I am becoming a HUGE fan of quinoa. It’s versatile, yummy and so very easy to cook. It’s also a powerhouse of a little grain. Packed full of protein and fiber and low in bad-for-you carbs, fat and sugar, it has a little crunch to it so it’s easy to use just about wherever you would normally use pasta or rice. Got migraines or cardiovascular issues? Due to its high magnesium level, adding quinoa to your diet can help reduce the number of migraines and keep your ticker pumping like it oughta.
Subbing quinoa for rice in the standard broccoli rice casserole makes for one dreamy, creamy, healthy side dish. Add some diced cooked chicken and you’ve got yourself a complete meal, no expand-a-pants needed.
Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Casserole
2 cups cooked broccoli, chopped into bite-size pieces*
1 ½ cups cooked quinoa
1 ½ cups Healthified Béchamel sauce (or 1 can Campbell’s Healthy Request Cream of Broccoli Soup + ½ can of 2% milk, combined)
1 cup reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese
¼ cup whole wheat breadcrumbs, regular or panko
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup quinoa
1½ cups water
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a medium saucepan combine the quinoa, water and a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to low and cover, cooking for 20 minutes, or until fluffy but still al dente. You’ll be able to see the little white tail when it’s fully cooked.
Place the quinoa in a large bowl, fluff it with a fork and add the béchamel sauce or soup mixture, broccoli and ¾ cup of the shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper, adjusting seasonings to taste.
Combine breadcrumbs and the remaining ¼ cup of shredded cheese in a small bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Mix well.
Coat a shallow baking dish, or individual ramekins, with nonstick spray and spoon in mixture. Sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture, place on a sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
*I prefer to steam my broccoli and I actually do it in a steam pan over the quinoa as it cooks. That way any broccoli flavor doesn’t get lost, it goes into the quinoa.