I usually want something sweet for breakfast like oatmeal with maple syrup and dried fruit, or a smoothie, but this morning I was craving something savory.
I love grits and polenta. I thought it would be fun to try a veganized version with quinoa and Daiya cheese. I wasn’t sure how I’d make the sauce at first. I started making a bechamel sauce, but I didn’t need the roux to thicken. The Daiya melted so beautifully and was the perfect consistency, you’d never believe it’s non-dairy.
As with all experimental recipes, it’s always a gamble. Sometimes they end up in the trash, sometimes they end up in the permanent repertoire. The fluffy quinoa with the creamy cheese was hearty and satisfying while the black pepper gave a nice heat at the end. Quinoa is low-fat, high in protein, and fiber, so it’s filling and good for you! It’s perfect for a quick and nutritious breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
This could be a healthy alternative to mac and cheese for the kids if they are open to trying new things, or if they already like quinoa. Next time I would even try it with itsy, bitsy broccoli florets. You could also substitute quinoa with two cups of elbow macaroni. I think I know what my next experiment is…
The whole recipe takes about 15-20 minutes to prepare if you have to make the quinoa. If you cook the quinoa in advance, this dish comes together very quickly since the sauce only takes about 5 minutes.
I even got the thumbs up from the omnivore hubbie so I’ll definitely make this one again!
Cheesy Quinoa Grits
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1/4 cup milk (I use hemp milk, but you could use any nut milk too) *
1/2 cup cheddar cheese (I use vegan non-dairy Daiya cheddar cheese)*
salt & pepper
*If you want it extra cheesy, double the sauce recipe.
1. Prepare quinoa according to manufacturer’s directions.
2. Once quinoa is cooked and still warm. Make the sauce.
3. Bring the milk to a boil with a pinch of salt and a generous amount of ground pepper (1-2tsp).
4. Add the cheese. Once becomes creamy and sauce-like texture, add couple shakes of tabasco.
5. Pour over cooked and warm quinoa. Stir until fully incorporated.
6. Serve immediately.