Tag Archives: quinoa

Baked Cheesy Quinoa Mac

Ah, a breath of fresh air provided by my non-vegetarian sister. Felt gooood! I talk to her almost daily and it is so inspiring to hear her talk about her day whether it be at her internship or at work. Way to go Katie! Next step, doctorate. You know it’s gonna happen, even if you don’t accept it yet.

While she’s busy finishing school and eating her meat, I’ve been cooking up quinoa and deciding that cheese is my favorite. My cheese drawer in the fridge (I think that drawer is actually meant for lunch meat, but in its absence, it is filled with CHEESE) is absolutely packed.


Goat cheese. Parmesan. Feta. Gruyere. Tillamook sharp cheddar. Boursin. Gouda. Fontina. Ay yi yi I can’t get enough! I was desperate for some mac’n’cheesy last week and cheesy quinoa mac is what I came up with, with some help a lot of help from Giada de Laurentiis.


I got the recipe from her book , Giada At Home. A lot of times, I find that I don’t have half the ingredients that she calls for in her recipes (fresh herbs, weird pasta/grains, gourmet meats) but usually the recipes still work with the substitutions I use. Improv, dudes.

The recipe is actually online and available for you to see without having to purchase the book! Woohoo! My substitutions were: quinoa instead of farro, no mushrooms, no tomatoes, dried thyme, and I added cheese to the topping, obviously. Why didn’t I add the mushrooms/tomatoes?? That would have been delicious… I must have not had them on hand. Don’t leave them out!


I used my leftovers all week in my lunches- usually just heated up and mixed into a salad, or eaten cold by the giant spoonful.

I’m totally into cooking large batches and eating leftovers for days right now- makes it SO easy to choose good things to eat for lunch. I started logging my eats in an app called “Lose It” and am slightly horrified at my habits- I don’t usually have a hard time eating healthy main meals, but my snackage logs more calories than my meals all combined! Niiiiice. Sounds like I have another challenge to undertake… or just delete the app. 🙂

In other news, we are SOOO ready for fall! I am a lover of cool weather, and bundling up to go outdoors. I am jittery with excitement for when I can wear sweats and put Gabs in a cozy tracksuit and hit the trail!









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Filed under Baby, fitness, Food Stuffs.

Portobello Mushroom Tower and good news!

Good news: x-rays came back negative! We did a full hip-range-of-motion dance to celebrate that Gabs’ hips are perfectly placed, just maybe unevenly chubby for the time being.

Not quite as good news: Gabs is experiencing her first cold ever and has had a rough past couple of nights. We’ve got the humidifier up and running, and Vick’s VapoRub and mommy snuggles are doing their thing. Also, Gabby has made her first enemy- Mr. Bulb Suctioner. I think that relationship is beyond repair at this point.


Until we are back to 100%, we are hanging out in our PJ’s and in our little sicky corner of the couch. It’s way more fun than it sounds!


We haven’t done a lot of cooking lately, but a few nights ago my little sister and I tried to duplicate my favorite dish from a local restaurant. It’s called the Portobello Mushroom Tower and it’s basically a gigantic bowl of perfectly roasted vegetables and a large Portobello mushroom (obvi) with lots of gooey cheese and tomato sauce over polenta. We subbed quinoa for the polenta since my cornmeal was 2 years old and filled with bugs was, er, past it’s prime.



It was SO good. I’ve been nibbling on the leftovers for the past 3 days!



Portobello Mushroom Tower


2 large Portobello Mushroom caps

2 large zucchini, cut into strips lengthwise

1 cup chopped bell peppers (color of your choice!)

1/2 large onion

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

2 cans diced tomatoes

1 can tomato sauce

1 TBSP fresh minced garlic

1/2 tsp basil, oregano each

1/3 cup shredded parmesan

1 TBSP olive oil (for sauteeing veggies)

balsamic vinegar (for drizzling on mushrooms)

1 cup quinoa, cooked in stock

fresh basil for garnish

salt and pepper


** you can simplify and speed up this recipe by using a canned red sauce. I didn’t have any in the house, so I made my own.

First, cook your quinoa. (I always cook mine in stock- adds TONS of flavor!)

While that is cooking, start sauteeing your celery, bell peppers and onions in the olive oil. Saute until translucent, then add garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds on med-high heat and then add cans of diced tomato and tomato sauce. Season with Italian spices and S&P and let simmer on medium while you make the rest of the dish. When you are about ready to take the sauce off the heat, add in shredded parmesan.

Lightly clean your mushrooms, and put on a baking sheet. Also put the sliced zucchini (seasoned with S&P) on this baking sheet. Drizzle the mushrooms lightly with balsamic vinegar and broil for about 4 minutes on high, capside down. After about 4 minutes, take out the mushrooms and cover the cap with mozzarella cheese and broil for about 3-4 more minutes until cheese is gold and bubbly!

Layer the quinoa, then some zucchini, then the cheesy mushroom, then cover in your tomato sauce. Top with fresh basil.(For carnivorous husbands, feel free to add chicken to the tower like I did for Joey!)

Enjoy nice and hot for a light summer meal.

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Filed under Baby, Family, Food Stuffs., Vegetables