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Cheesy Quinoa on Kids Plate
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Cheesy Quinoa

This Cheesy Quinoa contains a whole head of cauliflower blended into the sauce; perfect for getting our kids to eat more vegetables.
Course Main Meal, Side Dish
Cuisine Western
Keyword Cheesy Quinoa, Quinoa for Kids
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 325kcal

Ingredients

Cauliflower Puree

  • 1 Small Cauliflower (550g (1.2lb) once trimmed and chopped)

Quinoa

  • 175g (1 cup) Quinoa

Cheese Sauce

  • 28g (2 tbsp) Butter
  • 9g (1 tbsp) Flour
  • 250ml (1 cup) Milk
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 115g (1 cup) Extra Mature Cheddar Cheese Grated

Assembly

  • 135g (1 cup) Peas
  • 50g (1/2 cup) Extra Mature Cheddar Cheese Grated

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 200c/400f.

Cauliflower Puree

  • Remove the base and outer leaves from the cauliflower and wash. Chop into small 1.5cm (1/2 inch) pieces. Don't worry about keeping florets intact
  • In a large pot, bring 3/4 cup (180ml) of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower; bring back to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and steam for 15-1 8 minutes, or until cauliflower is very tender.
  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cauliflower to a food processor. Blend until smooth adding some of the cooking liquid if needed.

Quinoa

  • Cook the quinoa as per pack instructions and set aside.

Cheese Sauce

  • Melt butter in a saucepan and add the flour to form a roux, stir continuously for about 2 minutes.
  • Add milk a little at a time, keep stirring/whisking continuously between each pour. Stir out any lumps before adding more milk. Continue adding the milk little by little until all the milk is incorporated and the sauce is thick and glossy.
  • Take off the heat and stir in the mustard and the cheese.

Assembly

  • Add the cauliflower puree to the cheese sauce and stir to combine. Stir through the quinoa and peas until combined.
  • Transfer to one large baking dish (or several small dishes) Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake in the oven, for approx. 20 mins, until the top is golden and bubbly.

Notes

CAULIFLOWER PUREE: More detailed cooking tips and process steps can be found on this cauliflower puree post.
Although visually it goes undetected the flavour of cauliflower is quite prominent. If you have a fussy eater you may wish to start with 1/4 head of cauliflower and slowly add more as your child’s’ taste buds adapt.
If you prefer more texture, you can blend only half the cauliflower into the sauce and add the remaining pieces of cauliflower to the dish. 
QUINOA:175g (1 cup) of uncooked quinoa is equivalent to 380g (2.5 cups) of cooked quinoa. You can use white quinoa or tri-colour quinoa. 
STORAGE INSTRUCTIONS:
  • Refrigerating: Refrigerate leftovers, for up to 2 days. To reheat leftovers you can use a microwave to warm, add a little more cheese on top and then place under the grill (broiler) until topping is bubbly. Alternatively, you can place in the oven (covered in foil) at 190C/375F  until hot throughout. You may wish to add more cheese before reheating.
  • Freezing: Freeze in a covered freezer and ovenproof dish (or dishes) for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bake as per the recipe.
Nutritional information is a ROUGH guide only, calculated using an online nutrition calculator. 

Nutrition

Calories: 325kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 263mg | Potassium: 588mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 632IU | Vitamin C: 55mg | Calcium: 286mg | Iron: 2mg