Cheesed Quinoa with Broccoli

dsc_0237RECIPE #425, DAY #597


ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Quinoa, Broccoli and Cheese Casserole,” from Nava Atlas’s Vegetarian Five-Ingredient Gourmet*

TIMING: 20 minutes

DIFFICULTY: Pretty easy, but don’t overcook your broccoli

TOOLS: I use an electric steamer, but the directions are for a sauce pan with lid and a saute pan with lid

COOK TYPE: Steamer or stovetop

HEALTH: This IS health food. Steamed broccoli and quinoa? Superfood on superfood. Yes, also a little bit of sharp cheddar, but that’s no thang. Actually, some dairy is good for you, and no, under normal circumstances, it does not need to be low fat.dsc_0240

EXPERIENCE: There’s just something about this dish that I find addictive. Every time, at first glance and bite, I think “Ehn.” But then I take another. And another. And I just can’t stop eating it. Mind you, not everyone (including my kids) feels the same way about this. But for so little effort, you might as well try it, right?

There is no pretension here. Don’t serve this to guests or to try to impress or convert anyone.

NOTES: The photos do not look like anything is cheesy. Although understated, though, the cheese is there, the thing is that my cheese is white. To make it look a little more exciting, use an orange cheddar.


  1. In a medium sauce pan, bring 3 cups water to boil with 3/4 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat and add 1 1/2 cups rinsed quinoa. Cover and keep at a gentle simmer for 15 minutes, until cooked through. Maintain some liquid until the end.
  2. Meanwhile, in saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 diced onion and cook until golden. Add 3-4 cups broccoli florets and 1/4 cup water, then cover and simmer for 5 minutes, just until broccoli is bright green and a little tender. Remove from heat and let water evaporate if it hasn’t already
  3. In a serving bowl, mix together the quinoa, broccoli, and 1 cup grated extra sharp cheddar cheese, just until the cheese is tossed through. Taste for salt and pepper.


Serve with a protein for a complete and simple dinner. Chicken would be best, here, I think, so maybe a breaded chicken breast. You can also always add another vegetable. The original recipe suggest baked sweet potatoes and a tomato salad.

LEFTOVER IDEAS: This reheats in the oven or toaster oven sprinkled with extra cheese, although honestly, I would just pack up for lunch and eat room temperature so that the broccoli stays perfectly cooked.

*Recipe changed from the original.


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