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Jen’s Spring Slim Down Secrets – Tip #3: Can you Quinoa?

Jen Myers

You’re stuck in the middle of Lent and trying to lose weight while you’re up against the Friday Fish Fry…so I’ve been looking for some good meatless meals to make. Quinoa (KEEN-wa) can be your secret weapon – when you are looking for a grain but also need some protein. Quinoa is a great substitute for rice, but is less starchy and has more protein than some meats.

I found this Broccoli-Quinoa Casserole recipe from Eating Well…Living Thin…(…er!). Use reduced fat mayo, cheese, and skim milk to make this healthier.


  • One 10 oz can condensed Cream of Broccoli soup (or mushroom), low-sodium if you like
  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded cheese (cheddar, colby-jack, etc)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Dash freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 cups cooked broccoli
  • 1 1/2 cups  COOKED quinoa***
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

***To cook quinoa:

  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Rinse quinoa in a fine sieve until water runs clear.  In a small saucepan combine the quinoa, water, and salt.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low and cover.  Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until fluffy and the white ring/tail is visible.  Fluff with a fork.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a shallow (8″×8″) casserole dish with vegetable spray.

In a large bowl combine the soup, mayonnaise, milk, shredded cheese, sugar, pepper, and nutmeg until well mixed. Stir in the quinoa and broccoli. Spoon mixture into prepared casserole.  Sprinkle on a couple tablespoons of Parmesan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until bubbly on the edges and golden.  Makes 8 generous 1/2-cup servings.

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