The Jew And The Carrot

Kale and Mushroom Quinoa Mac and Cheese for Shavuot

By Amy Kritzer

  • Print
  • Share Share
Amy Kritzer

When Shauvot rolls around each year, my family usually serves up traditional sweets: Rich cheesecakes, rugelach and blintzes dominate the table. Now I love cheesecake as much as the next (former) New Yorker, but I tend to do things a little differently. I like to look at the holiday as an excuse to eat boatloads of cheese: feta, mozzarella, cheddar, you name it! Mmm cheese.

By why do we eat dairy at all on Shavuot? There are almost as many reasons for ditching meat on this holiday as there are delicious kinds of queso. Shavuot is the celebration of the Israelites receiving the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. Suddenly they had to keep kosher and they did not have the necessary implements to slaughter and prepare kosher meat. Dairy it was! Another explanation is that the Israelites received the Torah right after their Exodus from Egypt, a journey described as escaping the misery of Egypt to the “land flowing with milk and honey”, and so we celebrate the day with dairy.

No matter the reason, let’s bring on the cheese. Since it’s not the healthiest food on the block, I always try to balance out indulgences with more nutritious options in dishes like quinoa mac and cheese. By swapping out the traditional pasta for quinoa, the dish is packed with protein and super filling. Quinoa has a heartier flavor than pasta and a nice chewy texture. This dish is creamy, cheesy, and has a nice crunch with the topping. For even more nutritional value, I added kale and mushrooms. Lest we get too wholesome, the whole thing is loaded with nearly a pound of cheese. Sounds healthy to me!

Amy Kritzer

Kale and Mushroom Quinoa Mac and Cheese

Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 15-20 minutes Serves: 6-8

4 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
4 Tablespoons butter, plus more to butter the pan
1 small onion, diced
2 cups white mushrooms, sliced
Salt
2 cups milk (2% or whole milk)
½ teaspoon black pepper
10 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (about 3½ cups)
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3 cups kale, cut into 1-inch chunks
½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
2 Tablespoons butter, melted

1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Cook quinoa according to package.
3) In a bowl, mix together all-purpose flour, dry mustard and nutmeg.
4) In a large 8 qt stockpot, melt butter over medium heat. Sauté diced onions and sliced mushrooms with a pinch of salt until the onions are translucent, mushrooms are soft, and both are cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
5) Add flour mixture to the onions and mushrooms and cook for a few minutes until the fat is absorbed. The vegetables should be covered in a flour and butter thick paste.
6) Then add in the two cups milk and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until sauce is think and smooth.
7) Then add in black pepper, 3 cups cheddar cheese (reserve ½ cup for the topping) and Parmesan cheese and combine. Season to taste with salt.
8) Stir in kale and quinoa and stir until mixed well.
9) Spread quinoa mixture into a casserole dish (I used a 9 inch pie pan, individual serving dishes work great too).
10) In a separate bowl, combine Panko breadcrumbs and 2 Tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese over the quinoa and top that with Panko mixture.
11) Bake for 15-20 minutes (uncovered) until cheese is bubbly and the top is lightly browned. Let cool 5 minutes and serve!

Amy Kritzer is a food writer and recipe developer in Austin, TX who enjoys cooking, theme parties and cowboys. She challenges herself to put a spin on her Bubbe’s traditional Jewish recipes and blogs about her endeavors at What Jew Wanna Eat. You can follow her on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook and watch her cooking videos on Google+.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Cheese, Mac and Cheese, Shavuot

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.