Broccoli Quinoa Chicken Casserole

Broccoli Rice Quinoa Chicken Casserole

Y’all know my love for the crock pot. With baby #3 coming in the new few weeks I am stock piling my crock pot recipes so I have some easy go to meals while figuring out our new normal with a 3 year old, 2 year old, and newborn. Are we crazy? I have no doubt life is going to be!! But honestly we can’t wait, we are ready to embrace the chaos. Any tips wrangling three littles are more than welcome! And recipes too!

I can’t wait to see what you share, however today, I have another recipe for you!

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I feel like a lot of the time I only think about using my crock pot in the fall & winter months when it’s cool outside (unless I’m cooking a pork roast for bbq!). But this recipe is light, fluffy, full of flavor, and can be used year round! 

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Broccoli Rice and Quinoa Chicken
Serves 6
A great year round crock pot recipe that is light, fluffy, and delicious!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
6 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
6 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup frozen chopped onion
  2. 3/4 cup long grain brown rice (not quick-cooking or instant), rinsed and drained
  3. 1/4 cup quinoa
  4. 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
  5. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  6. 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  9. 2 cups/16 oz. low sodium chicken broth
  10. 3/4 cup water
  11. 1 bag of frozen broccoli, about 10oz
  12. 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  13. 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  14. 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Combine onion, rice & quinoa in bottom of your crock pot. Spread out in an even layer.
  2. Place diced chicken on top of mixture.
  3. In a separate bowl mix garlic powder, thyme, salt and pepper. Then sprinkle over chicken.
  4. Pour in chicken broth and water. Be sure that all of the rice is covered by the liquid.
  5. Cook on low heat for 6 hours or high heat for 3.5 - 4 hours until the rice and fluffy and the liquid is almost completely absorbed.
  6. Steam the broccoli according to package instructions.
  7. While broccoli is cooking mix the cheeses into the crock pot mixture.
  8. Last add the broccoli, stir together and serve.
A Step In The Journey http://astepinthejourney.com/
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It turned out really great! Chickadee was a little skeptical at first (she isn’t the biggest broccoli fan), but she tried her “three bites because she is three,” and decided she would finish it off! WIN! Definitely one to keep on hand in the future months, and I am sure if there are any new mamas in your life they would love for you to drop off a dish just like this! Throw a bag salad and some chocolate chip cookies in the bag and they would be, oh so very thankful! 

First Year of Preschool

Preschool before and after

If seeing her finish 2K is any indication, we are going to be a mess when she graduates kindergarten and goodness I can’t either fathom high school or college…

Chickadee wrapped up her first year of preschool this year. We debated a lot whether to go ahead and send her at 2 (almost 3) and I am so glad we did. She absolutely LOVED it. Jumped out of the car EVERYDAY ready to go! She made friends, gained even more independence, practiced being respectful to both her peers and teachers, and transformed from a toddler to a little girl.

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At their end of they year program they sang “This Little Light of Mine.” Chickadee didn’t move her mouth for a single word, but she did participate in the hand motions, so we will take what we can get! The teachers handed out diplomas and gave a short little speech about each child. I loved how personal it all was. They said Chickadee is the most detail oriented child they’d ever seen. She was always the last to finish art projects because she took her time and wanted it just right. The said she was always kind to everyone and loved playing with the other girls, but could keep up with the boys too. All words that warm a mama’s heart. It’s funny they said she was detailed oriented, not at all surprising. The same was said about me as a child. She has a crazy memory and it’s because she is so perceptive I think…sometimes I wish she was a little more forgetful :) More than anything though we loved hearing she is kind and caring and we pray that her heart for Jesus becomes even more prevalent as the years go by!

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We are thankful for her first year and how she was loved on by her teachers and supported by the church that houses the preschool.

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She is already looking forward to August and her new class as well as hearing about her old Bunny class from her little brother who follows her footsteps into 2K when preschool starts back in a few short months.

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For now we are soaking in these summer days, practicing the new skills she learned, and counting down the days until baby sister arrives!

 

3 Ingredient Berry Compote

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My instagram feed has been FULL of strawberry picking photos lately. They are so precious & from personal experience the kids always have a great time! We went strawberry picking at Washington Farms outside Atlanta last year and had an absolute blast. Unfortunately, we haven’t made it back this year, but our fabulous neighbors were sweet enough to share some of their fresh picked strawberries and we put them right to use! 

