I’ve had this recipe pinned on Pinterest for ages, but the fear of cooking quinoa paralyzed me.

Why do I fear quinoa?  It’s mysterious.  It comes in the bulk bin at the Co-Op and has no cooking instructions.

Plus, it looks like bird seed.

(It really is a seed and not a grain.)

For some reason, tonight was the night I got over my fear.  I’ve been watching a lot of Good Eats (in Alton, we trust!) and decided it was time.  The worst that could happen is that it would turn out terrible and we’d end up eating something else.  I turned Baby Spork over to Mr. Fork and began the process of tackling this mysterious seed.

After spilling many of those tiny seeds on the floor, I did manage to get it all together.  The results?  AMAZING!  Seriously.

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The picture really doesn’t do it justice.  You see, I took the recipe linked above as well as the original and sort of went my own way.  I rarely do anything exactly as it states (baking, being the exception).  My version included onions and garlic with a bacon and panko topping.  We consumed half the dish before managing to stop ourselves.  Mr. Fork likes his with tabasco sauce.  I like mine plain.  Any way you eat it, it’s delicious.

Want to make it my way?  Here you go.

Cheesy Quinoa

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup half ‘n half
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons panko crumbs

Directions:

Cook bacon on medium heat.  Remove from pan, leaving grease in pan.  Add diced onions and garlic and saute until soft and translucent.  While bacon, onions, and garlic are cooking, rinse your quinoa in cold water for 1-2 minutes and let air dry on a towel.  When onion and garlic are ready, add quinoa and cook for 3 – 4 minutes.  Add 3 cups of water, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer.  Let cook for 15 – 20 minutes.

Whisk eggs, milk, and half ‘n half in a bowl until combined.  Gently stir in 2 cups of cheese.  When quinoa has finished cooking, fold it into the egg and cheese mixture.  Pour into a greased baking dish and top with the remaining cheese, bacon, and panko crumbs.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

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