You may have noticed I love comfort food. Food that makes you think of home, childhood and security. Casseroles are considered comfort food by many people and this one definitely fits the bill for my family.
This casserole began with my sweet friend Carol bringing her overflow of fresh broccoli to the office and telling me to "take a lot." I thought about a few things I could do with it for dinner that night but when I got home I decided that a twist on a classic was in order. Lightening it up using fat free soup, just a touch of mayo and a good amount of spices to liven up the flavor. In the end my family inhaled it and I was lucky to have a small amount to take for lunch the next day.
Although this casserole is easy to throw together if you are looking for something quicker try using broccoli that has already been cut into florets and a rotisserie chicken. You could even use frozen cooked chicken breast if you like.
Broccoli Chicken and Quinoa Casserole
1 can fat free cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup low fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup skin milk
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
a few dashes of pepper
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1-1/4 pounds fresh broccoli florets
2 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken breast
1-1/2 cups dry quinoa, rinsed
3 cups chicken broth
In a small sauce pan bring the chicken broth to a low boil. Stir in the quinoa, cover and cook on low heat about 15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Pour quinoa into a bowl and place in the freezer for about 15 minutes to cool, stirring a few times, until it reaches room temperature.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non stick spray.
In a bowl combine the soup, mayonnaise, milk, curry powder, cumin, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Set bowl with sauce mixture aside. Add the broccoli florets and chicken to the bowl with the cooled quinoa.
Pour sauce mixture over the broccoli mix and stir in 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Mix until well combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.