A delicious combination of butternut squash, broccoli and the grain, quinoa, were combined into a casserole that enabled Traci Flory to win as the runner-up in The Crescent-News’ 2017 Recipe Challenge.

Flory’s casserole, called BBQ casserole for the first letters of each main ingredient, was chosen out of 14 recipes that were submitted in the Salads & Sides category.

In creating her recipe, Flory said, “I try to get my boys to eat healthy foods. I never cooked with butternut squash before and I tried to adapt it. I used mozzarella cheese in the recipe. It was good, the boys ate it.”

Flory said she likes to try different things while she cooks.

“I like to make a lot of different salads,” she noted. “We do a lot of grilled salads in the summer so it is not always the same thing.”

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BBQ Casserole

(butternut squash, broccoli and quinoa bake)

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked quinoa

2 cups low sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup garlic hummus

2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided into 2 cups

1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated (plus more for topping if desired)

1 1/2 cups baby spinach

1 cup fresh broccoli florets

1/2 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed

1/2 red onion, diced

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Place the quinoa and onion in a single layer at the bottom. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the chicken broth and hummus.

Pour the chicken broth mixture over the quinoa. Layer with the spinach and 1 cup of mozzarella. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, place the broccoli in boiling water for 1 minute until it turns bright green and then run under cold water. Set aside. After 20 minutes, remove quinoa casserole out of the oven and mix in the broccoli and butternut squash. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese and the remaining cup of mozzarella cheese on top and place back in the oven for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the quinoa is cooked through.

Remove from the oven and serve while still warm. Serves 6-8.

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