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Broccoli Quinoa Bake

Broccoli Quinoa BakeI made broccoli quinoa bake as a meatless meal last night.  We loved it, in fact I am already thinking of endless quinoa bake ideas.  Mr.Picky was not around to try it but I think he would tolerate it.  We ate it as a main dish because quinoa is full of protein and we had plenty of broccoli in it.  It would also make a great side dish accompanying any meat really.

Think of it as an easy risotto.  Don’t let the broccoli and quinoa fool you.  We combined both healthy ingredients with some cheese to come up with a family edible solution.

I had inspiration from many recipes I found but I ended up revamping the recipe to my taste.  I made a white sauce by scratch with pulled the whole thing together.  The fat content in other recipes seemed extremely high to me and I reduced that and all turned out well.  Give it a try, it is a great dish to test quinoa out on the family.  I just told them it was rice.

Broccoli Quinoa Bake:

  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • dash salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Tbs cornstarch
  • 1 chicken bullion cube
  • 1 tsp Morton Nature’s Seasoning
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1 cup shredded blended cheese (Colby,cheddar, or mozzarella)
  • 1 green onions,chopped
  • 2 cups broccoli, steamed until tender and chopped
  • 2 Tbs mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbs parmesan cheese, to sprinkle on top

Bring quinoa, water, and dash of salt to a boil.  Cover and reduce the heat to low.  Continue to cook for 15-20 minutes or until the quinoa looks like it has white tails.  Fluffy with a fork and set aside to cool slightly. (You can skip this step and use leftover cooked quinoa about 1 1/2-2 cups worth).

While the quinoa is cooking steam up the broccoli or use frozen and thaw.  Either way coarsely chop the broccoli.

In a saucepan you are going to make a white sauce or base soup to pull the whole dish together.  Combine 1 cup cold milk and 1 Tbs cornstarch.  Whisk until smooth and continue to heat over medium heat.  At this point you can add the chicken bouillon, salt, 1/4 tsp pepper to taste, dash of nutmeg and to season I added Morton Nature’s Seasoning (see link to create your own).  Continue until starting to thicken, make sure and taste your seasoned sauce.

Cream of whatever or white soup.

Cream of whatever or white soup.

(In substitute to the white sauce you could use a can of cream of mushroom, cream or chicken, or cream of celery soup.  You can also add in mushrooms to the white sauce or any other vegetable you desire)

Now to put it all together in a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, cooked broccoli, the white sauce, 1 green onion chopped, shredded cheese, and mayonnaise.  Stir until well combined.

Broccoli Quinoa Bake

Pour into a lightly greased 1 1/2 or 2 quart baking dish.  Spread evenly and sprinkle with 2 Tbs parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes until bubbly and cheese is starting to brown.

Broccoli Quinoa Bake

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Chicken and Wild Rice Quinoa Soup

For the first rain and pure fall day at home this season, soup was on the menu.  Honestly it was purely a concoction of what was in the fridge.  After separating two rotisserie chickens the other day I had two chicken carcasses to be boiled.  After that it was simply what vegetables needed to be used.

The kids both had seconds and enjoyed every bit of vegetables.  Not to mention the smell of roasting chicken throughout the house was mouth-watering.  I decided to use a wild rice/quinoa mix inside the soup as opposed to noodles or dumplings.  It was just as tasty and much healthier.

Chicken and Wild Rice Quinoa Soup:Chicken and Wild Rice/Quinoa Soup

  • About 6 cups water
  • 1-2 chicken carcasses
  • 1 tsp salt
  • dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 cup dry wild rice/quinoa mix or just quinoa
  • 4-6 cups vegetables your choice (I used broccoli,carrots,mushrooms,onions, and celery)

 

If you do not have a chicken carcass just use chicken stock or broth.  Place chicken bones and water in a pot with a lid.  Simmer for about 1 hours.  Remove lid and allow to cool about 1 hour.

Using your hands pick off any pieces of chicken and remove all bones and fat from the pot.

Return your chicken stock and chicken pieces to the stove and turn to a medium heat.  Place all raw vegetables, rice, and seasonings to the pot.  Simmer for about 30-45 minutes until vegetables are tender.  Taste as you go for additional seasonings.

Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Serve steaming hot and enjoy the warmth on a cold day!

Mad Hatter Salad

Mad Hatter Salad

I am renaming this salad to stuff your face, only because you can’t stop eating more.  My mother brought Mad Hatter Salad Recipe – Allrecipes.com to a family gathering and I am hooked.  The only problem is that it makes a ton, so you have to make it for larger gatherings.

Lucky for me we are hosting a birthday and I get to make a bunch of my favorite food.  I did let the kids pick out their favorites as well, it is their birthdays after all.  Many people went up for seconds at the party.  Even though the leftovers were soggy I ate them all up the next day for breakfast.

I have changed the original only slightly, but in a healthier direction.  I did not notice a taste difference, I just reduced the butter amount and changed-up the directions a bit.

Mad Hatter Salad:

  • 1 head of cabbage, shredded
  • 1 head of broccoli florets, cut up
  • 8 green onions, chopped

Crunchy Mix:

  • 2 packages of chicken or oriental top ramen
  • 1 cup slivered almond, optional or served on the side
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup butter

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup oil (grape seed, canola, vegetable, etc.)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce

Combine cabbage, broccoli, and green onions in a  large bowl.

Meanwhile melt butter in a pan and toasted almonds, sunflower seeds, and ramen noodles with one package on seasoning.  If you are keeping the almonds separate I just leave them in a bowl at the side and skip toasting them.

While in a jar combine the dressing ingredients and the other package of seasoning mix, and shake what your mama gave you.

Keep the greens, the crunchy mix, and the dressing separate until just before serving.  Then just toss until coated to serve.Mad Hatter Salad

Roasted Broccoli

Roasted BroccoliRoasting has become all the rage lately.  Roasted cauliflower is my favorite but why not broccoli?  Turned out tender crisp and lots of garlicky flavor.  Mr.Picky even ate some.  I know couldn’t believe it myself.

I will make this dish again.  Not sure it beats my Broccoli with Garlic Butter Sauce but that has an Asian flare that is not easily paired with dishes.  If you like garlic and parmesan then this might strike your fancy.

Roasted Broccoli:

  • 2 lb. of broccoli florets, the small the better
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2-4 Tbs Parmesan Cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a ziplock bag place everything but cheese and shake until evenly coated.

Place on a foil lined sheet pan.  Spread broccoli out evenly.

Bake for about 30 minutes, stirring once or twice.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese the last-minute or two of cooking.

Broccoli with Garlic Butter Sauce

Who loves broccoli, well just about everyone I grew up with.  I have three sisters, and my mom tells people this story all the time.  We used to fight over broccoli and get mad when we thought someone was taking more than their fair share.  Needless to say, I still love broccoli and eat it often.  Mr.Picky well lets just say is not fond, and can’t even handle when I cook it.  So I was on a mission to find a recipe he would at least try.  This was the results, after I modified a recipe off of Allrecipes.com.  Garlic is our friend and even the kids love broccoli this way.

Broccoli with Garlic Butter Sauce:Broccoli with Garlic Butter Sauce

  • 1 1/2 lbs. of broccoli, florets
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 3 Tbs soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs white vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced

Steam broccoli until just tender.

While steaming in a small bowl mix soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, pepper,garlic and  set aside.

Drain and transfer broccoli to a large bowl.

In the pot you just used for broccoli melt butter and add the small bowl of sauce.  Bring to a boil and cook for about a minute.  Pour on top of broccoli, and toss together.

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