2 cups quinoa
4 cups water
Italian seasoning blend
salt to taste
1 cup cashew cream
1 tbs olive oil
1.5 – 2 tbs nutritional yeast
salt and pepper to taste
Ground pistachio nuts (about 1 cup)
1 tbs olive oil
Follow the cooking instructions on the packet. Typically these are, pour four cups of water into a saucepan. Add salt and Italian seasoning. Water should be a bit salty. Add the quinoa and set to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15-20 mins. Once cooked, fluff with a fork.
In a saucepan, bring cashew cream to a simmer and add the olive oil and stir. Add the nutritional yeast and stir vigorously to incorporate. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Note: You can also try this with other nut milk varieties or coconut milk. You could also opt to use vegetarian cheese rather than the nutritional yeast. If not adhering to a strict vegan diet, feel free to use regular cream and cheese here as well as butter.
Using a food processor or blender, grind a cup of pistachio nuts. Use your finger tips to combine with the olive oil. until it resembles coarse wet sand. You may need to add more or less oil to get the texture right. But use sparingly as the calories do add up.
Note: I used pistachio nuts because we’re trying to eliminate processed foods as much as possible. However, I have made this with bread crumbs and it is amazing. Nonetheless, I did not miss the breadcrumbs so go ahead and make the swap for nuts.
Gradually incorporate cooked quinoa (a half cup at a time) into the cheese sauce mixing well. the mixture should be a little wet but not too much. Pour into a greased 9″ baking dish. Sprinkle pistachio topping and bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.