Broccoli Cheddar Casserole

Like I’ve said before, I’m a sucker for unhealthy food, with a desire to be healthy. Finding healthy foods, that are simple and that I can cook sometimes makes life challenging. But I am excited for crock pot season to start. This casserole is healthier than what most likely first popped into your mind.

I started by cooking the quinoa earlier in the day at work. Qunioa adds protein and more natural carbs than rice does. (This is traditionally made with rice.) I only had tri-colored, but I don’t believe this changes the flavor.

Quinoa

Quinoa

If all was right with the world, I would have been able to make a “cream of anything” soup. However, when I cook, I tend to eat later than I’d like, so to add an extra step is not ideal. Someday I will be able to do this, but to use cream of broccoli soup on a rare occasion is not my worst dietary habit (IMO). I combined the soup, mayo, nutmeg, cheese, Truvia (that’s what I have, not Splenda) and milk. I only have soy milk now, because it does not spike my blood sugar like cow’s milk does. I decided not to add pepper. I have a cheap pepper mill, which does not grind it very well. I end up with giant chunks of pepper, and for someone who is not the biggest fan of pepper, this can definitely ruin a lot of bites of a meal.

Freshly shredded cheddar cheese

Freshly shredded cheddar cheese

Soup Mix

Soup Mix

I bought frozen broccoli, so cooked that in the microwave, then added it to the soup mix with the quinoa. I would love to be able to use fresh broccoli, but I didn’t think of it during the day when I could’ve cooked it.

Broccoli

Broccoli

I put it all together in my pan, then added more shredded cheese to the top.

Ready to be cooked

Ready to be cooked

After cooking for 35 minutes

After cooking for 35 minutes

Avocado Chicken Enchilada Dip

Once again, my recipe is coming from Pinterest; I know you’re surprised. I cooked with tortillas once before, but I don’t use them a lot, so they end up going to waste. I still wanted to try this recipe because it combines so many things that I love.

Enchilada Dip - Briley style

Enchilada Dip – Briley style

I am going to warn you, this was not my favorite recipe. It tasted good, but the consistency was a little off. I think that has to do with cooking everything in the same place, rather than the ingredients. It is a recipe I want to try again, but in a kitchen. I started by cooking the chicken in coconut oil. I bought it for another citrus flavored recipe, and I think it’s healthier than other fats. However, it creates a lot of extra liquid when cooking chicken.

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil

I did not have garlic, so I warmed the butter and then added the flour. Keep in mind there was still some coconut oil in the pan. I cooked the flour, then added the chicken broth mix.

Chicken broth, cumin, salt & pepper

Chicken broth, cumin, salt & pepper

I added the sour cream to the chicken broth & flour mixture. I only had black bean salsa, and wasn’t sure how it would taste in this recipe, so I didn’t use salsa or cilantro (this seems to be one of the hardest things to find in the grocery store). I also couldn’t remove it from heat, but I did turn the heat off. I left the sauce where it was in the pan, then added the chicken and avocado. I stirred that together, then added the shredded cheese to the top.

Chicken, avocado & cheese added to the sauce

Chicken, avocado & cheese added to the sauce

I baked until the cheese was bubbling and then I used tortilla chips for dipping. Like I said before, the consistency was off. Maybe I’ll be able to experiment and find a recipe with the chicken, avocado & cheese, but without a flour based sauce. I think that is what made the consistency not something I enjoyed.

Cooked and bubbly

Cooked and bubbly

Chips and dip

Chips and dip