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: Shavuot, Mac and Cheese, Cheese

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!
  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
  • “You will stomp us into the dirt,” is how her mother responded to Anya Ulinich’s new tragicomic graphic novel. Paul Berger has a more open view of ‘Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • 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.