A Healthy Alternative

There are people out there, you may even know a few, that seem allergic to the idea of healthy food. Try to feed them something with quinoa, kale, avocado, or spirulina, and they shudder or pull a face. And they won’t touch it of course. Oh no. No chance.

Eating healthy has been super important to us since I became pregnant and I’ve done my best to keep it up since our little one was born. Hubby isn’t as allergic to healthy food as some others I know but he isn’t a fan of things like quinoa. I try to sneak the good stuff in where I can, but since he reads this blog, I won’t be giving up my secrets any time soon.

One thing I didn’t have to hide, though, was the quinoa in this Broccoli Quinoa Casserole from Damn Delicious (yes, another one… Hey, she’s huge on Pinterest and I really do love her recipes!). This casserole is actually pretty healthy… Yes it’s got some cheese (ok, a bit more than some), but it uses milk and Greek yoghurt instead of cream, has a good amount of lean chicken and broccoli, and as a bonus it tastes amazing. You can easily halve or double the recipe too.

 

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole
Look at that cheesiness!
 
Let me tell you what I had to change.

Yield:

  • Original Yield: 1 9×13 casserole (8 servings)
  • Actual Yield: 1 9×13 casserole (6 servings… We apparently eat more haha)

Prep Time:

  • Original Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Actual Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time:

  • Original Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Actual Cook Time: 45 minutes (the chicken took me almost 30 minutes instead of 8… More about that later)

Notes or comments from the author:

  • For the chicken, I left the breast as is and followed Chungah’s direction. Maybe my chicken was thicker in the middle than hers (it was quite thick), but after cooking it for 5 minutes a side, it still had a pink centre. I didn’t think to cut it in half until the outside had cooked for another 10 minutes, but if I had done that from the beginning, I think the ‘3-4 minutes per side’ instruction would have been accurate. 
  • Instead of topping the finished casserole with the Panko, I decided to top the cheese with it before popping it in the oven. It mixed a bit with the cheese and gave a nice crunch, if you like that sort of thing.
  • *I found it easiest to cut up the chicken into cubes, season it, and cook it instead of cooking the breasts and chopping them up after. It took 6 minutes to cook the cubed chicken and the flavour was all there.
  • *You could easily make this with precooked/leftover/rotisserie chicken. Skips the cooking and it works just as well!
  • *You don’t have to transfer the casserole to a baking dish, especially if you halve it and/or if you have a big enough oven-proof skillet. I cooked everything in the skillet (except for the quinoa and broccoli), then mixed everything together in this same skillet at the end, topped the casserole with cheese, and popped it in the oven. Saved me from cleaning at least one dish!

Verdict: Success (with modifications)! This recipe was a total success. Hubby loved it, it makes leftovers, it’s pretty healthy, and it was easy (minus my chicken issue) to make. It’s also very comfort-food-y (I’m making that a thing, by the way), which makes it perfect for the cool weather coming in. Ignore the warning labels and try this one at home!

*I updated a few points after making this recipe a second time. It was much easier and just as delicious! Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

** Please note, the recipe for Broccoli Quinoa Casserole is in no way mine. The views and experiences above are mine and not endorsed/influenced by Damn Delicious or any other third party.

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