We’re Not Breaking Any Space-Time New Ground Here: Quinoa and Broccoli Casserole

17 Jan

Now let me preface the following post with a statement: this dish is very good. I enjoyed it, and look forward to eating its leftovers tonight. However…it leaves the palate wanting. I’ll explain more, but first: to the beginning!

I have a delightful raw beet and quinoa recipe I snagged from Ancient Grains for Modern Meals by Maria Speck which I planned to make this week. However, it was a dry and cold day, and I didn’t want fresh fiber-y vegetables, I wanted something that was slow cooked, with the possibility of a cheese addition. That was when I came across this:

Broccoli-Quinoa Casserole from Eating Well Living Thin (I swear I didn’t mean to make it to a dieting site, I found it on Pinterest)

Hey, I’m getting Quinoa for my other dish, so why not make 2 Quinoa dishes in one week. It’s so crazy…it may just work. For those of you who haven’t had Quinoa before: it’s like lighter Cous Cous, and it’s packed with protein. And it’s fun to say. So I stopped at the Food Co-Op on my way home from work because I like their bulk section, and grabbed some {organic} broccoli and Qunioa (among other items that I forgot at my Meijer trip earlier in the week). Well…apparently I didn’t see how much the {organic} broccoli cost per lb, and I must have grabbed, I don’t know, 15 lbs (or so it seemed), because when I left, I thought the bill was high, and upon further inspection, realized that I spent $7 on broccoli! (breathing into a paper bag)

I stopped dead in my tracks on the sidewalk and starred at my receipt. What is the protocol for returns? Store credit. Ahhh, tricky, since I usually lose those pieces of paper denoting my credit due. After what seemed like hours, I decided to just continue to my car, and try to convince myself that cooking at home is saving so much more than eating out at a restaurant, so the $7 was totally worth it–oh my god, $7 broccoli. I was able to sidestep with issue with the cauliflower…but not the scallops. IT’S THE SCALLOPS ALL OVER AGAIN!

I wish I even cared that it was organic. Hey, pump me full of pesticides in order to save $5, I welcome it. (sidenote: just bringing this up again is making all those standing-outside-of-the-food-co-op-on-the-sidewalk-looking-at-the-receipt feelings come back)

But we solider on. I was going to make the hell out of this (now expensive) Quinoa casserole!

BroccoliDevil

Like how I gave it an authentic mustache? El Diablo. However I must admit that after I chopped it up, when I tried the pieces of stem they were much sweeter than other broccoli stem chunks I’ve had in the past. Not an extra $5 sweeter..but hey, small victories…

BroccoliChopDiablo

I boiled the chopped broccoli for about 5 minutes to soften it a bit, and then drained. I decided to add some chopped mushrooms to the mix since what’s not to like when it comes to mushrooms in casserole?

BroccoliMushroom

And now we add everything else to make a casserole: cream of {whatever} soup (I used celery for a reason I’m still not sure why, because, you know, celery has SO much flavor), cheese, splash of milk, some mayo (that was new for me), cooked quinoa, pinch of sugar, pinch of nutmeg, salt, pepper. Put it all in a casserole dish, top with parmesan cheese, bake. Go for run, come back, pull out of the oven.

Baked

Awwww yeahhh. Warm Quinoa-y goodness.

NowEnteringFlavorCountry

Now, back to what I was saying in the beginning. This is a tasty dish, but it one-dimensional. There is no layering of flavors, there is no sour/savory/sweet/bitter/anything contrast. The only spice in it is nutmeg, which doesn’t really come out all that much. Again, very tasty. I wish I was sick because I would enjoy the hell out of a big bowl of this. Looking back, perhaps some lemon, or seasoned chicken would be a nice addition. But in any case, swapping pasta or anything else that goes into a bake/casserole I would 100% recommend using Quinoa because it’s just a stand up grain.

I’ve always debated reprinting the recipe here, since ultimately I want people to go to the original site for instructions to give the proper author credit, but I’m going to throw caution to the wind:

Adapted from: Broccoli-Quinoa Casserole from Eating Well Living Thin

  • Expensive Organic Broccoli (2 small stems or 1 big one, yielding about 3 cups chopped)
  • Chopped Mushrooms (1 cup)
  • 1.5 C Cooked Quinoa (3/4 C dry, boil with 1.5 C water for about 18 min with lid on)
  • Can of Condensed ____ Soup
  • Splash’o Milk
  • 1 Cup Shredded Cheese
  • 2 Tbs Mayo
  • 1/2 tsp (pinch) Sugar
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)
  • Parmesan
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Chop broccoli. Boil 5 min or until more tender. Meanwhile cook Quinoa.
  3. Mix everything but the parmesan together and put in casserole dish. Top with Parmesan.
  4. Bake with lid on for 40 minutes.
  5. Take lid off, bake additional 10 minutes to get nice crispness.
  6. Take out of oven, start photo shoot (omgjk)
  7. Enjoy.
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