QUINOA-CAULIFLOWER 'NO-MAC' & CHEESE

 

Want a gluten-free comfort food without the starchy carbs?  This dish delivers a rich flavor with the nutritional benefits of superfoods.  Adults love it and kids lick their plates.  What’s not to like?

 

PREP TIME:  10 min

COOK TIME:  45 min

SERVES:  6 as a main, 10-12 as a side

INGREDIENTS
FOR COOKING

  • 3 TBSP (45 ml) olive oil

  • 2 yellow onions, diced

  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • 1 tsp salt

  • ½ tsp nutmeg

  • ½ tsp black pepper

  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

  • 1 cup (200 g) quinoa, rinsed thoroughly

  • 1 head cauliflower, finely chopped (florets only, roughly 700 g/ 24 oz)

  • ½ cup (120 ml) milk

  • 1 ½ cup (360 ml) water

 

TO FINISH & SERVE

  • 2 cups (140 g) sharp cheddar cheese, grated

  • 2 cups (140 g) Gruyère or Swiss cheese, grated

  • 1 cup (70 g) extra grated cheese(s) for the topping

  • 3 TBSP (5 g) chives, finely chopped

  • Extra paprika powder

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COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

CONVENTIONAL METHOD

 

1)  Heat a 2 ½ quart (3 litre) pot on medium-high. Add olive oil and onions, and sauté for 5 minutes, until soft and golden.

 

2)  Stir in the mustard, paprika, salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne and quinoa, and cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly to coat the quinoa in the spices.

 

3)  Add the cauliflower on top, pour in the milk and the water, increase heat to high and bring to a boil.

4)  Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 30 min, or until all water is absorbed and the cauliflower is soft.

WONDERBAG METHOD

1)  Heat a 2 ½ quart (3 litre) pot on medium-high. Add olive oil and onions, and sauté for 5 minutes, until soft and golden.

 

2)  Stir in the mustard, paprika, salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne and quinoa, and cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly to coat the quinoa in the spices.

 

3)  Add the cauliflower on top, pour in the milk and the water, increase heat to high and bring to a boil.

 

4)  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes..

 

5)  Seal your lidded pot in the Wonderbag and leave to cook for 30 min.

 

TO FINISH & SERVE

 

Just before serving, remove pot from the Wonderbag (or stove) and stir in the 2 cups cheddar and 2 cups Gruyere or Swiss cheese, mixing well.

 

Sprinkle a bit of extra cheese (about 1 cup) on top and place the pot, uncovered, under your oven’s broiler/grill (on high heat) for 5 minutes to brown and crisp up the top layer.

 

Sprinkle with chopped chives, paprika powder and serve.

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Recipe & Photo Credit:  Cathy Menees

COOKS NOTES

CHEESE CHOICES

 

I prefer Gruyère cheese over Swiss as it has a stronger flavor.  Combined with a sharp cheddar (or aged Gouda) it delivers richer depth of flavor.  But if you prefer a milder cheese, just go with what you like!!

 

SALT

 

Some stonger cheeses are saltier than others, so you'll might need to further 'salt to taste' after cooking if using a milder cheese.

CAULIFLOWER ON TOP

 

There is a method to my madness of mixing the quinoa first with the spices and onion, then adding the cauliflower on top with the liquid.  You want to be sure the quinoa is immersed in the liquid so that it absorbs the liquid and thus fully cooks.  The cauliflower doesn't need to be submersed to cook - it will soften in the heat/steam of the dish.

LOVE YOUR LEFTOVERS

 

This is great left over, and you can easily transfer to a small baking dish to warm in the oven a few days later.  Side-dish or lunch is solved.

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