Tag Archives: quinoa

What’s for Dinner Wednesday: Creamy Chicken Quinoa and Broccoli Casserole

8 Apr
This was a nice change from traditional casseroles, thanks to Pinch of Yum!

This was a nice change from traditional casseroles, thanks to Pinch of Yum!

We have been loving the addition of quinoa to our menu planning ever since Caroline and I had it at the Kids’ State Dinner in 2012 as one of the menu items at our White House luncheon. We’ve used it in all kinds of dishes, and we’ve made the White House menu item the most.

However, recently I tried it in a casserole, thanks to the website PinchofYum.com. Her Creamy Chicken Quinoa and Broccoli Casserole came across my virtual desk at one point and I decided to give it a try.

I’m so glad I did!

The recipe was delicious and it was a great deviation from some of our regular casserole dishes.

We had all of the ingredients, including the bacon. She said in her recipe that any type of cheese would work, so we used shredded cheddar.

I hope you’ll give Pinch of Yum’s recipe a try! I have it below, and I’ve linked to her site above also. I encourage you to check out the nutrition information and cooking notes that she’s included in her recipe write up. It will give you some tips on how to cook quinoa as well as some cook time information.

PINCH OF YUM
CREAMY CHICKEN QUINOA AND BROCCOLI CASSEROLE

Ingredients
  • 2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk (I used 2%)
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 cups water, divided
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • ¼ cup cooked, crumbled bacon (optional… sort of)
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons seasoning (like Emeril’s Essence or any basic blend you like)
  • ¼ cup shredded Gruyere cheese (any kind will work)
    Instructions
    1. Sauce: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and generously grease a 9×13 baking dish (seriously, be generous because it really really sticks to the sides). Bring the chicken broth and ½ cup milk to a low boil in a saucepan. Whisk the other ½ cup milk with the poultry seasoning and flour; add the mixture to the boiling liquid and whisk until a smooth creamy sauce forms.
    2. Assembly: In a large bowl, mix the sauce from step one, one cup water, quinoa, and bacon and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Slice the chicken breasts into thin strips and lay the chicken breasts strips over the top of the quinoa mixture. Sprinkle with the seasoning. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
    3. Broccoli: While the casserole is in the oven, place the broccoli in boiling water for 1 minute until it turns bright green and then run under cold water. Set aside.
    4. Bake: Remove the casserole from the oven, check the mixture by stirring it around in the pan, and if needed, bake for an additional 10-15 minutes to get the right consistency. When the quinoa and chicken are cooked and the sauce is thickened, add the broccoli and a little bit of water (up to one cup) until the consistency is creamy and smooth and you can stir it up easily in the pan. Top with the cheese and bake for 5 minutes, or just long enough to melt the cheese.

What’s for Dinner Wednesday: Cheesy Quinoa and Broccoli Patties

1 May
Although I had technical difficulties with this recipe, I'm glad I stuck it out, they were delicious!

Although I had technical difficulties with this recipe, I’m glad I stuck it out, they were delicious!

This week I was debating what to post for my What’s For Dinner Wednesday recipe when I came across a new one. I was scrolling through Facebook when I saw a post on Shop Girl for these Cheesy Quinoa and Broccoli Patties.

As always, I looked to see if I had all of the ingredients and I did. I had just cooked up a batch of quinoa the night before, so that was already done, and I had everything else for them.

In the past we have made Zucchini Fritters and even Potato Latkes, and we love them all. I thought this might be similar and I thought my chance for everyone liking them was pretty good too.

The ingredients for this recipe came together very quickly.

The ingredients for this recipe came together very quickly.

I threw the ingredients together pretty quickly, cooking up the onion, and chopping the broccoli. I used wheat bread crumbs, egg substitute and nonfat cheddar cheese in order to keep within our dietary restrictions.

However, when it came time for cooking my patties, I ran into trouble. It wasn’t trouble from the recipe, it was my pan that was not cooperating. It’s not the best pan and on occasion, things will stick. Today was one of those occasions. Each time my patties would get nice and crisp, when I went to turn it over, the layer of crispiness would stay stuck to the pan.

I was tempted to abandon the whole thing, but these really did look and smell good. I didn’t want to let it go. I gave it some thought, and then decided to remove them from the frying pan and olive oil and place them into the oven at 350 degrees and bake them to finish them off. That worked out great.

However, I still had a batch that hadn’t gone into the pan  yet. By now Don had come home, and to my rescue. When I showed him the leftover batter, enough for about five more patties and too much to throw away, he opted to try using our counter top griddle and grill them. Again, it worked out great. Next time, this would be my method of choice to cook them.

I’m glad we kept to it. The recipe was a hit with four out of five of us and there was not even one left over. Don even tried dipping them in Sweet and Sour dipping sauce, which was a great addition.

Tonight as I said goodnight to my oldest daughter, I was shutting off her light on my way out of the room, when she called out to me, “Hey Mom….make those broccoli things again from tonight. They were really good.”

That’s a thumbs up, if I ever heard one.

