Should times a million

This post is going to be about broccoli. That one-time dreaded vegetable. The one that I knew that I was “supposed” to eat, but just couldn’t muster the strength to get it down. (Insert groan here).

Then one day, I accidentally had a piece dripped in soy sauce at a Chinese food restaurant, and I realized that perhaps I could get broccoli down, if it had the right “sidekick.” From that day forward I would dabble in the veggie, eating a few pieces here and there, but barely if ever making it at home.

Then cancer. Boom. Everything changes, and eating things that you “should” becomes a “should times a million.” Granted there are enough vegetables out there in the world to hopefully just eat the ones that you want, still with the good health benefits, but something about this change in the way that I think about what my body needs, has really fueled me to begin to try foods again that I once thought perhaps I didn’t like. So now when I make the occasional stir-fry, I’ll add in broccoli, and with the soy sauce and whole wheat noodles and other vegetables, you know what? It’s actually not so bad.

I’ve been having a lot of fun lately in my spare time (uh, not at work, yeah, never at work) browsing online recipes, and I recently found a website through my cousin that I’m constantly checking out. It’s called A Pinch of Yum (www.pinchofyum.com), and not only are the pictures enticing, but the way that the blogger writes about her food escapades is really inviting. Somehow I stumbled upon a recipe called “creamy chicken quinoa and broccoli casserole.” You can get the recipe here: http://pinchofyum.com/creamy-chicken-quinoa-broccoli-casserole. The picture looked yummy, and a quick scan of the ingredients seemed fine: chicken (I can use organic meat), low-sodium chicken-broth, poultry seasonings, bacon– I can use turkey bacon– quinoa, broccoli, etc.). While I’m not becoming a vegetarian, as you know, I am trying to eat less animal protein, which I’ve been pretty successful at. But given my recent food choices, it seemed like a good night to incorporate some meat into our diet, and I wanted to make SHL dinner tonight, since I was home first from work, and he usually does the cooking!

Now here’s an interesting thing about quinoa: I’m not sure that I actually like it. I had it once at a restaurant stuffed into an avocado with tuna salad in a lemon basil vinaigrette– yum. And then I had it once at a friend’s house, and it felt “fuzzy,” and I didn’t like it at all. In keeping with the whole “I’m going to venture outside of my little food box and try new things,” I decided that this would be the perfect recipe in which to try it again, because it would be alongside other yummy ingredients like a poultry seasoning, and a little bit of Gruyère cheese on top.

Here it is coming out of the oven:

chicken and broccholi dinner

And here it is as we sit down to eat. Next time, I would cook it for a little bit longer, giving the liquid a little bit more time to thicken. But it was almost 8pm by the time I took this baby out of the oven, and we were hungry! It was still pretty darn good. The chicken was tender, the broccoli was flavorful, and the quinoa was OK, mostly because it masked by a lot of other delicious flavors.

Dinner by candlelight

(Everything is better by candlelight!).

Love and broccoli,
Sam xoxo

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