Everythang’s betta with chedda.
When I was little, my mom used to make this amazing chicken and broccoli casserole. The star ingredients were broccoli, white rice, chicken (duh), cream of chicken soup and a bit more mayonnaise than she’d like to admit. And guess what? It was freaking fabulous. Creamy, comforting, happy belly goodness.
It was a classic in the dinner rotation, along with a few other favorites that overwhelm me with warm nostalgia. I have vivid memories of eating stuffed peppers, baked apples, spaghetti and zucchini kugel. Meatloaf, fajitas, chicken paprikash and broccoli and cheese squares. Oh and cream cheese cookies, apple cake and chocolate chip banana bread. The main dish was always something with meat, but we always had fresh veggies on the side with some kind of crusty bread and a huge fruit salad. My mom was (and still is) amazing in the kitchen. Eating dinner with my brother, sister and parents was something I looked so forward to each night. I’m a firm believer that eating meals together as a family is an integral part of developing good eating habits, bonding as a family and learning to appreciate the importance of a home cooked meal.
But let’s be real. I’m no longer as inclined to eat a big ole plate of chicken, rice and creamy sauce, no matter how much I may miss my mom. These days, my mom runs out to get me prepared vegetarian food from Mustard Seed Market whenever I come home to visit. God bless her heart. To think that she used to serve me meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans and now she’s scurrying to the health food store to get me organic tofu and kale salads. That’s true love.
In lieu of comforting, homey dinners, I was inspired to whip up a healthy rendition of chicken and broccoli yesterday. It’s much healthier but still loaded with flavor. I promise. You can even add more cheese if you feel like getting cray cray.
Here’s to chicken and broccoli casserole loaded not only with saturated fat, but also with laughter, memories, happy bellies and lots of love to pass around the dinner table.
Broccoli Cheddar Quinoa Pie
- ¾ cup dry quinoa
- 1½ cups water
- 3 cups finely chopped broccoli florets (measure after chopping)
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or ¼ cup of nutritional yeast for vegans)
- ¾-1 tsp salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 375F. Spray a 9 inch pie pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- Place quinoa and water in medium pot and bring to a a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until all the water has absorbed.
- While quinoa is cooking, place the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.
- When quinoa is finished cooking, add to the large bowl and stir until throughly mixed.
- Scoop mixture into pie pan and bake for 25 minutes.