A Dinnertime Mommying Success

When our family moves, we generally all go in for complete physicals and health assessments.  The Army likes to know how their soldier is doing, and I like to meet the new provider who is supposed to oversee me, if my autoimmune issues flair up to the point of needing intervention.

This year, it was made clear to us we should be eating less processed food.  Coming off a move, and living out of a hotel, this news did not shock us too much.  Furthermore, the more I feed Little Miss “real people food,” the pickier I have become in what I am willing to prepare – while I know french fries and hot dogs are right around the corner, I would initially like her first foray into food to establish healthier eating habits, and since she eats off my plate…

Therefore, I have reassessed our menus, and really attempted to cut down on added sodium, processed foods, and the quality of our carbs.  This has meant I am getting to experiment with dozens of new dishes!  It also means some nights are a hit, and others are, well, a complete miss.

In my search for something that packed a protein punch, I stumbled upon this Creamy Chicken Quinoa casserole from Pinch of Yum.  While I made a few tweaks to save heartache, grief, and time, this recipe has been requested twice in the last two weeks.  Satisfaction with this recipe has been found with members of every age in our family, from the husband, to the teenager, to the preschooler, to the baby.  So, I decided to write about this fantastic dish that is pleasing to all palates in my family.

♦Please keep in mind I am not a food blogger so the pictures will be rudimentary at best.♦

Because I am a mom with two small children, I don’t have the time desire to make Cream of Anything on my own – so, I substituted the homemade for the Heart Healthy Campbell’s Cream of Chicken soup.  I look forward to trying Cream of Mushroom with this dish someday – after Auntie M has gone home to our parents.  I also went the “boring” route, and didn’t add any extra pepper or spices to the chicken – I wanted to try to bring all the flavors out without the small additions.
This was the first time I had ever made fresh broccoli on the stovetop – my standby has always been to throw frozen in the microwave.  However, the preschooler stole enough of the fresh stuff before adding it to the casserole, I’ve decided I will keep making fresher cooked broccoli.  I also omitted the bacon, since I am not a fan of bacon and including it would definitely spike the sodium content!
A good friend of mine also made this dish for her family, and described the flavor of this particular kind of cheese as a nutty flavor; Auntie M and I were not fans of the cheese on its own, but it works in the dish.
Nicely melted cheese on top of the entire dish.  Although made with canned cream of chicken soup, this is still a lot healthier than a lot of other casseroles!    
Fully plated, this meal definitely packs a protein punch!  I threw grapes onto plates to give a pop of color.

Even Little Miss absolutely adored what she was fed and begged for more.

Prior to this dish, Auntie M was skeptical about quinoa – she didn’t like the texture of quinoa, comparing it to eating sand on the beach.  After the first attempt at this dish, she was the one to request I make it a second time.

This recipe has been filed away for the future.  While some recipes found online are complete flops, I am excited when there is a winning dish found.  It’s even better when the dish is family tested, family approved – by everyone in the family.  I consider it a mommying success!

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