Healthy twist on the broccoli cheddar casserole childhood favorite with broccoli, cheddar cheese, Greek yogurt and quinoa.
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.
- 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.
Add 1 cup chopped roasted chicken pieces to the mixture and bake. The baking time shouldn’t be affected.
- 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)
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
- 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.
- 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.
- Steam the broccoli in a medium pot until tender, about 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
- 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.
- 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.