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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Guest Blogger-Quinoa "Mac" and Cheese with Spinach in Broiled Tomato Bowls from Lauren Kelly Nutrition

Good morning everyone! Today we're docking in Messina, Italy (Sicily) and touring Garibaldi, but I'm leaving you in very capable hands. My dear friend Lauren is with us again, this time to share her recipe for Quinoa Mac and Cheese in Tomato Bowls. I definitely have to try this when I get back since I've gotten the family to eat quinoa twice now. It sounds delicious! 

Hi my name is Lauren Kelly. I am a Certified Nutritionist who has a passion for nutrition, health, food and wellness.  I am a busy mother of 3 little boys and have been happily married for 10 years.  I love teaching my family and friends healthy fun tips and how eating whole, unprocessed foods benefit your mind and body.  Please feel free to email me at

How many of you have been inspired to eat meatless meals one day of the week (if you haven’t already)? You should be creative when eating vegetarian.  There are so many possibilities, why not explore them all? I LOVE quinoa (pronounced KEEN-WAH). Quinoa is actually a seed, but is very much like a grain.  Unlike grains, quinoa is a complete protein (it contains all nine essential amino acids) and is also packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.  It really is a SUPER food! My kids love mac and cheese (I do too :) ) Why not try Quinoa “Mac” and Cheese and put them in Tomato bowls?

Quinoa “Mac” and Cheese with Spinach in Broiled Tomato Bowls

adapted from allrecipes


  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 2 tablespoons pignoli nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/2 juice of fresh lemon
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese of your choice, I used parmesan and asiago blend
  • 4 organic beef steak tomatoes, top 1 inch sliced off, pulp and seeds scooped out


  1. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the quinoa, and cook until the quinoa is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain in a mesh strainer, and rinse until cold; set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, stir in pignoli nuts, and cook until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic, and cook until the garlic softens , about 2 minutes. Stir in the quinoa and spinach; cook and stir until the quinoa is hot, and the spinach has wilted. Stir in the lemon juice, and  the cheese.       
  3. Meanwhile place tomatoes in a baking dish and place sliced top back on top of the tomato.  Place in broiler for 5 minutes until softens slightly but still remains intact.
  4. Take tomatoes out and place the quinoa mixture inside the tomato, like a bowl.  The juices of the tomato combine with the quinoa mixture and taste delicious! ENJOY!! 

Nutrition Facts:
Serving Size 1 tomato bowl with quinoa blend
Amount Per Serving
Calories 155    

Calories from Fat 81  (4 WW Points per serving)
Total Fat 9.0g
Saturated Fat 1.6g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 5mg
Sodium 82mg
Total Carbohydrates 14.8g
Dietary Fiber 2.1g
Sugars 4.2g
Protein 5.3g

*Nutrition information provided by, not 100% guaranteed accurate


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  2. Thanks for having me Carrie!! :)

    1. Thank you, I love this recipe and can't wait to try it! xo

  3. Sounds delicious! Carrie, I'm so envious. Will you tell us about your travels when you return?

    1. I can't wait to try this myself! Yes, I'll be posting about my travels as soon as I can get myself organized! :)


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