Monday, July 23, 2012

Cheap and Easy Weeknight Dinner Series: Broccoli-Quinoa Casserole

I keep going back and forth in my mind about whether this dish qualifies for this dinner series. It was crazy easy and very cheap, but it did require some baking time, so the "fast" criteria I usually demand didn't really fit. Ultimately the amazing taste and kid-friendly nature of this meal (not to mention vegetarian) won me over because I think so many people would enjoy it. Oddly enough, it tastes very similar to Chicken Divan (a dish I make often, but some how isn't on my blog. I'll have to remedy that). It does have many of the same ingredients, but no curry and no chicken and it is healthier. Even with the bake time, this dinner was such a great meal. Both fiance and I loved it and I will be making this dinner again. I really encourage you all to try this dinner, you won't be disappointed.

Broccoli-Quinoa Casserole
recipe from here

One 10 oz can condensed Cream of Broccoli soup, reduced sodium if available
1/3 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/4 cups reduced fat shredded cheese
1/2 teaspoon Splenda/sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Dash freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups cooked broccoli
1 1/2 cups  COOKED quinoa
Feshly grated Parmesan cheese

To cook quinoa:
3/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt

First, I cooked the quinoa. If you are a long-time reader of the blog, by now you know how to do this step. But if not, put the quinoa, water and salt in a small pot. Bring the water to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and simmer for about 20 minutes. Usually, I set the timer for 15 minutes, stir at about 10, then add a few more minutes to the timer once the buzzer went off. You just want the water to be absorbed.

Meanwhile, steam the broccoli for a few minutes. It won't take more than 4 or 5 minutes at most. You don't want to overcook the broccoli because it will bake as well.
While both of those ingredients are cooking, mix together the mayo, soup, cheddar cheese, splenda, pepper, nutmeg, and milk.
Add the broccoli and quinoa to the sauce and stir. It's ok if both the broccoli and quinoa are hot, because they are going to go right back in the oven.
Spray a baking dish with cooking spray, then pour the mix into the dish.
Cover with some Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges and on the cheese.
Serve up a large piece with your protein or side of choice. Fiance and I have been trying to do at least one vegetarian meal a week, so we had ours with Cuban Black Beans and it was delicious!

4 comments:

  1. This looks delish! I wonder if you could make it with a mayo substitute (avocado?). Also... love that you had it with black beans on the side :)

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    1. Maybe a mix of avocado or yogurt? I think Greek yogurt would be too sour, but maybe plain regular yogurt? Or the vegan mayo made from olive oil? The beans were a perfect side!

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  2. I think you could do this without mayo and just add extra cream of broccoli. That's how I do Chicken Divan (except it's cream of celery). Anyway, it's a delicious dish and in my mind, works as a main or as a side. This will go on the list of repeat dinners for me once our dear blogger is back on the west coast.

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    Replies
    1. As long as it's not lean pockets or chinese food you can put whatever you want in this dish :).

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