I grew up eating mac n cheese at lunchtime. I remember it fondly, but now as an adult (and health coach), I’m well aware of all the preservatives and additives that make mac n cheese not the best lunchtime meal. Instead of giving you an energy boost, you’ll be left with an energy crash an hour later.
So to get that “mac n cheese fix” BUT with healthier ingredients, I whipped up this easy Healthy Quinoa Broccoli Bowl recipe.
When it comes to healthy lunches, you want to eat a meal that will provide you with energy so that you can avoid that mid-afternoon slump. This recipe is made from two simple ingredients: quinoa and broccoli. Here’s why this meal is great for eating at lunchtime: Quinoa is high in fiber and protein and has a low glycemic index which is good for blood sugar control. Plus, broccoli has been deemed as a superfood that is high in fiber, antioxidants and vitamin C.
What gives this recipe the cheesy, savory taste that we all love? It’s nutritional yeast! If you’ve never had nutritional yeast before, you’re in for a treat. This is a great substitute for dairy and is popular in vegan cooking.
This recipe is dairy free, gluten free and full of amazing whole foods that are perfect for you and your kids. You can create the entire meal in one pot in about 20 minutes. It’s so easy!
Healthy Quinoa Broccoli Mac n Cheese Recipe
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 2 1/5 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast or parmesan
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp garlic
- Salt + pepper if desired
- In a large saucepan, combine quinoa, broccoli and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, stir and then reduce heat to let simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes. Quinoa will be cooked when it is fluffy and all of the liquid has been fully absorbed.
- Remove from the heat and then stir in the nutritional yeast, dijon mustard, garlic powder, and salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately, or store in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to 1 week.
My daughter loves broccoli so I kept the pieces small in this dish. However, if your kids aren’t that big on broccoli, you could puree the broccoli in a blender with a little water first. Then when you’re adding in the nutritional yeast, combine the broccoli puree at the same time. Your kids won’t even know it’s there as it’ll taste more like a sauce, but they’ll be getting all the nutritional benefits!
Also, I’ve always enjoyed my mac n cheese with ketchup, so I tried it out with this recipe. It was delicious and I highly recommend it to the fellow ketchup lovers out there.
If you try this recipe, let me know what you think! Hope you have a great day!