whole milk, 2c sharp white cheddar, and about 1/2c - 3/4c Parmesan on top. Maybe it was the white cheddar, but I felt like it wasn't as cheesy as I like my mac. This recipe is good, and afterwards we felt great (not drained in a carb-coma like after a normal mac.) I added a bit paprika but felt it was still dull, we tried adding some hot sauce and it was better. I think I will have to try it with different cheeses, maybe a combination of cheddar, Gruyere, and mozzarella.

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  47. Just did my own modified, quick lazy version...

    1/2 cup quinoa
    3/4 cup grated cheddar
    1 tbsp goat cheese
    1/4 cup milk
    sprinkle of garlic powder
    pinch of salt

    It's not decadent like the pic looks, but quick, easy, and pretty good. I may have put too much garlic powder, but it's definitely creamy and cheesy!

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  48. Did the calories using skim milk and reduced fat shredded cheddar
    and no added toppings

    it's approx 515 calories for a 4 serving main dish course

    As a side dish for 8 servings it's approx 235 calories per serving

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  49. Hi Leanne!
    I am so glad you made my Moni Quinoa Mac n Cheese Recipe and thanks for giving the credit. It is such a great recipe and has been SUCH a hit and thanks for spreading the word. Love your site and will keep in touch! Monica Nelson of Moni Meals.

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    1. It is such an awesome recipe Monica!!! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. Everyone loves the recipe.

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  50. I loved the idea, but it was way too bland and nothing like mac and cheese. We all still ate it (after covering it with hot sauce), but it was not what we expected.

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    1. I had the same problem. I'm wondering if it had something to do with the kind of cheese I used because I followed the recipe exactly.

      Leanne, what kind of Cheddar do you use?

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    2. Hi Jen! I used a block of sharp cheddar. I think block cheese has more flavor than pre shredded. Also make sure to liberally season the quinoa. If you use even 1% milk it may come out creamier.

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  51. What is a reasonable price for Quinoa? And, where is a good place to buy it? I have yet to try it because it seems expensive and I'm on a tight budget.

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    1. We get it at whole foods and it is about $4 per bag. Since quinoa expands when you cook it a serving size is like 1/2cup. You could probably get 12 servings out of a whole bag. Hope this helps!

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    2. That is cheaper than I have seen it but, sadly, the nearest whole foods is over an hour away.

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    3. That's a bummer. You can always try to buy online or in bulk. I know that it is usually cheaper that way. I am on the East Coast so there are a ton of chains near me that carry . I have totally seen some rip offs though. A small amount for $5 or something. Hope you find some!

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    4. Costco has it right now in a 4 lb bag. It was maybe $14, which is way cheaper than elsewhere. I saw it at Sunflower market today, and it was around $5 for 10 oz. Same price as farro, which I fell in love with when they had it at Costco for cheap, and now they don't have it. :( I don't know why they're so expensive.

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    5. Costco is the cheapest place to buy it - we pay $7 for 4 lbs. Trader Joe's is also reasonable, but there's no place like costco.

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  52. This was fantastic! I had some swiss that I needed to use up, so I added that to the cheddar and also added some 2% kraft singles. Turned out very creamy and yummy!!!

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  53. I made this tonight and didn't have any soy or dairy milk so I used non-sweetened almond milk. I used pre-shredded sharp cheddar cheese and mixed some sauteed zucchini in as it was the only veggie I had on hand. Topped with bread crumbs and more cheese...the result? DELICIOUS! It's kind of dry but the flavor is perfect. (Garlic + red pepper flakes are enough for me.) I'd call this "cheesy baked quinoa" rather than quinoa mac & cheese.

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  54. So great! I made this tonight and after reading reviews I added about a 1/2 cup greek yogurt to make it creamier- which it did! I also made the quinoa in chicken broth rather than water for extra flavor. I added spinich, bacon, and hot sauce along with the greek yogurt! Loved it! Thanks for sharing!!!

