I've been craving some homemade mac 'n cheese, but I've also been craving some vegetables with Spring here and the summer bounty so close. I rummaged through the fridge and found all the fixings to make a healthy mac 'n cheese - never mind all the cheese, it's healthy. I swear!! I counterbalanced it with broccoli and cauliflower, but I felt like it needed something more. I rummaged again and found some quinoa. Perfect!! The mother grain was sure to bring some health back to my ooey gooey cheesy dinner. And the upside is my kids love everything in this, like a party in our mouths. I served it up with a slice of warmed bread, and you definitely could (and probably) add a salad, too.
Veggie Mac 'n Cheese
1 (13.5oz) package of whole wheat rotini
2 C shredded cheese (any type of your liking - I used brie & cheddar & parmesan)
2 C lightly steamed broccoli & cauliflower
1/2 C quinoa
4 T butter
4 T flour
1 C milk
salt & pepper
Boil rotini until al dente, drain and set aside. Meanwhile, bring 1/2 C of water to boil and mix in 1/2 C of quinoa. Cook about 10 minutes on low, covered, until the moisture is absorbed. Mix pasta and quinoa together in a lightly buttered casserole dish. Stir in the broccoli and cauliflower, gently. In a saucepan, melt butter and add flour, whisking steadily over medium-high heat until a nice caramel color is achieved. Add milk in slowly and bring to a boil, whisking still. Let it boil for 1 minute then stir in cheese until melted, and a sauce consistency is reached. Add a dash of salt and a sprinkle of pepper. Mix into pasta, quinoa and vegetables. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.