Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Champion Performance Recipe of the Week - An update to a classic!

I came across a recipe a couple weeks ago, I think it was on Pinterest, and I saved it for experimentation. On the surface, it looked like a simple updated classic and I was intrigued. I gathered my ingredients and set out to do something that's nearly impossible for me... follow someone else's recipe, lol. I did. And when I was done cooking I'd already come up with several ways to make the process faster, lol. Taste testing ensued and while the finished product is sufficiently cheesy to make it feel like a treat, the flavors were, well, bland. No disrespect intended, but around here flavors are required to be bold. We tossed on some hot sauce and ate while I mulled over the tweaks I'd incorporate.

And tweak, I did (tweak not twirk, mind you, lol). Below is the recipe updated to my full-flavor and time-saving specs ;-) but you can find the original right here. She's got some really great and fun looking recipes and I encourage you to explore her site. With my changes, this tasty recipe fits into my early competition prep diet and busy schedule. If you're in a later (cutting) phase, just bookmark this one for later because trust me, you're going to enjoy it! My husband has a strong dislike of quinoa, and he LOVED this!

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole
yield 8 servings
photo source: http://damndelicious.net/

On your food prep day, prepare... (recipes are linked)

Gather these prepped items and store together in your fridge until you're ready to make the casserole.

Ready to cook? Now that you've got the key ingredients ready, this comes together in a snap!

previously prepared:
   Diced, cooked Buttermilk chicken
   2 cups cooked quinoa
   1 head chopped broccoli in steamer bag
Cooking spray oil, olive oil
1/3 cup Panko, Gluten-Free
1/4 tsp sea-salt
1/4 tsp Pepper, White
1/2 tsp Paprika, Smoked (you won't get the same flavor if you use regular paprika, get the smoked)
sprinkle up to 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper-Ground depending on your heat tolerance
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp Multipurpose Flour, Gluten Free
2 cups milk, 2% (note: unsweetened plain almond milk can be subbed)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup plain 0% Greek Yogurt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 9x13 baking dish with spray oil (or use a deep, large cast iron skillet, no spray oil)
Steam broccoli lightly, about 1.5-2 minutes (you want it softened but not mushy)
Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat (if you're using a cast iron skillet, this will be the same one to go in the oven, so be sure it's large and deep)
Whisk in gluten free flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. It'll be clumpy.
Gradually whisk in milk and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes
Stir in broccoli, quinoa, chicken, 1 cup cheese, sea-salt, white pepper, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and greek yogurt
Spread mixture into prepared baking dish (or if using cast iron, skip to next step)
Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and gluten free panko crumbs
Place in oven and bake until heated through and cheese is melted. Panko should become lightly golden.

per serving: 403 calories, 33 grams protein, 28 grams carbs, 18 grams fat, 4 grams fiber, 376 mg sodium. Net carbs 24 grams.
photo source: http://damndelicious.net/

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