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  55. I'm in love with everything quinoa too! I'll have to try this one!!! Thanks for posting!!!

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  56. I made this and absolutely loved it. But it was my first time trying quinoa and it really bothered my stomach. Do you think this recipe would work with any other type of grain?

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    1. I'm glad you loved it, but sad it bothered your stomach!If you usually don't have any problems with rice you can try that or farro also. I love farro. It is nutty and delicious!

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    2. Make sure to rinse the dried quinoa under cold running water in a fine mesh strainer. Do this until it stops foaming. From what I've read, this rinsing cleans the quinoa of tummy problem causing stuff. Pardon my lack of technical term.

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  57. Cooking this in my oven right now...First time trying Quinoa I hope I like it.

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    1. Nice! Let me know how you liked it!

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  58. I have been using quinoa to make taboulah. I will be trying this recipe this weekend!

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  59. I didn't find this to be comparable to mac 'n cheese (not very creamy or cheesy) and found it to be a bit flavorless. But I love quinoa any which way so I ate it regardless! I used shredded zucchini so next time I think I will sautee the shredded zucchini with the garlic and probably some green onion. Also might be nice to add some yogurt to make it creamier. I ate it tonight with Sriracha! Added a nice kick. I'm a vegetarian these days but I think bacon or sausage would be yummy!

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  60. I have to agree with Alyse, mine was not creamy either. My boyfriend and I added bleu and parmasean cheese and garlic chili hot sauce to the egg and milk mixture. And topped it with panko. We are going to take away an egg and see if it becomes more creamy and not so egg like. Bacon or sausage will likely be added next time too!! Love the idea of this but I need to play around with the recipe more!
    Thanks!!

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  61. The post sounds really yummy! It would help if you can provide some nutrition information as well.

    shutters

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  62. Can this be made with quinoa flakes?

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    1. Hi Alexandria. I'm not exactly sure. It might be a bit more mushy.. kind of like oatmeal? Try it.. let me know how it comes out!

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  63. i tried this tonight and was so hopeful it would be delicious but it turned out to be very dry after baking it in the oven. it was like my quinoa soaked up all the juice. i was so sad. it also wasn't as cheesy as the picture and i added extra cheese. any suggestions? i would try again if i knew it would come out as yummy looking as your photo!

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    1. Bummer Courtney!! I would maybe add more cheese ( make sure to not use pre-shredded) and maybe add some Greek Yogurt to the mixture? It may keep the texture more creamy. You can also try lowering the baking time since the quinoa is already cooked. Hope it ends up yummy!

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  64. I love Quinoa too and am a big fan. Thanks for sharing this post. Appreciate it!

    Plantation shutters

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  65. I just cooked up a batch of plain quinoa tonight and I WILL be making this tomorrow! Looks fantastic!

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  66. I made this pretty much as directed (used unsweet almond milk and yes pre-shredded sharp cheddar, + steamed broccoli) - and thought it was great. It reminded me of a cheesy/broccoli/rice casserole but with quinoa instead of rice. The quinoa DOES suck up the moisture, isn't that the point of baking it? I don't think soup was the idea :)
    For more flavor, you can cook the quinoa in a broth (chicken broth, vegetable broth, etc.) - and I think I might sautee some onions next time. Thanks for the recipe!

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    1. Oh good Lisa! I'm glad you liked it. I totally agree with all the tips you said. Cooking the quinoa in broth makes it SO flavorful!

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  67. Do you know approximately how many calories are in this?

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    1. Hi Yvette,

      According to Monica Nelson ( who made up the recipe) :
      Divided into 6 servings: 339 Calories per serving. Most of that is from the healthy quinoa!

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  68. Do you know if it freezes well?

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    1. I would assume so. Regular mac & cheese freezes well for me so I would say yes!

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  69. For those looking for the nutritional value of this, this is what I got using My Fitness Pal..

