Yield: about 8-10 servings

Ingredients

1½ cups quinoa
1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 shallots, diced
2 cups milk (low-fat is fine)
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. dry mustard
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded*
2 cups shredded cooked chicken

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  • step 1: HideShow Images

    Cook the quinoa according to the package directions.  Meanwhile, place the broccoli in a saucepan and add a couple inches of water.  Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.  Let boil just 1-2 minutes more, until the broccoli is crisp-tender.  Drain immediately and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.  Set aside.

  • step 2: HideShow Images

    Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour, shallots, garlic powder, dry mustard and cayenne.  Continue whisking the mixture until it is light golden, about 1-2 minutes.  Slowly whisk in the milk.  Allow the sauce to simmer, stirring frequently, until the mixture bubbles and thickens, about 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat.  Whisk in the cheddar until melted and smooth.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, broccoli florets, shredded cooked chicken and the cheese sauce.  Fold together gently until evenly combined.

  • step 3: HideShow Images

    Transfer the mixture to a lightly greased casserole dish.  Bake until the top is lightly browned, about 20-25 minutes.  Serve warm.

  • step 4: HideShow Images

    *For best results, always use freshly shredded cheese.  Pre-shredded cheese comes coated in things such as flour, cornstarch to prevent clumping and results in an unpleasant, gritty texture when melted.