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Quinoa and Cheese

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Can you hear my heart beating? Do you understand? While I might have only been 6 when Eternal Flame by The Bangles came out I’m pretty sure I was already a fan of Kraft’s macaroni and cheese. Today I want to share a healthier ‘junk’ food substitute for our favorite mac & cheese. I call it Quinoa and Cheese! It’s made with Daiya which I have a complicated relationship with (sort of), some tofurky, and broccoli!

It’s creamy, sticky, cheddar-y, and oh so tasty!

I combined what we had left of the daiya cheddar style wedge with a little miso, water and nutritional yeast. Perfect.

So my relationship with daiya on the dislike side is it’s processed, has a lot of ingredients, and kind of reminds me of Velveeta, which I haven’t had since I was probably 6. On the plus side, it’s a better alternative to cheese especially if you have allergies, intolerance, or it makes your sinuses crazy. I personally didn’t like the wedge in slices on a hoagie which is why we had 3/4 of a block left over, but I did like it MUCH better in this dish. I think the miso adds a special flavor with it’s salted fermented goodness as well as the cheesy flavor of the nutritional yeast which also contributes many B Vitamins. If you’re not a fan of this type of cheese, feel free to look up a cashew cheese sauce; it will consist of soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, red pepper/turmeric for coloring, and perhaps a few other ingredients. I made about 1/2 to 2/3 cups of cheese sauce, which ended up being a perfect quantity for the quinoa and broccoli.

One other great thing about the daiya is it melts really nice and it’s soy free.

For many recipes I really enjoy prepping veggies with a hot water bath. The soften just a little bit while still remaining very crunchy and beautiful with their natural color.



Already looking real good!

To showcase my beautiful strangeness, I removed the slices of tofurky from the bowl to divide up. I wanted to make sure Jeremy and I received equal portions. We’re the same way about olives. It’s a terrible thing when your partner gets 5 olives and you only get one. Problem solved. Of course now I’m thinking green olives would be good in this too.

This makes about 4 servings or 2 very full ‘I won’t need to eat for awhile servings’. I served ours on a bed of fresh baby spinach.

Healthier Junk Food | Quinoa and Cheese

  • Yield: 4 Servings

Nutritional information per serving - Calories: 399 - Fat: 17g - Fiber: 10g - Protein: 19g - Vitamin A: 2% - Calcium: 10% - Vitamin C: 118% - Iron: 21% - Vitamin B1: 174% - Vitamin B12: 33% - Vitamin B2: 155% - Vitamin B3: 76% - Vitman B6: 138% - Folate: 47% - Vitamin K: 102% - Copper: 15% - Magnesium: 27% - Manganese: 54% - Potassium: 17% - Selenium: 16% - Zinc: 17%


  • 1 cup Bob's Red Mill organic quinoa, prepared according to package instructions
  • 1 head of broccoli, chopped (about 3-4 cups)
  • 1 tofurky kielbasa sausage, chopped
  • 3/4 block of a cheddar style Daiya wedge, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons white miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon hot water


  1. While the quinoa is cooking bring a full kettle of water to boil.
  2. Simultaneously in a small sauce pan, melt the daiya, 1 tablespoon water, nutritional yeast, and miso on medium heat, stirring frequently then turning the temperature down to the lowest setting. Enough to keep warm.
  3. Add broccoli and tofurky to a large-sized bowl and cover with kettle boiled water. Let sit for 7-10 minutes. Next strain out the water and place broccoli and tofurky back in the large bowl.
  4. When quinoa is done add it to the broccoli/tofurky mix and top with the cheese sauce. Mix everything really good, ensuring all morsels are coated.
  5. Serve over a bed of your favorite greens. Enjoy!

So good!

Did you ever mix ketchup in with your mac & cheese? Only sometimes. I don’t think I even learned about hot dogs in mac and cheese until I began babysitting.

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