    Calories: 175

    Total Fat: 10.1g
    Saturated: 5.5g
    Polyunsaturated: 0.5g
    Monounsaturated: 0.6g
    Trans: 0.0g

    Cholesterol: 67.8mg
    Sodium: 221.7mg
    Potassium: 123.6mg

    Total Carbs: 11.6g
    Dietary Fiber: 1.2g
    Sugars: 1g

    Protein: 9.5g
    Vitamin A: 10.9%
    Vitamin C: 17.4%
    Calcium: 7.1%
    Iron: 6.7%

    These facts are with Franks Hot Sauce, Sour Cream, Crushed Red Pepper, Medium Scallion and Panko Bread Crumbs. I didn't add any vegetables to it.

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  70. I found this recipe on pinterest today and made it with the following changes/additions. I added cooled melted butter and 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt to the milk and eggs along with my normal seasoning I put in mac and cheese-1 t dry mustard 1/2 t curry powder, 1 t salt, 1 t paprika and 1 t onion powder and 1/4 t grated nutmeg. I cooked half a large bag of frozen spinach with the quinoa in chicken broth. I topped it with GF bread crumbs and parmesean cheese. It turned out nice and creamy and cheesy. Mac and Cheese is my son's favorite foods but we haven't been able to eat it since I had to go gluten free and am on a gestational diabetes diet (GF noodles and I are not on friendly terms unfortunately). We all just loved this as a side dish for dinner this evening and I'm really looking forward to the leftovers! Thanks!

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  71. Made this today for the 4th of July. I've never been much of a fan of quinoa but this was excellent. Thanks for the recipe!

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  72. Replies
    1. YEs, It could be. I would wait to top it with breadcrumbs before you freeze.Add breadcrumbs after it defrosts. I find they get soggy.

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  73. Has anyone tried this with out the eggs? My daughter has a severe egg allergy and this sounds so good but I can't use eggs. I'm wondering if it would make a huge difference to omit them or if I could use something else to substitute them?

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    1. The egg just brings the pasta together. It is not necessary at all. Try it without. Let me know.

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  74. its in the oven right now, i used part low sodium part water to boil the quinoa, i used lowfat milk, mozzarella cheese, egg whites, frsh garlic and sea salt, mushrooms for the veggies, whole wheat bread crumbs w/pam cheese. it seemed way runny when i put it in the baking dish like there was too much milk (is that normal?) heres to hoping!!! : ))))

    Jesse

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    1. Hi Jessica! It's not usually really runny when I put it in the oven. Maybe bake it a bit longer? The quinoa should soak up some of the liquid though. Let me know how it goes!

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  75. I bought quinoa a couple of weeks ago but had no idea how it was cooked nor served. This became my 1st try and I must say it's great! I'm posting my version of the recipe on my site Martha's Recipe Cabinet http://marthasrecipecabinet.blogspot.com and giving you credit for the original dish. Thank you for a wonderful recipe.

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  76. This dish was delish! Great with Turkey meatloaf & sauteed garlicky spinach. Thanks for yet another yummy way to make quinoa!

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  77. Just made it with broccoli, asparagus, and red peppers and its OMG good!!

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    1. I'm so glad Patrick! I think the more versions of this dish we make the better. I love trying new combos!

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    2. Thanks for posting, I found it on pinterest and can't wait to try it! However, as others may have already pointed out, there is a large section missing from the original recipe about when to cook the garlic, add the seasoning salt, etc. I didn't realize it until I read the phrase quinoa mixture and thought, "Mixture? All I have done is cook it." I had to click on the original recipe and then try to backtrack. I'm sure it will turn out fine, but thought I should let you know.

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  78. This may be my new favorite food. Thanks for sharing!!

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  79. My daughter just sent me the recipe. I'm a long-time quinoa maker and I always toast the quinoa in a fry pay (listen for the pops and light brown color. Then I cook in broth or water (2 parts liquid to one part quinoa). Cheese sauce, in general, is better made ahead and THEN folded in. (Usually done by warming the milk, adding your spices and stirring in shredded cheese.) Cheese and liquid ratios here are definitely "lite," which would account for the lack of cheeziness some have pointed out, but also make it lower calorie. Also, most mac and cheese from scratch recipes also contain butter and flour.

