Quinoa & Cheese

When I say "comfort food," what do you think of? Mashed potatoes and meatloaf? Chicken and dumplings? Homemade macaroni and cheese?

Well, that's what I think of. And apparently I've been in a comfort food kind of mood lately, because we had all three of those things in the past week. Only the macaroni and cheese didn't actually involve macaroni. Instead, it was with quinoa.

In case you're not familiar, here's the scoop on quinoa. It's actually a seed, but people often treat it like a whole grain. It cooks pretty easily, has a great texture, is gluten- and cholesterol-free, and offers 9 essential amino acids (hello, protein!). Plus it provides a nice alternative to rice or pasta.

It looks much prettier when you see a scoop of it on a plate. But guess who forgot to take photos of that? Fortunately, you can see the lovelier version when you visit the recipe here. (One note: I used fresh spinach rather than frozen, since that's what I had. And I went light on the spinach so it wasn't too "green" for you-know-who.)

Plus, I served it with a rosemary dijon pork loin. Having meat is incredibly important if you're going to make you-know-who try a new dish.

Generally, I gauge whether a recipe is fit for the general public and not just wacky-me consumption by you-know-who's (aka Conservative Hubby's) reaction. The night I made quinoa and cheese, he said, "This is kind of weird." But he said it as he was scooping up seconds.

And when we ate leftovers the next night, I figured he'd pass on the reheated dish. But instead, that's all he wanted for a side.

I liked it, Little Man liked it, and I guess that means Conservative Hubby liked it too. So take that for what you will.

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