I encourage you to visit Shop Girl’s blog to see the original post so that you can see what *her* patties looked like, since she didn’t have the technical difficulties I had. Her photos are great and the recipe is a good one. For my family, I doubled it, so we had 12 patties, not six. Additionally, my quinoa was already cooked and cooled, this recipe talks you through cooking it first, and letting it cool. Be sure to rinse your quinoa well before cooking it.

Seemed like all was well when I started out, but my pan did not cooperate with me this evening!

Seemed like all was well when I started out, but my pan did not cooperate with me this evening!

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water
5 large broccoli florets
1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup shredded cheese
1 large egg
Salt and Pepper for seasoning
Olive oil for cooking
DIRECTIONS
1. First, cook your quinoa according to the directions on the packaging. I cooked mine by combining 1/2 cup of quinoa with 1 cup of boiling water, then letting it come to a boil, and simmering, covered for about 15 minutes. Once the quinoa has absorbed all the water (this shouldn’t take longer than 15 minutes), put it on a plate and let it cool completely.
2. Next, saute your diced onion until it’s soft and translucent. Set aside and let cool completely. Cook your broccoli until it has softened a little bit, then let it cool as well. Once the broccoli has cooled completely, dice it into small pieces.
3. Now that you have everything ready, in a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together, leaving the egg until the end. Mix well so you have a smooth, wet mixture that will allow you to make patties that will stick together.
4. Heat some olive oil in a pan, and make your patties. I made each using 1/4 cup of the mixture. Just make a ball out of the mixture, and squash it down a little bit. Cook each patty for about 7 – 8 minutes on each side on medium heat. You want the patty to develop a crust, but not to burn, so watch them carefully. Let cool for a couple of minutes before eating.

Quinoa Muffins

25 Jan
These muffins are hearty, healthy and taste great!

These muffins are hearty, healthy and taste great!

I’ve mentioned previously that I really love getting ideas from Pinterest. I first had quinoa at the White House when I had lunch there for the first Kids’ State Dinner. After that I was hooked on quinoa and I searched for lots of different ways of cooking it.

Today’s recipe was originally a Pinterest recipe for Martha Stewart Quinoa Muffins.

We had to healthify it a little bit. I’ve put the link to the original recipe above, and I’ll make notes to tell you how we changed the recipe to suit our needs.

Everyone in our house likes these muffins. I’ve made them twice now, once following the original recipe back in the fall, and once a few weeks ago with our modifications. If you haven’t cooked with quinoa, I encourage you to try it. I like having another ingredient option for my cooking and baking. The last time I used it, I cooked up a big batch and used some for the muffins, some for a side dish with dinner another night, and some I ate like oatmeal in the mornings for my breakfast. It’s quite the versatile ingredient.

QUINOA MUFFINS
INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, such as safflower, plus more for pan (We used 1/4 cup plain, nonfat yogurt.)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan (We used 1 cup wheat flour, 1 cup white flour.)
  • 3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins (We used craisins for half the batch and chocolate chips for the other half the batch.)
  • 3/4 cup whole milk (We used skim milk.)
  • 1 large egg (We used egg substitute.)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Splitting the batch in half allowed for using both craisins and chocolate chips as filling options.

Splitting the batch in half allowed for using both craisins and chocolate chips as filling options.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, bring quinoa and 1 cup water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cover, and cook until water has been absorbed and quinoa is tender, 11 to 13 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, brush a standard 12-cup muffin pan with oil; (we used fat free nonstick spray) dust with flour, tapping out excess. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, raisins, and 2 cups cooked quinoa; reserve any leftover quinoa for another use.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, milk, egg, and vanilla. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, and stir just until combined; divide batter among prepared muffin cups.
  4. Bake until toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool muffins in pan, 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

What’s for Dinner Wednesday: Quinoa, Black Bean and Corn Salad by Haile Thomas

3 Oct

Quinoa, Black Bean and Corn Salad was on the menu at the Kids’ State Dinner at the White House in August.

Ever since our trip to DC for the Kids’ State Dinner, I’ve had a list a mile long of things I want to make that we either had on the trip or are recipes in the cookbook (free download here) we received from epicurious showing all the recipes from the other winners. One of the things I’d heard about but had never tried til DC was quinoa. It was in one of the dishes we ate at the White House, and it is now today’s recipe.

A few weeks ago I picked some up and I spent some time reading about what it is, how you cook it (has to be rinsed first in most recipes) and what kinds of things you eat it with. Even though I had the recipe for today’s dish, I actually used it first to make muffins, which four out of five of us liked, so you’ll see that at some point in the future too.

Caroline was so excited that we were finally going to try out this recipe, it’s been at the top of her list too!

Last week we tried out Haile Thomas’ recipe. Haile is from Arizona and Caroline and I both loved her dish when we had it in DC. Haile is 11, and the cookbook blurb states that they began experimenting with quinoa when the family gave up eating white rice when her dad learned that he was a diabetic.