    Re: shredded cheese and gluten intolerance. My sister has severe gluten intolerance and found out that what keeps the packaged cheese shreds separate is a light coating of flour (and hence, not gluten free).

    Sorry for the long post -- will be adapting this wonderful recipe until I hit the right cheesiness. FYI -- Martha Stewart's mac and cheese recipe (definitely many, many more calories) uses 5 c milk and nearly 7 cups of cheese and 6 Tblsp butter, all to lovingly coat 1 pound of cooked macaroni!

    This looks like a wonderfully "lite" alternative!

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  80. I can't see the entire recipe. Could you email.it to me? I want to.take it to a bbq tomorrow
    Sandytoesbride @ gmail . Com

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  81. Made this for dinner tonight. added sauteed spinach, mushrooms, garlic, onions, and zucchini...(which i squeezed in a fine sieve to drain of the cooked liquid and then froze the liquid in a ziplock to use as veggie broth next time i cook quinoa) added ginger to the spices to bring out the spinach, green onions (non sauteed) to the mix once it was all ready...used mild cheddar because that's all i had...topped it with a sprinkle of panko breadcrumbs then some cheese on top...it was D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S!!!
    thanks so much for posting this recipe :)

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    1. I'm so glad you liked it! That's the best part of this recipe.... you can put whatever you want in it and almost every time it comes out delicious!

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  82. it was just as good for a late breakfast this morning!!
    forgot to mention that i added simulated bacon bits to it to give it a smokey "ham" flavour.

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    1. I eat it for breakfast too!!! Love it!

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  83. looks yummy! I love quinoa, check out my blog if you get a second, I have a bunch of awesome recipes and health tips.
    http://fragileasarosehealth.blogspot.com/

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  84. Do you have to put the eggs? Can you use an egg substitute or just egg whites?

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    1. You can totally use whites or egg substitute!

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  85. I'll be making this tonight with an addition of ground beef for a hamburger helper style meal :) serving it up with some salad!

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  86. This came out amazing!!! Thanks for this now in my recipe box recipe :)

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  87. This was A.ma.zing! I will be making this from now on!!!!

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  88. Just made it. Did not add veggies but add ALOT more garlic and seasonings! Excellent!

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  89. Just made this for lunch and it was delicious! I cut the recipe in half because I'll be the only one eating it, used organic broccoli, seasoned it with mrs. dash, and topped it with more cheese and parmesan. I wouldn't say it was too similar to regular mac n' cheese but was great as it's own recipe. I love quinoa for the fact that its so versatile and considered a complete protein! Thanks for the recipe =)

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  90. Mine came out really runny. Any thoughts about what I'm doing wrong?

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    1. I would say def bake it longer. The quinoa will soak up the liquid.

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  91. We used Gouda, spinach and rotisserie chicken. Yummy! Plus, melt a little butter, mix with the breading and some parm cheese, top and brown. Thanks for sharing! I shared/linked this one on my Facebook group, Tired of the Same Ol' Same Ol' Dinners.

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    1. That's awesome! Thanks for sharing it with your FB friends! I will join the group too if I can! I can always use more recipe ideas!

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  92. this totally helped my mac and cheese craving!!! I didn't have panko so I used used parm on top and browned it. Thanks!!!

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    1. Glad you liked it Jami!! Parm is an awesome topping for everything!

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  93. Have made this a couple of times now-- been using cheddar, gruyere, and asiago cheeses, as well as heavy cream instead of milk. :D I also like to put it under the broiler for about 3-5 minutes at the end. SOOOOO good!!

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  94. Looks great! Nedd to try it soon!

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  95. How about putting these in muffin tins for portion control?!!!

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    1. Thats a great idea! I put them in ramekins and it totally helps with portion control.

