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I made this for dinner last night, for probably the 15th or 20th time. It started out as a Plated recipe (I miss Plated, it was my favorite of all the meal kits!), and quickly made its way into my recipe rotation.
Thanks to all of the dairy, this recipe tastes truly indulgent, and the ingredients might make you think that it’s trying to be mac and cheese without the mac. But I would never want to replace the quinoa with pasta. The flavors and textures in this are perfect!
I’ve changed this recipe a lot over the years. Mostly I made it quicker and easier. The original involved fresh kale, a lot of prep, and an extra pan. And while it tasted great, frozen spinach tastes just as good with less fuss.
The only annoying thing about frozen spinach is squeezing out the water. I use a potato ricer, which definitely makes it easier, but it occurred to me last night that instead of thawing the spinach in the microwave and squeezing it out, I could probably just add the block of frozen spinach to the pot with the water, sweet potatoes, and quinoa, I just need to figure out how much of the water it replaces.
I have this ricer, which I love, but it seems to be out of stock for a couple of weeks, so if you’re looking for one ASAP, this ricer looks similar. If you do decide to squeeze out thawed spinach this way, which I highly recommend, only do half of a 10-ounce package at once. If you fill the ricer and squeeze, some of the spinach will shoot out of the top and go everywhere. Ask me how I know.
This recipe gives you four very filling servings. You could easily double it, just use a large pot and bake it in a 13x9x2 baking dish.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic, minced or zested
- 1 shallot, peeled and minced
- 2½ cups water
- 12 ounces sweet potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into ¼-inch slices
- ⅔ cup uncooked white quinoa
- 8 ounces whole milk
- 1 egg yolk
- 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1½ ounce sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1½ ounce part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
- ½ ounce Romano cheese, shredded or grated
- Kosher salt
- Ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425°F with a rack in the middle position
- Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat
- When oil is warm, add the garlic and shallot and sauté, stirring frequently, until softened, 3-4 minutes
- Add the water, sweet potatoes, quinoa, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and give it a good stir
- Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the quinoa is tender, the sweet potatoes are cooked, and the water has been absorbed (about 10 minutes once the water is boiling; for the last couple of minutes, you may want to reduce the heat a bit to keep the quinoa from sticking, stirring almost constantly)
- While that's cooking, measure out the milk into a larger measuring pitcher or a bowl, and mix in the egg yolk with a fork until it's completely mixed in; set aside
- Remove from the heat and stir in the spinach, milk and egg mixture, cheddar cheese, and mozzarella cheese
- Transfer to an 8-inch square baking dish (or other shaped dish of equivalent size) and smooth the top, then sprinkle on the Romano cheese
- Place baking dish in the oven and bake until the Romano cheese is melted and golden 12-15 minutes
- Remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes before serving
Can easily be doubled. Just use a stockpot instead of a sauce pan, and bake it in a 13x9x2-inch baking dish.
Weight Watchers Points
1 serving (¼ of the recipe) is:
See my notes on how I determine Weight Watchers points here.
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Amount Per Serving Calories 317Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 75mgSodium 441mgCarbohydrates 33gFiber 7gSugar 10gProtein 15g
Nutritional information is an estimate only.