Quinoa Chicken & Broccoli Casserole

This recipe was adapted from Eating RD. If you’ve never had quinoa before, it is an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. Most commonly considered a grain, quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. A cup of quinoa has 127 calories, 2 grams of fat, 23 grams of carbohydrate (which include 2 grams of fiber), and 4.5 grams of protein. It has a pretty similar nutritional profile to brown rice, except it is higher in overall protein content.

Ingredients

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  • 2  tbsp  butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1  medium onion, diced
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  pound shiitake or other mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 tbsp AP flour
  • 3-4 cups skim milk (or you could do 1/2 broth, 1/2 milk)
  • 3-4 heads of broccoli, chopped (I just used a bag of Eat Smart broccoli because it was BOGO at Publix)
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 1-1.5 cups 2% shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2  tsp  salt,
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 2 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped (I just used a rotisserie chicken)

Directions

1. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and cook. Stir in garlic, and cook 1 minute. Add mushrooms, and cook 8 minutes or until softened.

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2. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add flour, and cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute.

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3. Slowly whisk in milk, and cook, whisking constantly until mixture thickens.  Add broccoli and quinoa to cook halfway. 

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4. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in 1/2 cup cheese, seasonings, mushroom mixture and chicken.  Transfer to a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch (4-quart) casserole dish.

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5. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or bake, covered with foil, at 375° for 30 minutes or until bubbly, uncover, sprinkle with the rest of the cheese and brown for 10 minutes.

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I doused it in hot sauce (obviously) and it was delicious. It lasted me for several meals. A great, delicious, and healthy casserole recipe!

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