Quinoa and Spinach Un-Mac n’ Cheese

This recipe takes my favorite mac and cheese to a whole new level. Instead of pasta, it uses quinoa which adds protein and cuts back on the carbs. Adding the spinach adds a little vegetable to the dish making it that much more healthy! This recipe has been added to my list of favorite comfort foods!

Quinoa and Spinach Un-Mac n’ Cheese

quinoa and spinach unmac n cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Quinoa
  • 3 tablespoons Butter
  • 3 tablespoons Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Milk
  • Freshly Grated Nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Shallot (minced)
  • 8 ounces Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese (divided)
  • 1 bag Fresh Baby Spinach
  • 4 tablespoons Butter (melted)
  • 3/4 cup Panko Breadcrumbs

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions.

In a sauce pan over medium heat, add 3 tablespoons of butter and the shallot. Cook until the shallot is slightly soft then whisk in flour. Continue to whisk until a paste forms and becomes light golden in color.

Whisk in the milk and increase the heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil while whisking. Stir in nutmeg and salt along with the cheddar cheese. When the cheese sauce is smooth, remove from heat.

In a large bowl, mix cooked quinoa, cheese sauce, spinach and half of the parmesan cheese. Transfer mixture to the casserole dish. Top with the remaining parmesan.

In a small bowl, stir together the melted butter and panko breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over the casserole and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Recipe source: http://abc.go.com/shows/the-chew/recipes/quinoa-spinach-un-mac-n-cheese-dana-urbinati

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Mascarpone and Lemon Gnocchi

My husband loves gnocchi so I was happy to find this recipe for an easy version. These gnocchi are so light and fluffy, and doesn’t use your typical potato base for the dumplings. You will be in awe on how deliciously light this meal is!

Mascarpone and Lemon Gnocchi

marscapone and lemon gnocchi

Ingredients

Gnocchi:
1 cup mascarpone, at room temperature (8 ounces)
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 large lemons, zested
1 lemon, juiced
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan (4 ounces)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra

Sauce:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, for serving

Directions

For the gnocchi: In a large bowl, combine the mascarpone, egg, egg yolk, nutmeg, lemon zest, Parmesan, and salt. Using a hand mixer, beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Gradually beat in 3/4 cup flour until the mixture forms a soft dough.

Sprinkle a pie pan or rimmed baking sheet with flour. Using 2 small spoons, drop 1 teaspoon-sized pieces of dough into the pie pan. Shake the pan gently to cover the dough with flour. Gently roll the pieces of dough into oval shapes.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a simmer. In batches, carefully add the gnocchi. The gnocchi should sink and then float to the top. As soon as the gnocchi begin to float, cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Drain and place in a large serving bowl.

For the sauce: In a small saucepan, warm the oil and salt over medium-high heat for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the basil. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

Add the sauce, cheese, and lemon juice to the gnocchi and gently toss until coated.

Recipe source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/mascarpone-and-lemon-gnocchi-recipe.html