No matter how healthy I am eating and living, I think good old Mac and Cheese will always be my favorite food. I was really craving it recently, and also dreaming up truffle dishes around the same time. (If you REALLY want to indulge, check out my Truffle ravioli with Walnut Cream Sauce here). So I decided to make a more primal version with my new favorite thing, quinoa, and it is just as good, or even better (we’re talking black truffle cheese here!) than the real thing. If you are ever feeling the need for a bowl of creamy cheese pasta…go for this instead! You won’t be disappointed.
Truffled Quinoa ‘Mac’ and Cheese (Difficulty-Easy; Serves 4-6)
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 1 lb. organic mushrooms, sliced
- 1-2 tsp. black truffle salt
- coarsely ground sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- 2 Tbsp. arrow root powder
- 1 c organic milk
- couples sprigs of organic thyme leaves
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1 c shredded Italian Truffle Cheese (from TJ’s of course)
- 1 c shredded gruyere cheese
Make quinoa and mushrooms: In a medium sauce pan, bring quinoa, 2 cups of water, and 1 tsp of sea salt to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-18 minutes. Remove pot from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Remove the lid, and fluff quinoa with a fork. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. of butter in a large skillet. Add sliced mushrooms and season with 1 tsp. of black truffle salt and coarsely ground black pepper. Cook until mushrooms release their liquid and are slightly browned, 7-10 minutes.
Make cheese sauce: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large pot melt the remaining butter and add arrow root powder, stirring together to form a slurry mixture and cook until slightly golden, about 2 minutes. Stir in milk, thyme, and nutmeg, and whisk until slightly thickened, 2-3 minutes. Add the truffle cheese, and all but a 1/4 cup of the gruyere. Stir until cheese is fully melted and sauce is thick. Finally, stir in the mushrooms.
Pour the sauce over the cooked quinoa and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into a slightly greased 6-cup baking pan. Sprinkle remaining gruyere cheese on top and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until sauce is bubbling. Turn the broiler on and brown the top of the cheese for 2-5 minutes, depending on the strength of your broiler.