I love chicken! Actually, I love chicken breasts. I never did care much for the dark meat of any kind of poultry. When I was young, I didn’t like chicken at all. One day my aunt Grace made it and gave me the breast and I’ve been a huge fan ever since. Who would have thought that having a piece of breast over a drum stick would have made such a difference and would have taken me from not liking it at all to having it be one of my favorite kinds of meat?
When we moved to the mountains we knew that we were going to be too far away from town to just run in and pick up something from the store. For that reason, we knew that it was going to be important to have food items that we could store on our shelves. I have a large enough refrigerator that has a good sized freezer, but there’s only so much room to store ample food to provide most of what we need. So, when we moved here, I discovered canned chicken!
Canned chicken you’re thinking? I thought it sounded kind of yucky when I first saw it, but it’s actually pretty good! It’s all white meat and it has a nice flavor. It’s easy to use in casseroles and also for chicken salad sandwiches. Also, it’s pretty inexpensive compared to other meats. I find myself using canned chicken somewhat frequently.
Tonight I wanted to make something using quinoa, chicken and broccoli. I also needed to make sure that I would have leftovers for my lunches at work. I thought about it for awhile and came up with an idea for a casserole that I thought sounded good. I planned for it to be low calorie, low cholesterol, and low fat. When you make it with skim milk, lowfat cheese, and low fat sour cream, it’s pretty healthy. Based on eight servings, each serving has 360 calories, 4% daily serving saturated fat, and 17.5% of your daily cholesterol. I hope you like it!
For this recipe you’ll need 1 1/2 cups quinoa, 2 12 ounce cans cooked chicken, 1 Tablespoon chicken bouliion, 3 1/4 chicken broth/water, 4 cups broccoli, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup canola oil, 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, 2 cups low skim milk, 1/2 cup low fat sour cream, 2 cups low fat cheese such as Mexican blend or cheddar, pepper to taste.
Pour 1 1/2 cups quinoa into a pan with 3 1/4 cups water/chicken broth (liquid from 2 cans cooked chicken plus water). Add 1 Tablespoon chicken boullion. Cover and bring to boil, reduce heat, and cook until done (about 15-20 minutes). You’ll notice that there are little “tails” that come off the quinoa when it’s done.
While the quinoa is cooking, cut about 4 cups broccoli into bite sized pieces. Steam for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Pour 1/4 cup oil into a skillet. I use canola oil, but you can use any kind you want. I used to always use real butter, but I’m trying to cut cholesterol and saturated fat from our meals, so no butter tonight. Add 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (trying to stay away from white flour, but you can use it if you don’t have whole wheat). Mix well while heating. Add 2 cups skim milk, stirring constantly to blend well. Continue heating and stirring until it thickens. Add the 2 cans of drained chicken along with 1/2 cup sour cream, 2 cups lowfat cheese, such as cheddar or mexican blend. Stir well. Add broccoli that has been drained, quinoa, and 2 well beaten eggs. The quinoa may be a little liquidy, which is part of the plan. Don’t worry about it, just add it. You can also add onions, garlic, cooked carrots, or whatever else sounds good if you desire.
Mix everything well and pour into a greased 13 x 9″ casserole dish. Cover lightly and bake for 45 minutes at 350*. Sprinkle a little cheese on top during the last few minutes. Serve and enjoy!