Back by most popular demand!!! This is a protein packed alternative to Mac N’ Cheese, and well…Delicious! There is no reason we can’t have it all.
On top of it all, my Moni Meal recipe is going to leave you feeling recharged and NOT sluggish like most comfort foods do, right? Quinoa, pronounced ”KEEN-WAH!” is SO good for you. WHY? Well, Quinoa packs a powerful nutritional punch and is just so versatile. It has protein and fiber to keep you satisfied, improves your overall health, and Quinoa contains ALL the amino acids as well. Remember, too, that it is actually a seed and not a grain.
For this Moni dish…I of course add my beloved Heirloom tomatoes (when I can) or bell peppers but you could add any veggie- maybe mushrooms or spinach, anything you fancy really. I love the leeks here too and this is really a one-of-a-kind Moni Meal. The eggs are so special here as when it goes off into the oven, it all is held together like glue. Oooey-Gooey-delicious glue.
NOTE: If you feel you are after the really “cheesy”-mac n’ cheese vibe… you may want to add a bit more cheese than what I use. Anyway, I serve this with a side of some sort of steamed veggie or a salad and a slice of a good hearty bread.
Also, you can dollop this with all the toppings you desire; so many flavors go good with this dish.
TIP: YES you can make everything AHEAD and then put in the fridge – then when you are READY – just put it off to the oven to let all the work be done for you!
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 med. leek white and pale green parts halved and sliced (1 cup)-OR chives are fine too
- 1/2 cup diced tomato, or red/green pepper
- 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained (OR you can just use pre-cooked and cut back on the water and cooking time)
- good pinch of salt
- a few grinds of seasoning salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups of water (or stock)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup soy milk, non-fat milk, or milk of choice
- 1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese, more for sprinkling- NOTE: (You may find you need more cheese, BUT I use this amount to still keep the dish ‘lighter’ yet very flavorful.)
- Optional- Crushed Red Pepper, Panko Bread crumbs for topping
- Toppings (optional)- salsa, hot sauce, sour cream, scallions (you get the picture)
- Heat oil in med. saucepan over med. heat. Add leek and tomatoes (or bell peppers-or any veggies you want really); cover and cook 5 mins or until tender. Stir in quinoa and garlic, and cook, uncovered, 3-4 mins, or until grains start to turn opaque. (They will not fully be cooked yet.)
- Add 3 cups water (or stock) and season with salt and the Seasoning Salt (I like Lawry’s or Everyday Seasoning). Cover and reduce heat to med-low and simmer 15-20 mins or more, (depends and also what kind of quinoa you use) or until most liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand 5 mins.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat 13×9 inch dish with cooking spray. Whisk together eggs and milk in large bowl. Fold in quinoa mixture and cheese (if you feel you need more cheese, add here.) Stir very well and let some of the cheese melt. (Will seem a little “soupy,” do not worry, it will all mold together.)
- Transfer to prepared baking dish and if using Panko crumbs or Bread crumbs, add now. You can also sprinkle a bit more cheese on now if you prefer for topping. NOTE: (The Cooking TIME VARIES!). Bake 25-45 mins, (or until browned around edges.)
- Now you can toss with many toppings, some ideas: salsa, scallions, sour cream, and hot sauce! I serve with a side of steamed broccoli or a salad and a nice slice of good hearty bread.
NOTE: Many readers wanted to know how many calories this AMAZING meal has. Divided into 6 servings: 339 Calories per serving.