Cheesy Cauliflower and Spinach Quinoa [Fish Fry Fridays]

Hey! You made it to Friday. But it’s a Friday in Lent, so you might be deep in the throes of dessert cravings or caffeine cravings, so you deserve something special. How about another Fish Fry Friday recipe?

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Mac ‘n’ cheese is a fish fry staple. I’m not really sure why or how that came to be, but it is. I’m fairly sure I used to get mac ‘n’ cheese all the time at our local fish fry as a kid. Perhaps that’s why I was a chunky lil’ bean.

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HAHAH that picture. Sorry, it cracks me up every time. Back to the real star of the show today: mac ‘n’ cheese. I love the stuff – I really do. Frankly, I could have just made this a little bit of a healthier version of regular old mac ‘n’ cheese with noodles and stuff but then I wouldn’t be the healthifying buttface that I am. So, I had to use quinoa. And vegetables – namely, cauliflower and spinach.

Cheesy Cauliflower and Spinach Quinoa 2

The cauliflower is blended into a creamy sauce that’s slightly spicy thanks to some coriander. The quinoa balances out that flavor with its nutty bite. And obviously, you can’t forget the cheese. Real cheese!

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Cheesy Cauliflower and Spinach Quinoa

Makes four to six servings
Gluten-free, vegetarian

Ingredients

  • 1 c. quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 3/4 c. water
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. ghee or unsalted butter
  • 2 c. frozen cauliflower, defrosted/cooked
  • 3 tbsp. + 1/2 c. almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp. coriander
  • 1 tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 c. fat free cottage cheese*
  • 1/3 c. low-sodium cheddar cheese*
  • 2 c. frozen leaf spinach, defrosted (or fresh)

Directions

  1. In a medium pot, bring quinoa and water to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn down to a simmer and cover. After about 12-15 minutes, take off heat, lay a paper towel over the pot, and cover again. Set aside.
  2. In another pot over medium heat, melt ghee.
  3. Add onions to the ghee.
  4. Add salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, coriander to the onions. Cook onions until they turn translucent.
  5. While onions are cooking, purée cauliflower and 3 tbsp. almond milk in a blender or food processor until very smooth.
  6. Add purée and 1/2 c. almond milk to the onions and ghee. Bring mixture up to a bubble, stirring.
  7. Add cottage cheese and dijon. Stir to melt the cottage cheese (it probably won’t melt completely).
  8. Add cheddar cheese, stirring to melt in.
  9. Combine sauce with quinoa and spinach.
  10. Top with a little cheddar and serve!

Notes: I used fat-free cottage cheese because the sodium content was lower and the sugar was the same. You can use whichever kind you prefer. Also, if you use full-sodium cheddar, omit the salt in the dish.

So there you have it! I think I’ll have this for lunch today.

PS! I finally started reading The Fault in Our Stars. I’m already obsessed.

Questions of the Day:
>> Were you as goofy looking as me as a child?
>> How’s that Lenten sacrifice going?

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13 comments

  1. I’ve been eating a lot more veggie meals this Lent too, so thanks for reminding me that quinoa makes a perfect option. I’ve mostly been using chickpeas and tofu. Oh, and breakfast — because everyone knows that breakfast for dinner is the perfect meatless meal 😉

  2. I love this! Cheesy quinoa=my kind of quinoa. Also-HAHAHA that picture of you–I’m dying. It’s your crimped hair that really does it for me 😉 Crimped hair was the shizz back in the day though so clearly you were spot on.

  3. I’m pretty sure you could superimpose my face onto the picture of you as a kid and no one would be able to tell the difference – I think we had the exact same hair. Woot crimping! 😉
    I’ve been failing on meatless meals lately, so I’ll keep this one in mind!

  4. OMG that picture!!! That’s amazing hahaha. I’m definitely adding this to my list of recipes to try… although I may have to add meat since I’m a meat lova (sounds so gross lol)

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