Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Broccoli-Quinoa Casserole with Chicken and Cheddar

So I must have missed the memo on quinoa.  The whole world seems to love it, but never talks about the price.  Kroger sells 2 kinds.  One is never stocked at $7.49/12 oz, and the other one is always there at $9.99/lb.  We have bought it once a few years ago, but because I scoffed at the price we haven't since. 

But it seems to have gotten more popular and again, no one chats about the price, so I put this casserole on the list.  The price hasn't come down, but I was busy scoffing at the price of a rump roast at $6.99/lb and had already crossed that off my grocery list while shopping that I didn't feel like going to cross this off, put everything back and go get the rump roast.  So quinoa it was.

Basically this is broccoli rice casserole with chicken.  It is pretty good.  I would totally have again, except with rice.  We had with a Caesar Salad.

Broccoli-Quinoa Casserole with Chicken and Cheddar

Photo by ALB
In our updated riff on chicken-rice casserole, whole-grain quinoa stands in for the typical white rice. It's a modern interpretation that still has loads of old-school comfort-food appeal.

Yield: Serves 6 (serving size: 1 1/3 cups)
Hands-on: 20 Minutes
Total: 55 Minutes

1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 1/4 cups water
1 (12-ounce) package microwave-in-bag fresh broccoli florets
Cooking spray
12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup canola mayonnaise
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)

1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil; swirl to coat. Add quinoa; cook 2 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently. Add 1 1/4 cups water; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

2. Preheat oven to 400°.

3. Cook broccoli in microwave according to package directions, reducing cook time to 2 1/2 minutes.

4. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cook 5 minutes or until browned, turning occasionally; remove from pan.

5. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk. Add milk mixture, stock, remaining 3/8 teaspoon salt, and remaining 3/8 teaspoon pepper to pan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently; cook 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Add Parmesan, stirring until cheese melts. Stir in quinoa, broccoli, chicken, and mayonnaise. Spoon mixture into a 2-quart glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with cheddar. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and cheese melts.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 449; Fat: 21.3g; Saturated fat: 6.7g; Monounsaturated fat: 9g; Polyunsaturated fat: 4.5g; Protein: 34g; Carbohydrate: 29g; Fiber: 4g; Cholesterol: 75mg; Iron: 3mg; Sodium: 668mg; Calcium: 333mg

Cooking Light OCTOBER 2014

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