Broccoli & Cheddar Quinoa Casserole

Broccoli, cheese, mushrooms and quinoa casserole – yummy, 100% gluten free and so easy to make. Gluten free, full of protein, pumped up with vitamins, try my healthy version of broccoli & cheddar casserole!

Gluten Free Broccoli Cheddar Casserole

Some fun tricks and tips that make this casserole come out so good:

  • Boil the quinoa in water just like pasta (for 12 minutes) and then drain. This keeps the quinoa moist and prevents it from drying, especially when used in a casserole.
  • Use real cheddar cheese or full fat cheese. Lowfat cheeses don’t melt as nicely and can burn. Avoid very hard cheeses, like Parmesan  they also tend to burn easily when baked.

Broccoli & Cheddar Quinoa Casserole
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb broccoli
  • 1.5 cups quinoa
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • ½ medium onion
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup cream
  • 3 tbsp butter
Instructions
  1. In two large pots, boil water. Once the water is boiling, put the quinoa in one and a steamer with broccoli in the other.
  2. While your quinoa is cooking (set a timer for 12 minutes), heat the butter in a saucepan.
  3. Dice ½ an onion, slice your mushrooms and add them to the butter and cook until the onions are browned. Add more butter if the pan starts browning.
  4. Add 1 cup cream to the onions and mushrooms, stir and remove from heat.
  5. When your time goes off (12 minutes), drain the quinoa, turn the heat off on the broccoli.
  6. Grease a medium glass baking pan with butter.
  7. Put the broccoli into the glass pan and chop up a bit until the pieces are no larger than 1".
  8. Pour the creamy onion & mushroom mix into the pan and stir.
  9. Add the drained quinoa and mix well with ½ cup of shredded cheddar.
  10. Cover the mixture with the remaining ½ cup of cheddar and bake at 250F for 10 minutes or until the top is browned.
Notes
Serves 8 as a side dish or 4 as a main dish.

 

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Quick and Healthy Side Dish: Roasted Veggies

Time, time, time . . . cooking takes time and you have none, right? This recipe, I’m here to show you, is one example of how you can have a healthy side dish in less time that it takes to decide what kind of toppings you want on a pizza. It’s great for those leftover nights where the leftovers are a bit too skimpy to make a main meal. If you don’t know how to roast veggies, you’re going to learn now!

Ingredients: Whatever veggies you have.

Instructions: Cut up veggies, douse them in olive oil, and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Bake for 375 or more depending on how quick you want them done and if you’re going to keep an eye on them. When they start to brown, they’re roasted! You can roast them at up to 500 degrees and still get good results, just keep in mind they can burn quicker.

Baked Veggies

 

10 minutes (about) in a hot oven and your healthy side dish is done!
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Spicy Broccoli with Mushrooms and Carrots

Broccoli is one of the tastiest vegetables if you cook it right.  The key to broccoli is flavor. In this recipe, I use aromatic spices, Sriacha sauce and the unami of mushrooms to make a delicious and healthy dish.  I added the walnuts for a bit of bitterness and because walnuts are healthy!

The finished product!
The finished product!

Spicy Broccoli with Mushrooms and Carrots

Ingredients:

Spices: 1 pinch of cumin/to taste, 1 tsp cardamom

Sriracha sauce to taste

Natural gray salt, fresh ground pepper

Broccoli

1 Carrot

1 Shallot (or more if it’s really small)

Coconut Oil

Walnuts

Instructions:

If you're on a raw diet - season and eat it now:)
If you’re on a raw diet – season and eat it now:)

Heat the coconut oil.  Dice the shallot semi-fine and put it into the oil.  Slowly mix the broccoli into the mix and cover it with a bit of oil and then stir in more.  Cut the mushrooms into 1/2 inch pieces and add them once the broccoli has started to cook.  Cook until the broccoli is cooked to your liking.  I like mine about half cooked:)

If you like broccoli very lightly cooked, take it out when it looks like this!
If you like broccoli very lightly cooked, take it out when it looks like this!

Walnuts TIP: Walnuts are one of my favorite nuts.  They’re so darn healthy and so tasty.  Walnut nutrition is here.

Sesame Broccoli Portobello Stir Fry

Broccoli CAN be tasty when you dress it up right.  This simple recipe does the trick in the healthy way.  Mushrooms are good for you, but did you know they have been shown in lab studies to lower cholesterol and mediate the effects of saturated fats?  You probably know about sesame seeds, you might not have tried black sesame seeds – and you definitely should since they’ve been shown to lower blood pressure.  Walnuts have been attributed to slowing cancer growth and improving overall health factors, like blood pressure.  And broccoli – not only does it prevent cancer it’s healthy (see nutrition info. after the recipe)!

Sesame Broccoli Portobello

Ingredients:

4 Tbs Coconut Oil

2 Tbs Sesame Oil

Raw Broccoli

Raw Mushrooms

Raw, Unsalted, Unroasted Walnuts

Black Sesame Seeds

Shallots (or white/red onion)

Instructions:

In a saucepan, heat the oil.  While it is heating, dice the shallot very small and put into the pan once the oil is hot (low-medium heat).  Don’t worry about uniformity, we’ll be browning them and caramelizing them.

When your shallots are getting started, get chopping on your mushrooms and broccoli.  Cut into 1″ pieces.  When the shallots are still white, put the broccoli in.  Keep stirring and put the mushrooms in when the shallots are translucent.  Now add the 2 Tbs of sesame oil – if it seems like there is not enough oil, you can add more sesame oil and/or add more coconut oil.  Stir for a few minutes and watch to make sure nothing is burning.  If it seems like it’s burning or the oil is smoking, turn down the flame.  When the broccoli is starting to be cooked, add the black sesame seeds to taste and stir.  The picture below could be done for some, for me I kept cooking a bit more until the mushrooms shrunk a little.

Broccoli Nutrition (1 cup)

60 calories.  No fat.  Nearly no sodium.

12 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 2 g sugars and 2 g of protein.

Vitamin A – 48% daily needs

Vitamin C – 168% daily needs

Calcium – 6% daily needs

Iron – 6% daily needs

Stir Fry TIP: Sneak in leftovers.  For a bit of protein, I diced up and added 4-day old chicken that was a bit too dry and not so tasty.  I barely noticed it, but I’m sure my body appreciated the protein!

Old Bay Broccoli Side

I left Baltimore long ago and there are very few things I miss aside from friends, family & food.  One thing that helps is always having my Old Bay with me.  Nothing tastes like home more than Old Bay!  Maybe it’s just me, but it makes everything taste better:)

If there is one food people complain isn’t tasty, it’s broccoli.  Here is one way I’ve made broccoli drool-worthy – Old Bay.

 

Ingredients:

Steamed Broccoli

Old Bay

Real Cheese

Instructions:

Steam your broccoli. Grate cheese over the still hot broccoli.  I like Manchego cheese, but will buy what’s on sale.  Use whatever cheese you want as long as it is fresh and freshly grated!  Once the cheese is on, gently sprinkle on the magic Old Bay.  Enjoy!  The better your cheese, the better it will taste.  Don’t even try this with sliced or pre shred.

Notes: You can use frozen broccoli, but heat it slowly so you don’t cook it too much.