Creamy Chicken Quinoa and Broccoli Bake

by Kri Ham

The topic of Food is an ongoing battle in the Ham household. It is the inspiration for some of the fieriest arguments you’d ever thought possible. If Matt and I ever wound up in Divorce Court, you can bet your bottom dollar that it would be over who ate the last piece of pineapple. In addition, we both tend to eat according to our training regime – carbs on heavy days and fats on lighter days and our days don’t always sync. One thing we can agree on is that we have protein EVERY DAY. Then you throw in the fact that we have a new baby and a new business so the grocery bill is as tight as a tick and we’ve got jack-all time to be faffing about creating three-hat dishes. It is therefore critical that the food we create satisfies a few requisites:

  1. it must be tasty
  2. there has to be a sh*t load of it
  3. it has to be jam-packed with protein and ‘healthy’ sh*t
  4. it can’t have ‘hair-of-expensive-unicorn’ listed as an ingredient
  5. it has to be pretty simple

Not too hard right? WRONG! It’s bloody hard. And we know we’re not the only ones out there. So every now and then when we come across something that fits all categories we will throw it up on the Hammer site.

The first is a creamy chicken quinoa and broccoli bake. I stumbled across it somewhere along the line – you can read the original here – but I’ve rubbed a bit of my own funk on it. So here goes…

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup almond milk (or whatever milk you’d prefer)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • 2 cups water, divided
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • ¼ cup cooked, crumbled bacon
  • 1 kg boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • ¼ cup shredded cheese (any kind will work)
  • 3 cups fresh broccoli florets

INSTRUCTIONS

Sauce: Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and generously grease a baking dish. Bring the chicken stock and ½ cup milk to a low boil in a saucepan. Whisk the other ½ cup milk with the herbs and coconut flour; add the mixture to the boiling liquid and whisk until a smooth creamy sauce forms.

Assembly: In a large bowl, mix the sauce from step one, one cup water, quinoa, and bacon and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Slice the chicken thighs into chunks and lay them over the top of the quinoa mixture. Sprinkle with a bit more herbs. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Broccoli: While the dish is in the oven, place the broccoli in boiling water for 1 minute until it turns bright green and then run under cold water. Set aside.

Bake: Remove the dish from the oven, check the mixture by stirring it around, and if needed, bake for an additional 10-15 minutes to get the right consistency. When the quinoa and chicken are cooked and the sauce is thickened, add the broccoli and a little bit of water (up to one cup) until the consistency is creamy and smooth and you can stir it up easily in the pan. Top with the cheese and bake for 5 minutes, or just long enough to melt the cheese.

NB if dairy is not your friend you don’t have to add the cheese at the end. I just googled ‘substitutes for melted cheese’ and you do NOT want to see what I found. I wouldn’t even bother. Just leave it. The dish is tasty enough anyway.

This is what it looked like (after Matt got into it, before I could get the chance to take the instagram-perfect picture)

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The best part about this dish? The leftovers!

bon appetit!




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