Wednesday, September 9, 2015

It's September and that means time for comfort food and pumpkin everything!

It's September.  That means summer is ending, school is starting and Pumpkin Spice is taking over our lives again.  I fall into the 'I love Pumpkin Spice' category, I know it's not for everyone, but I love it.  I've been holding out on getting my first Starbucks PSL (the king of all things Pumpkin Spice in my opinion) just because at 150 calories and 0f/28c/9p it's a little carb heavy for my current macros (that's for a tall non-fat) when it's just a treat.  There will be a PSL in my near future though.

The beginning of fall also means comfort food.  Comfort food is often also calorie heavy and not so diet/macro friendly.  While the beauty of IIFYM is that you can eat whatever you want as long as it fits a big bowl of Macaroni and Cheese (not the box stuff, the REAL stuff) can quickly take up your fats and carbs for the day.

I discovered a recipe on Simply Quinoa for 5-ingredient Quinoa Mac & Cheese and knew I had to try it.  I adapted the original recipe a little bit for a few reasons.
1) I want to know the weight of things so I get my macros right (1 small butternut squash is too vague for me).
2) I didn't have almond milk (not a big fan) but I did have some lite Coconut milk and figured that would work just fine (I was right).

So here's my version of the recipe and the delicious end result!

Quinoa Mac'n'Cheese

Serves 4 
354 calories/14g fat/43g carbs/14g protein
  • 425.00g Butternut Squash (cut into apx 1" cubes) - this is a small squash
  • 2/3 cup Lite Coconut Milk(I used A Taste of Thai)
  • 114.00 g Cheddar cheese (this is a little less than 2cups of shredded cheese - I used medium)
  • 172g dry weight Quinoa (apx 1 cup)
  • 1 tbsp grainy Dijon mustard (more if you like)
  • Salt to taste
1- Peel & Dice the squash.  Put into a pot and cover with with water (about 1" on top).  Cover and boil until fork tender, about 15 minutes.

2- Cook your Quinoa.  The ratio is generally 2 parts water to one part Quinoa and it takes about 15 minutes on the stove.

3- Grate your cheese so it's ready (unless you bought already grated, then you're just waiting!)

4 - Once done, drain the squash and put into blender.  Add coconut milk - start with 1/3 cup and add more if needed to get a silky smooth consistency.  I needed about 2/3cup.

5 - Add the mustard.  Blend well.

6- Add the sauce to your cooked Quinoa and mix.  Add cheese.

7- Optional, transfer to ramekins and bake at 375° until bubbly (I didn't do this as I'm bringing it to work for lunches.

 Super delicious, getting some veggies and feeling like I just ate something super bad for me.

Sidenote - that squash, before you add the could be eaten on its own as soup, it's SO good.  I might try that, a little more coconut milk to thin it out a little.  YUM!

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