Broccoli Cheddar Casserole with Quinoa

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Healthy twist on the broccoli cheddar casserole childhood favorite with broccoli, cheddar cheese, Greek yogurt and quinoa.

broccoli cheddar quinoa casserole 600 - The Wimpy Vegetarian

A couple of months ago, Chobani reached out and sent a case of plain Greek yogurt (large cartons!) to our home to try. We had to reorganize the refrigerator just to fit them in. But I was thrilled. I start every day with a bowl of yogurt, fruit, granola and chia seeds to power through the morning and early afternoon. I also add yogurt to soups like Persian Yogurt Soup, this Pan-Fried Chickpea Salad with Curried Yogurt, my Farmhouse Strawberry Cake , and a little in my Blueberry Coffee Cake. I use a LOT of yogurt.

I spread the yogurt wealth to a couple friends. We all had the same take on Chobani Greek yogurt – fluffy and smooth with a feeling of luxury without the calories. It’s a little on the tart side of average, but that’s fine with me. It actually makes it a stronger flavor ingredient when baked into a recipe. And I’m switching to Greek yogurt, so the timing was excellent.

I had held out for awhile on this decision. Greek yogurt strains out more of the nutritious whey in yogurt, so I wasn’t sure the Greek style would be as healthy. But when I saw the difference in protein, I made the switch. Since I eat almost no meat and only a little fish, I need to be conscious of my protein, a critical building block our bodies need. I aim for 50 grams protein every day, so the extra 8 grams in Greek yogurt compared to regular yogurt is significant.

I’m currently doing some tastings of the various Greek yogurts out there to latch onto a favorite. I really liked Chobani, but I’m curious — What are some of your favorites?

One of the dishes I made with the Chobani was this updated broccoli and cheddar tart, perfect for a vegetarian dinner – since it’s packed with protein from yogurt, cheese, and quinoa. It’s a grownup healthier version of the familiar gooey childhood favorite topped with Ritz crackers. In this version, mayonnaise is swapped out for yogurt and mixed with curry and cayenne for a warming touch. Heavy cream is replaced by a mere ¼ cup of half and half, and the crackers are nixed completely. Cooked quinoa provides additional protein.

Cook’s Tips

  • If you prefer cooked brown rice in place of quinoa, have at it. If you like a crunchy top, throw on some breadcrumbs sautéed in butter and lemon zest. It’s all good.
  • The type of yogurt used will affect the consistency of the dish. I used Chobani Plain Low-Fat Greek Yogurt and was able to cut the resulting pie into wedges, reminiscent of a quiche. If you prefer a gooey casserole (like my grandchildren), use regular yogurt instead, and serve in an 8-inch x 8-inch casserole dish with a big spoon.
  • For a low-carb approach to this dish, prepare it without the crust.

Wimpy Tips

Add 1 cup chopped roasted chicken pieces to the mixture and bake. The baking time shouldn’t be affected.

Broccoli - Cheddar - Quinoa Tart
Ingredients
  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup water or vegetable broth
  • 1 green onion or scallion
  • 4 cups chopped broccoli (using both the stalk and florets), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar (I used Cabot Vermont Cheddar)
  • 1 cup plain, low fat Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
  • ¼ cup half-and-half
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp curry powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • 1 9-inch deep dish tart shell OR 1 10-inch regular tart shell (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
  2. Rinse the quinoa in a bowl of water, rubbing the seeds between the palms of your hands. Drain, and refill the bowl with fresh water. Repeat the rinse two more times.
  3. Bring the water (or broth) to a simmer over medium-high heat in a medium pot. Slice the green onion into ½-inch pieces, and add to the simmering water, along with the quinoa. Return to a simmer, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer until done, about 15 minutes. The liquid should be completely absorbed. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  4. Steam the broccoli in a medium pot until tender, about 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
  5. Stir the remaining ingredients together in a large bowl until it looks like a smooth batter. Stir in the broccoli and one cup of the cooked quinoa, saving the rest for another use. Pour it all into the tart shell.
  6. Bake on the middle rack for 30 minutes, or until set in the middle.
 

Disclosure: I was not in any way compensated for this post other than the free product mentioned in the article. I was not asked to write this post, and all opinions contained here are my own.

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Comments

  1. says

    I agree with ^ I love the consistency of Fage. But Chobani is definitely a solid love of mine. Other than that, I haven’t really found any Greek yogurts that really stand out in a good way.

    Your broccoli casserole looks so tasty!!
    Erika recently posted..1-2-3 SaladMy Profile

  2. Rebecca says

    One of my teacher friends and I have been trying new recipes and then bringing them to share for lunch. I forwarded this recipe to her (She’s vegetarian; I just don’t particularly like meat.) and said MAKE THIS NEXT WEEK! We had it for lunch yesterday, and it was scrumptious!

    She added some leeks. Oh, my. :) And the curry really makes the dish POP.

    This one is going on my home “rotation” immediately. :)

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