“The secret to [the recipe’s] success is that ‘all the kids love it, the ingredients are affordable, it’s easy to make and it’s just plain good,'” Haile’s mom says in her quote. They say it can be served hot or cold and I agree. We had ours as a side dish with quesadillas and again, the same four out of five of us loved it. I guess quinoa is now going on Alex’s Don’t Like List.

Coincidentally, just as I finished typing this, I found out that Haile is featured in this month’s Food and Flourish Magazine. In fact, she’s not only featured on pages 26-31, but she’s ON THE COVER!

If you haven’t tried quinoa before, I highly recommend it. I’m thrilled to have another healthy option for side dishes with our meals and I’m glad so many of my family members love it!

**Any modifications I had to make for this recipe I have put in parentheses. **

Haile’s Quinoa, Black Bean and Corn Salad

Serves 6

I love all of the colors in recipes like this. We definitely “ate a rainbow” with this dish!

INGREDIENTS

2 (15 ounce) cans of organic black beans (ours weren’t organic) drained and rinsed
4 cups fresh corn (we used a bag of frozen, cooked but not hot)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered (I chopped up a large tomato)
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 medium red onion, chopped (I used half, it was large)
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley (I used dried parsley)
2 avocados, pitted, peeled and cut into cubes
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon halved (mine was bad so I used lemon juice instead)
Sea salt

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, combine the black beans, corn, tomatoes, quinoa, cilantro or parsley, red onion, avocados, and olive oil.

Squeeze the lemon halves and add their juice to the bowl.

Toss to combine, then season to taste with salt and serve.

Cook’s note from the Thomas family: To make this dish hot, warm it on the stovetop of in a microwave, or saute all the ingredients together and add the avocados and cilantro or parsley after it’s plated.

This was a perfect side dish for our quesadillas last week!

What’s for Dinner Wednesday: What was for dinner Monday?

23 Aug

Our meal began with Quinoa, Black Bean and Corn Salad. Haile Thomas is 11 years old is from Arizona. Caroline and I devoured this salad and we cannot wait to make it for our family. When we do, I will post the recipe for you.

As you may know, this week my blog posts have been featuring all of the events and details from our two days in Washington DC as participants in the 2012 Kids’ State Dinner.

The winners’ recipes were compiled into a cookbook and each child was given a full-sized color copy of the book in their welcome bag upon arrival on Sunday afternoon. Additionally, we were given two more spiral-bound copies at the dinner itself on Monday. All of the kids used their color copy as a yearbook type of book, and spent

Caroline was so excited to see herself published in this commemorative cookbook, printed just for the 54 winners.

Sunday evening during the Welcome Pizza Party (healthy pizza of course) running around trying to get as many of their new friends’ signatures as possible. Each child would sign the page with their recipe on it, for the others. It was fun to watch them. They also each signed a cookbook for Michelle Obama and for Tanya Steel, the Editor-in-Chief at epicurious.

Our place settings included a menu listing each course and where it was from.

On Monday, our new friend from Kansas, Rori Coyne, found out from White House Chef Sam Kass that her recipe, Yummy Cabbage Sloppy Joes, was going to be the featured main dish at the luncheon. She was beyond excited.

Sure enough, when we got to our seats our menu was front and center with Rori’s recipe as the main dish. We were so excited and couldn’t wait to try it out. We were not disappointed. Rori’s Sloppy Joes were amazing. She did tell us later on that it was slightly different than the way she makes it, that hers has more of a chunky vegetable consistency. Either way, they were fabulous.

So today, for my What’s for Dinner Wednesday post, I am going to share Rori and her mom Mary’s recipe for Yummy Cabbage Sloppy Joes. I would definitely make them again!

YUMMY CABBAGE SLOPPY JOES

RORI COYNE, AGE 12 KANSAS

Dinner was Rori’s Yummy Cabbage Sloppy Joes with a side of Baked Zucchini Fries from Sydney Brown, age 11, from North Carolina. The fries were awesome and we’ll be making them again as well. When we do I will post that recipe too!

INGREDIENTS

1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium zucchini, shredded or diced
2 ribs of celery, diced
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
1 1/2 cups finely shredded cabbage
1 cup tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 sandwich rolls, split (optional)

We spent just about all of our waking time with Rori Coyne and her mom Mary Wolarik. It was as if we had known them forever and we sad to have to part ways with them on Monday afternoon.

DIRECTIONS

1. In a large skillet, cook the beef until cooked through, about five minutes. Drain the fat from the skillet and reserve the meat on a plate.

2. In the same pan over moderate heat, cook the onion, zucchini, celery, red pepper and cabbage until all the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Add the cooked beef to the pan and stir to combine.

3. In a small bowl, combine the tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, brown sugar, lemon juice, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt and pepper. Pour the sauce into the pan with the beef and vegetables and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 8 minutes.

4. While the sloppy joes are simmering, toast the buns in the oven or toaster oven.

5. Evenly divide the mixture among the toasted bun bottoms, top with the other halves and serve.

Makes 8 servings.

Here is Caroline autographing her Rhode Island page in the cookbook for Michelle Obama on Sunday night at the pizza party.