Thursday, October 1, 2015

Cheesy Broccoli Rice and Quinoa Casserole

I'm always trying out recipes so that I can get my kids to eat more veggies.  Broccoli is one of the veggies that they DO eat.  I came across this recipe from the cookbook 100 Days of Real Food and thought I'd try it out.  What's not to love about cheese and broccoli?  It's not something my kids have had before, so who knew if they would like it.

I eyeballed a bunch of the ingredients, especially the broccoli.  I wanted to have more broccoli in there than carbs.  I also had a bit of leftover white rice (though the recipe calls for brown rice) and I made some quinoa to supplement the rice to make this more of a full meal rather than a side dish.


1 Cup uncooked brown rice, cooked according to directions
3/4 pound broccoli, roughly chopped (4-5 cups) and steamed for about 5 minutes
2 TBS butter
1/4 Cup diced onion
2 TBS whole-wheat flour
1.5 Cups milk
1.5 Cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (I used medium, so the flavor wouldn't be too strong for the kids)
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp yellow mustard
ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 Cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
Extra virgin olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Combined cooked rice/quinoa and broccoli in large mixing bowl and set aside.
3. Melt butter in saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, until softened. Sprinkle in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, until flour begins to brown but doesn't burn, whisking almost continuously.
4. Whisk in milk, watching for lumps. Sprinkle in cheese, salt, mustard, and pepper and stir until combined. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring until the mixture is like very thick gravy, less than 5 minutes.
5. Pour the cheese sauce over the broccoli and rice. Mix thoroughly and spread evenly in an 8x8 inch baking dish.
6. Sprinkly casserole with breadcrumbs and then drizzle with olive oil to coat the breadcrumbs.
7. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are nicely browned.

I wouldn't say this was a fast dish to prepare.  I already had some cooked broccoli, so that helped.  Again I had some leftover rice, but not enough for what the recipe called for, so I cooked some quinoa.  If you already had some rice to use, that would cut your prep time by quite a bit.

The results?  My kids, especially my older one (he's 5.5 yo), loved it.  He kept saying, "This is sooo yummy" and "Can you pack this for my lunch tomorrow" and "This is so good I want to sleep with it" (Yeah, that last one was strange).  My daughter (3 yo) liked it also, though she was less verbal about it.  Both the adults loved the dish as well, as it's definitely going to be a repeat dish for sure.  Hope you enjoy it!

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