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  96. just whipped this up for the first time. my son can't eat gluten or dairy, so i used almond milk and dairyless cheese. fingers crossed it turns out well and he likes it :)

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    1. Awesome! I've never tried it with dairy free cheese so let me know how it came out! This is a great alternative to people with allergies though!

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    2. turned out very well! my son loved it. blended some up for the baby too, and he gobbled it up.

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    3. Thanks for posting, anonymous! We are a vegan family and was interested in making this tonight with unsweetened almond milk and almond cheese (mozzarella style) Glad to hear it turned out!

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  97. Super delicious! I customized just a bit. I used less almond milk and added plain greek yogurt to make it creamy. I also used parmesan as well as cheddar. Parm gives a more cheesy bite to conquer the flavor absorbing quinoa. For veggies I used collard greens, broccoli, mushrooms, peas, and onions. Yummy way to sneak a bunch of vegetables into a meal :)

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  98. This didn't look anything like the picture you posted and it tasted like plain quinoa. Maybe I didn't use enough cheese? :(

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  99. Aww that stinks! I would say: Make sure you use sharp cheddar or a pungent cheese. Mild cheese doesn't taste like much in this dish. Also season well with garlic, salt and pepper liberally. And also don't use pre-shredded cheese. I find it has a lot less flavor then if you shred block cheese yourself. Try it again! Hope it works out!

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  100. I used pre-shredded cheese. I'll bet you're correct. I am definitely going to try it again. (And I'm still eating what I made because I LOVE quinoa!)
    :)

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    1. I made it again, using sharp cheddar and a large amount of hot sauce. My son, who NEVER eats quinoa, ate THREE portions. The cheese definitely made a difference!!

      Thanks!

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  101. I just made this it was amazing! I used a smoked gouda and it was divine!!!

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  102. Like someone else said- I am a mac n cheese addict. It is by far my biggest weakness! I am so ready to try this. Craving it for tonight. But, I just realized- I have mozzerella, monterey jack, and pepper jack- no cheddar. Think any of those would be a good adaptation? I am so classic, I always use a good sharp cheddar. Nervous to experiment! :)

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  103. Those would be awesome cheeses to use! I used pepper jack before and it was awesome! Mix em up and let me know how it goes!

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  104. I can't wait to try this! I think I'm going to do a mash-up of this and the Barefoot Contessa's recipe that has breadcrumbs and tomato slices on top. Also, I always use a little nutmeg in my mac n cheese and I really find this to be the key to a delicious mac n cheese. Thank you for such an amazing idea!

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  105. I made this tonight and changed it up a little bit. I had a mixture of sharp cheddar, and smokey fontina and I used almond milk and meal (from Trader Joe's) instead of bread crumbs, and I loved it. Thank you for this recipe, I loved it and will be making it again soon.

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  106. I made this tonight ... no veggies as I didnt shop yet, and I had just under 1.5 cups of quinoa ... I used herb seasoned stuffing mix instead of bread crumbs which gave it even more flavour too! SUPER YUM! I am really impressed with it! I bought quinoa to make a salad a while ago and I really didnt like it that much, but this has converted me to the stuff and I'll be sure to use it more often!

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  107. This was a very good quinoa dish. I put asparagus in mine. I liked it a lot. I would probably have loved it had I not been thinking in my mind that I was going to eat something like Mac-n-cheese. Mine wasn't creamy at all, and I think I had just a bit too much garlic--but garlic cloves are all different sizes. Next time, I'll cut that back just a bit. Also, reading through the comments...I think I'll grate a block of cheddar--I used pre-grated, that may have taken out some of the creaminess--I heard that the pre-shredded packages have flour in them to stop the pieces from sticking together. Thanks for the recipe.

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  108. Turned out amazing! I put broccoli in it. Thanks for sharing this fab recipe! Monica

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  109. Going to make this tonight and am very excited about it :)

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  110. This looks so good and better than the original recipe I might add. I'm sure hers is good but this just looks cheesey and delicious.. I'm making mine with broccoli and caramelized onions! Was even thinking about adding Gorgonzola to kick it up a notch!

