Vermont Cheddar Quinoa “Risotto”

When a certain food is labeled “gluten-free” or “lactose-free,” people generally assume that it tastes bad. Both of these classifications have been the subject of much discussion recently in the media, whether in reference to diet fads or the latest health statistics. While some are happy to jump on the latest health trend bandwagon, the truth is that there are many Americans who suffer from food sensitivities and allergies. Finding recipes that are easy on the stomach and accessible is the tricky part. This one tackles both, with a few simple ingredients.

The inspiration for this recipe came when I saw my sister making Macaroni and Cheese. I grew up on this classic comfort food like most kids in the U.S., constantly asking for the “blue box” in the grocery store. I’ve been lactose intolerant for just over a year now and have recently transitioned to a gluten-free diet as well. I wanted some warm, cheesy comfort food, but didn’t know where to turn. I saw some Cabot Vermont Cheddar cheese in the fridge and noticed that the “lactose-free” label. I thought, how is that possible?

It turns out that aged cheeses are almost always lactose-free, due to the enzymes involved in the aging process. Most cheddars are safe to consume along with other aged cheeses. This was the basis for this take on mac n’ cheese, which turned out to have more of a risotto consistency in the end.

Cheddar Quinoa "Risotto"

What You’ll Need

  • 1 cup soy milk (or regular milk depending on dietary restrictions)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cabot Vermont Cheddar cheese, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup shredded spinach
  • salt and pepper

How To Do It

  1. In a sauce pan over medium heat, add soy milk and cheese. Stir together until evenly incorporated.
  2. Add quinoa and shredded spinach and turn heat to high to evaporate excess liquid. Make sure to continuously stir in order to prevent sticking or burning.
  3. Add extra cheese on top as a garnish, along with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Enjoy!

Vermont Cheddar Quinoa "Risotto"

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Vermont Cheddar Quinoa "Risotto." Delicious, easy, gluten and lactose-free!

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