before i make a formal social media announcement about the streamlining of my cooking blog with craft blogging, i figured i’d better eek out a recipe to maintain the attention of my foodie followers. what better way to introduce cooking on this blog than with a dish that happily encompasses everything i aimed to accomplish at beans n greens, not to mention what i always strive to achieve at home: fast, easy, tasty for adults and kids, and affordable. so, if you’re asking yourself “what’s for dinner” (or lunch, or breakfast), look no further.
newsflash. broccoli loves cheese. i imagine it’s difficult for brocolli to live without cheese in day to day life. but before you toss your broc into a pot of melted velveeta and call it soup, consider this equally delicious, but far more nutritious option. i adore few things more than narrowly evading a panic attack as i stare at my empty fridge and pantry by throwing a few odds and ends together into something that occasionally turns out magnificently. cheesy broccoli quinoa is one of those home runs. tons of protein and fiber from the quinoa, vitamins and antioxidants from the broccoli, all melded together with gooey melted cheese and a hint of silky butter. no wonder we all love it.
a few notes worth mentioning. if you don’t have quinoa, you can substitute any grain. we buy it in bulk, so it’s always in the pantry and is a nutrition powerhouse in a way that surpasses any other grain. additionally, it cooks in 15 minutes–very fast for a whole grain. i find that vegetable stock really adds depth of flavor to this dish, but i have made it with water and it’s still very good. we do enjoy this right off the stove, no strings attached. but we’ve been known to revamp the leftovers by scrambling it into some eggs, or with a fried egg on top and a squirt of sriracha for the grownups (because truly, what grain dish does that not elevate?).
if you have 17 minutes and these 5 ingredients, you’re in for a treat. this recipe is all about proportions, so feel free to exercise your multiplication skills and eat well all week long.
cheesy broccoli quinoa, serves 6 adults
- 16 oz frozen broccoli florets, or 2 large heads fresh cut into florets
- 2 cups quinoa
- 3 cups vegetable stock (we use imagine organic low sodium–lots of salt in stocks, so beware!) or water. if your quinoa package suggests a different liquid ratio, i’d probably listen.
- 2 T butter
- 2 cups shredded cheese
- put the quinoa and stock in a pot, bring to a boil, cover and leave at a simmer for 15 minutes. set a timer and forget about it. this is why i love cooking quinoa. i turn off the heat after the timer goes off, but leave the lid on until i’m ready to use it, and it gets a little more cooked in those few minutes.
- if using fresh broccoli, add it to the pot of quinoa along with the water and it will cook with the grain. typically, boiling vegetables will elach the nutrients, but in this case, it leaches into what you’re eating anyway. win-win!
- if using frozen, cook according to package instructions. i microwave it so it’s tender and then chop it pretty fine for the toddler mouths before adding it to the dish.
- when quinoa is done cooking, add broccoli (if using frozen), butter, and cheese to pot. stir it all together until the cheese is melted and stretchy and delectable.
- eat it and know you are being kind to your tastebuds and your body. if you have a lemon laying around, a squeeze of that never hurt anyone. unless it went in their eye. enjoy!