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  111. Made this tonight and it was fabulous!! My "anti-quinoa" hubby wouldn't say he liked it, but went back for seconds. That's NEVER happened with a quinoa dish :) Thank you!!

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  112. so fun idea that i came up with!!! so i made this recipe and it was wwaaayyyy too much for me to eat, but since im a broke college student i hate to let anything go to waste. so with my quiona mac n cheese + broccoli and peppers, i left it in the casserole dish in the fridge for 2 days and then sliced some it up in 1 in x 1 in x 1/4 in pieces and fried them. i tried it by itself and with an egg coating.... both ways are fantastic so so so yummy. almost tastes like an egg roll. I NEED sweet and sour sauce :-) i know its less healthy, but you MUST try it this way. LOVE IT

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  113. That Sounds like a revelation! Why did I not think of that?!?!??! Fried quinoa mac & cheese? Even better than the original!

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  114. This is amazing! For those seeking a creamier version, stir in one cup of sour cream just after quiona is done cooking. Then the cheese will not soak into the quiona and you get an incredible dish! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe.

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  115. Thanks for sharing! I recently have become a huge fan of Quiona as well, and Mac and Cheese is always a favorite so I can't wait to try this!

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  116. Thanks for sharing! I recently have become a huge fan of Quiona as well, and Mac and Cheese is always a favorite so I can't wait to try this!

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  117. We just made this. It was FANTASTIC! Even my husband, who hasn't been big on trying "health" foods loved it! Thank you for sharing!

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  118. I saw your pin a little while ago on pinterest and added to one of my boards. Just today I clicked on the pin that brought me here. I copied your recipe word for word and then went to the grocery store. I made it tonight for my family and they absolutely LOVED it!!! Thank you so much for the recipe!

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  119. This stuff is delicious! AND husband approved, which is hard to do. :)

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  120. This looks heavenly! Gotta try it! Thanks for sharing.

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  121. I am SO excited to try this! Looks like an awesome dish and a good substitute, since mac and cheese is definitely a weakness...thanks so much for sharing!

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  122. I'm so excited to make this tonight! Looks awesome and a great substitute for mac & cheese, which is definitely a weakness. Thanks for sharing!

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  123. Hi Just tried this dish and it is very good. Not dry at all. I added chicken, cauliflower, red peppers, celery and onions. The only thing I would change is using sharper cheese. But in all, it was very good. Thanks!

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  124. Hi thanks for the great dish...just made this and I added chicken breast, red peppers, celery, onions and cauliflower. It was nice and cheese and not dry at all. The only thing different I would do is use sharper cheese. Thanks again.

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  125. So yummy!! Thank you for the dish.

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  126. Hi,
    I cited your recipe in my blog, over at Nermal & Friends (http://nermalandfriends.blogspot.com/2013/01/adventures-in-quinoa.html). I just wanted to say thanks! This was a great break-out meal, as I haven't done a lot of cooking in the past.
    Thanks again,
    Dana

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    1. That's great to hear Dana! Thanks for posting it! Glad you liked it!

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  127. This may be an obvious question but should the quinoa be cooked or 'raw' so to speak before mixing into the recipe? Thanks, Heather

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  128. This looks really good. Have you thought of using nutritional yeast instead of cheese? Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I know some people have. I have heard nutritional yeast is really delicious. I haven't tried it yet!

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  129. I made this last night and I am not sure what I did wrong but it came out really dry. I made it in 9x13 pan and cooked as directed. Was really sad - I was so looking forward to it. Any suggestions ?

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    1. Bummer! I would have cooked it a bit less and hopefully you used block cheese and not bagged shredded. I find it comes more creamy. You can also stir in some greek yogurt for a more creamy texture.

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  130. Hello from West Warwick!!! I just popped over from Pinterest to grab this recipe and was happily surprised to find another Rhody. I'll be making this this week.

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