Hands up if you like mac and cheese. *All hands raised*
Yeah, thought so. Luckily The Wandering Matilda made a (slightly) healthier version of it. Ok, really the only healthy thing about this recipe is the fact that she has switched out pasta for quinoa. But quinoa is really healthy, right? And there's a lot of calcium in here, that's good for you.
You know what, who cares. Just go and make this quinoa mac and cheese and thank us later.
- 1 cup of quinoa, uncooked
- 3 rashers of bacon (optional)
- 2 tbs flour
- 1 to 2 cups of milk
- 2 tsp each of mustard and paprika
- Handful each of strong cheddar and parmesan
- Sprinkle of breadcrumbs
- Salt and pepper
Pop your quinoa on the heat and cook as per the packet instructions. Turn on your oven to 200 degrees.
While the quinoa is cooking, fry your bacon (if you're using) in a non-stick pan with a little olive oil until crunchy. Remove from the pan (keeping the oil in the pan) and leave aside. In the same pan (how many times can I say pan?) add the flour.
Stir around until a sort of dough forms. If it’s struggling, add a little extra oil until it's glossy then bit by bit add the milk. Start with a 1/4 cup and stir, add another 1/4 cup and stir etc etc until a thick, but moveable white sauce is formed. You may find you want more milk so just keep it on hand to add little by little as you go until you’re happy with the consistency.
(Note: By now your quinoa should be ready… don’t forget about it).
Stir in the mustard and paprika then turn off the heat. Add the bacon and cheese to the pan. Once fully combined, stir through the cooked quinoa and taste. You’ll likely need a little salt and pepper. Cover with extra cheese and a sprinkling of breadcrumbs, then bake for 10 minutes or until golden.
Serve with a token green salad.
Not into a bowl full of cheese? You can easily add any veg to this dish. If you need some inspo, try chopped kale, spinach or broccoli, sun dried tomatoes, artichokes or caramelised onions.
You're also going to need dessert, so check out these nutty chocolate bites.
Image credit: Holly Nicholls