Hello! I’m “back” and excited to be cooking and writing again!
As some of you may know, I GOT MARRIED! On September 19, I married my other half of nine years in a wonderful and fun ceremony surrounded by our friends and family. It truly was a magical day and we were overwhelmed by the support and love we received.
Our guests also gave us many beautiful and generous gifts for our home and new life together. About 80-90% of the gifts we received were kitchen and cooking-related which was TOTALLY fine with my husband and I. Back home and partially unpacked, I’m extremely anxious to get back to trying and creating new recipes in my teensy kitchen.
One of the items I registered for was this gorgeous Le Creuset baking dish! I pictured creating everything from Thanksgiving side dishes to delicious cobblers in this adorable piece and couldn’t wait to use it.
Our honeymoon is in three weeks which means we’re still watching our diet carefully and want to make sure we’re getting plenty of vegetables while reducing processed ingredients. Unfortunately, casseroles are typically full of “cream of” ingredients and items I try to avoid. After some extensive Pinterest digging, I found this delicious-looking casserole from Pinch of Yum (one of my many favorite food blogs).
All of the ingredients are basic and simple. I loved that it included one of my favorite new carbs, quinoa, and seemed to offer some flexibility for variations. My new husband is less-than-enthused about quinoa. When he heard quinoa was going to be in his dinner, he scrunched his nose up and asked if I could make it with rice instead. I finally persuaded him to try it first and if he didn’t like it, I’d make it again with rice.
He. Loved. It.
Totally bumping up the wife status in the teensy kitchen.
Anyway, I didn’t change much about the original recipe but here’s how I made it:
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup milk (I used 1%)
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 4 strips crispy bacon
- 1/3 cup garlic white cheddar shredded
- Lemon pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease pan well.
- Combine chicken broth and 1/2 cup milk in saucepan on medium heat. Stir occasionally until it comes to a slow boil. Mix 1/2 cup milk with flour, parsley, lemon pepper, and salt. Pour into chicken broth and simmer while stirring until it thickens.
- Combine sauce, quinoa, peas, garlic, bacon, and chopped chicken in bowl with 1 cup water and add to casserole dish. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes.
- While casserole is baking, boil broccoli in water for two minutes, rinse with cold water and set aside.
- Check casserole, if chicken and quinoa are not done, cook an additional 10 minutes. When chicken is done, stir in broccoli, top with cheese and bake until cheese is melted.