Quinoa Cheesy Chicken & Broccoli Crockpot Bake

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Quinoa and broccoli are both well-known as superfoods. But do you know why?

Quinoa is not actually a grain, but considered a whole grain nutritionally. Most of the fiber and nutrients are removed when grains are processed (hence, no longer whole grain). Also, cooked quinoa is a good source of tryptophan (an amino acid that we usually associate with turkey- and the post-Thanksgiving sleepiness); tryptophan in ones diet helps improve depression, insomnia, sleep apnea, seasonal affective disorder, and premenstrual symptoms.

Broccoli is full of vitamin C, vitamin K, dietary fiber, folate, potassium, vitamin A, manganese, tryptophan, vitamin B6, and antioxidants. It is known to act as a detoxifier in the body, and has recently been credited with aiding in the fight against certain cancers.

When putting together meal plans, I look for recipes that are:

  • quick
  • easy
  • relatively inexpensive
  • using ingredients I typically have on hand
  • delicious
  • nutrient dense

We’re looking for the biggest bang for our buck, right? We want food that fits in our meal plan and helps us to our goals, but we also want to add and vary the nutrients to keep us healthy from the inside out!

Here is the recipe (originally from dashingdish.com):

 

Quinoa Cheesy Chicken & Broccoli Crockpot Bake

Servings: 8 (using the green Portion Fix container)

Counts as: 1/4 green, 1/2 red, 1/2 yellow, 1/2 blue (if following the 21 Day/Portion Fix meal plan)

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 cup fat free cottage cheese
1 cup shredded cheese, low fat
1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1/4 – 1/2 pepper (optional)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
In the LAST 30 minutes 
3 cups fresh or frozen broccoli florets
2 cups  COOKED chicken
Directions:
  1. Spray the slow cooker with cooking spray. Put everything in the slow cooker except for broccoli and chicken, and stir well to combine. (If you’re welling to dirty another bowl, it may be easier to mix it all together before dumping into the slow cooker.) Cover and cook on low for about 3-4 hours.
  2. In the last 30 minutes of cooking, add the broccoli (do NOT need to defrost) and add chicken. Stir to combine. Cover and continue to cook, turning heat up to high, for about 30 minutes or until the broccoli is thawed and warmed through.

 

Tip: If you are making this meal while doing a larger food prep, place your chicken (two chicken breasts is enough for this recipe) in a baking dish, cover with foil, and stick it in the oven at 350*. Check after an hour; it should be ready for you! That way, you can add the chicken to the slow cooker without scrambling to cook it up!

Nutritional information per serving:
245 calories
8 grams of fat
19 grams of carbohydrates
2 grams of fiber
23 grams of protein

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