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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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Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

Mr.Picky came home excited years ago about Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup he had tried at a close family friends.  I was absolutely shocked because Mr.Picky dislikes soup so much.  He carried in the recipe copied for us and asked me to make it.  We had no mushrooms at the time and I kind of forgot about it the recipe in the box.

With the seasons turning it is now time to go pick wild mushrooms.  Most people find this to be scary because they are worried they will be poisoned.  I trust Mr.Picky and his mushroom skills.  He came home with 3 gallons of chanterelle mushrooms and a few huge lobster mushrooms.

Funny thing is I am in no way picky mushrooms is one of two foods I do not care for.  Most of the time I do not want to inflict my tastes on the kids so I suck it up and eat them.  We dried what we didn’t eat fresh the first day or in the soup, so now we can enjoy them throughout the rest of the year.

Back to the soup.  Once I sat down and read the recipe I realized why Mr.Picky liked it. Bacon, burger, and mushrooms are some of his favorite foods.  I made the recipe according to the directions as it was my first time.  I will probably take out the mushroom soup and make it by scratch next time.  Although this was really good and with a thick and creamy texture.  I also didn’t have just wild rice but I used a wild rice and quinoa mixture that worked well.

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup:

Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

 

  • 1/2 lbs. bacon (browned drained and chopped)
  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef, browned drained and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup wild rice (can use brown)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 stalks celery,chopped
  • 2/3 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cans beef broth
  • 1 cup dried mushrooms or fresh, chopped
  • 3 (10 3/4 oz.) cans cream of mushroom soup
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper

Rinse rice in cold water until clear. Boil rice in 2 cups of water and simmer 15 min.

Saute veggies until onions are clear.

In 4 quart pan put cans of broth and cream of mushroom soup mix and heat until combined. Add remaining ingredients and season to taste with Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper.

Simmer 1 hour, serve hot with some great crusty bread to dip.

I ate half the bowl before I remembered to take a picture.

I ate half the bowl before I remembered to take a picture.

 

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!

Baked Chicken Quinoa Spinach Meatballs

I was totally inspired by Baked Turkey Quinoa Spinach Meatballs recipe.  Unfortunately I only had ground chicken and adjusted the seasonings and quantities according.  I was also tight on time so I stuffed the meat into my small muffin pan to make a larger meatball/loaf/muffin.

To me the flavor was great, although I believe it needed a bit more moisture.  Serving it with ketchup was better.  The leftovers are going into some spaghetti which will work better.  By adding an extra egg or a bit of applesauce would probably solve this problem.  If you are serving in a sauce this recipe is probably fine as it is.  Kids both enjoyed these healthy meatballs.

After preparing my spaghetti sauce in the crock pot which cooks all day along with the leftover meatballs it was amazing.  I didn’t feel the need to eat any noodles with it.  We all just had a yummy bowl of meatballs with a tomato sauce which included fresh tomatoes out of our garden.  With a bit of green beans and potatoes on the side we had a well-balanced meal.

Chicken Quinoa Spinach Meatballs:chicken quinoa spinach meatballs

  •  20 oz. ground chicken
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (all I had was quinoa and wild rice mix)
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 Tbs ground flaxseed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup onion, minced
  • 2 Tbs Parmesan cheese
  • dash Worcestershire sauce
  • dash sriracha or hot sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbs Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning

 

Combine all ingredients in a bowl with your hands.  Mix until consistent throughout.

Chicken quinoa spinach meatballs

Either roll into meatballs and place on a foil lined sheet pan or press into muffin tins for mini meatloaf.

chicken quinoa spinach meatballs

Bake at 450 degrees for about 20-30 minutes depending on size of meatball.

Enjoy plain or with sauce!!!

Sweet Dijon Chicken

Sweet Dijon Chicken

I have made this chicken twice now, and have changed the recipe after both times.  Originally it was adapted from a recipe called World’s Best Chicken, I don’t know about the best so I renamed it after adapting it to my liking.  I think it is perfect now and everyone loves it, including Mr.Picky.  This is really a simple dish with a big punch.

We love to eat it with rice or quinoa and lots of vegetables of course.   Not only is this dish delicious but health conscious, and allows for a really well-balanced meal without high fat.   I hope your family enjoys it as much as ours.

Sweet Dijon Chicken:

  • 2 chicken breasts (fillets) or 6 thighs, boneless skinless
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbs maple syrup
  • 1 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • sprinkle of rosemary

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and grease a 9 x 13″ glass baking pan.Sweet Dijon Chicken

Place chicken in prepared pan and season with salt and pepper.

Mix mustard, syrup, and vinegar and pour over chicken.

Cook approximately 20-25 minutes until juices run clear and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees.  Season with rosemary to taste in the last 5 minutes.

Allow the chicken to rest about 10 minutes before serving.  Moist and fork tender chicken in your mouth!!

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