Day 163 – Quinoa Broccoli Casserole

I have never tried quinoa before. It is a little grain full of protein, apparently from the Andes Mountains. I have heard of it for a while. It is becoming more and more popular. I know that because I heard about it from a friend before I knew about it. Then I decided to look for it at my regular grocery store (Target) and they did not have it. Then I searched for it at another actual grocery store and it was ridiculously expensive. I am a pretty big bargain hunter, so I decided to pass on the quinoa. In recent weeks, I have been hearing about it more and more. Recipes for it pop up on Pinterest. Chefs on TV use it in their cooking. That same friend talks about it still. I knew I had to try this stuff.

I found a recipe for a broccoli casserole that used quinoa instead of rice. I love broccoli casserole with rice, so this should be an interesting change.

As I was shopping in Walmart yesterday, I decided to check its status of quinoa. I was pleasantly surprised to find an actual selection of it. I could get it in a box mix that would make “Rosemary and Garlic Quinoa,” or “Roasted Red Pepper Quinoa.” There were even two selections of plain quinoa. I opted for the one that was cheaper.

I read the recipe at least two whole times, making sure that I had all of the ingredients at home. It wasn’t until I started cooking it tonight that I realized I was supposed to have cream of broccoli or cream of mushroom soup. It turns out that I only had cream of chicken, so that’s what we used.

To prepare the quinoa, you need to rinse it in a fine sieve until the water runs clear. I meant to pick up a sieve at Walmart (I have been meaning to get one), but it slipped my mind. My colander holes are too big and it appeared that if I ran water over it, I would lose a lot of the little grains down the drain. The best option I had was some tulle fabric from my craft bin. I pulled it out and cut some to a small enough size to line my colander. Then I gave it a good wash with some dish soap. It worked out perfectly for an impromptu sieve.

The finished product was quite tasty. I probably could have boiled the quinoa a little longer than I did, but when it was all mixed together, the taste was really good. It made a LOT. I have all but a few scoops of an 8 x 8 pan. I guess I will be eating this everyday this week! Good thing it is tasty!
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Total cost: $2.50

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4 thoughts on “Day 163 – Quinoa Broccoli Casserole

  1. Another recipe I am so glad you tried. I have been trying to convince Mike to try quinoa but he’s a little skeptical especially because of the price, like you said. Maybe I can convince him if I tell him someone I know made this. I saw this the other day and thought it sounded pretty good.

    • I am kind of a picky eater so there was a good chance I would not like it. It has a slightly different flavor than rice but basically the same. Just more protein which I think could make this more of a main course than a side.

  2. I eat quinoa all the time as a main dish because of the high protein. I just throw different veggies and flavorings in. My dad’s girlfriend even made me veg chilli using quinoa when she couldn’t find bulgar wheat at her grocery store. She left it nice and slightly crunchy. It was awesome. Last week I made a mushroom and leek dish with maple syrup and soy flavoring. I’ll have to give this one a try. 🙂 Having fun reading your blog!

    Oh – and Trader Joe’s actually has decently priced quinoa. It’s $4 for a bag, but it makes a TON. But there probably isn’t one near you, huh? :-p You can also find it in bulk at some natural stores for surprisingly good prices.

    • Let me know if you try it and see what you think. It made way too much for me to eat by myself, even with leftovers. I will probably cut the recipe in half next time. I got a decent amount of it at Walmart for less than $3. I am already not too sure what I am going to do with the rest that I have left. I guess I need to get searching for another recipe!

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