I’m not sure if it’s a midwestern thing, or maybe just a convenience food thing, but there is a classic cheesy broccoli rice casserole involving a certain processed cheese food that has definitely made the rounds in our area throughout my childhood.  Even as a child who had no qualms about artificial foods, that fake cheese freaked me out a little bit.  However, I did enjoy the final casserole as long as I didn’t think too much about what went into it.  As we continue to pay more attention to where our food comes from and what exactly goes into it, this sort of thing has gone completely out the window and I haven’t made it in over five years.

Recently it occurred to me that I could resurrect that dish with a healthier, whole food spin.  I swapped out the white rice for quinoa and used a delicious homemade cheese sauce in place of the questionable ingredient.  I have to say, I was thrilled with the results.  The dish had the same familiar flavors that reminded me of childhood but I knew that we were actually getting some nutritional value out of it.  Our whole family loved this meal and it made for great leftovers as well.  If your family ever rocked the old version of this casserole, I’d love to hear what you think of this new and improved version.

Note: This recipe was developed as part of my ongoing contribution to the Go Bold with Butter blog.  Head over to see my posts as well as more great recipes from the other awesome bloggers involved with the project!