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I know I am bias, but goodness they are cute! They have grown up so much in the past year. 

So for any of those that have been strawberry picking before, you know that you always come home with MORE than you can eat. So you need lots of recipes, and today I have the perfect one!

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Breakfast for dinner is a staple around here lately. I am 8.5 months pregnant and so tired by 5:30. So if dinner wasn’t prepped at nap time, we usually end up eating breakfast of some sort (well that or a frozen pizza). And though breakfast is simple, adding this compote makes it feel super fancy! This strawberry compote is amazing over waffles or pancakes but also great on ice cream or drizzled over angle food cake! It makes every bite incredible.

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Along with the strawberries, you will only need 2 other ingredients & 15 minutes (basically while you are cranking out waffles on the waffle iron, this goodness will be cooking away!).

3 Ingredient Strawberry Compote
Simple 3 ingredient strawberry compote, perfect for waffles, pancakes, or ice cream
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Prep Time
3 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
18 min
Prep Time
3 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
18 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups of diced strawberries
  2. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  3. 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Combine strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a sauce pan over medium/high heat.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Turn the heat to low and continue to simmer (stirring occasionally) for 15 minutes until the strawberries are soft and the syrup has thickened
  4. The compote will thicken as it cools, so if you don't use immediately add a little water and stir to reach desired consistency for use.
Notes
  1. This recipe can be made with any berry or mix of berries.
A Step In The Journey http://astepinthejourney.com/
Strawberry Compote

It truly is delicious. I’ve used this same recipe with blueberries and it turned out just as divine! You are going to want to save this one friends! It takes any simple waffle/pancake recipe to the next level.

And since you still probably have buckets of strawberries after picking, here are a few more strawberry recipes I’ve shared in the past.

Strawberry Granola Pancakes

Strawberry Trifle

Strawberry Cookie Recipe

Summertime Strawberry Dip

We Planted a Garden

Gardening Success from a black thumb

We planted a garden. I must admit I’m not really the gardening type, probably because I have a black thumb. However, III grew up on 11 acres and has grown a pepper or two in his day. I knew the kids would be all over it, and so of course I was in. III used some 6×6’s leftover from the play set install that he used to create a garden bed of sorts. He tilled and weeded the dirt and added fertilizer. Then we headed to Home Depot to pick up some plants. We settled on tomatoes, okra, jalapenos, bell peppers, strawberries and some herbs (oregano & basil).

I found the cutest gardening tools in Target’s Dollar section and the kids were ready to go! 

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They helped III plant and they help me water every day.

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It is incredible how fast those plants are growing. There are lots of little green tomatoes taking shape and the peppers are starting to blooms along with the okra. Check out this bad boy…just waiting for him to turn yellow.

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The kids are obsessed with looking for new blooms and we all can’t wait to eat from the garden. The herbs are doing great and we’ve already used them several times with dinner.

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So whether you have a spot in your backyard or you want to grow a planter/pot garden on your porch, I’m here to tell you, you can do it! Give it a go! And even if it fails, your kids will have fun!

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

apple cinnamon muffins
Hey friends! How are you? I am enjoying a peaceful naptime..these have been rare lately due to little man getting his 2 year molars, but the one giving him trouble has seemed to finally break through and we are all getting some relief. Teething is the worst! But we will not let it defeat us & are thankful for a mouth full of healthy teeth.

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I think I’ve mentioned before that I kind of have a routine of activities that get us through afternoons/witching hour as we wait for dad to get home from work. If not, I need to share more details….Mondays are reserved for baking and lately we have been making a lot of muffins. They make great snacks for the week and are such an easy way to sneak in healthy goodness. Plus they look really pretty sitting on the counter under the glass topped cake stand & give the illusion that our life is somewhat put together :)

These banana muffins are our FAVORITE, especially with a few chocolate chips, but you can also find us making blueberry muffins, applesauce muffins, these carrot & cranberry muffins, pumpkin muffins, and even an occasional lemon poppy seed. A few weeks ago we added another recipe to our rotation, apple cinnamon muffins. Chopped apples, brown sugar, and a little maple syrup…you can’t go wrong! Here is the scoop.

Apple Cinnamon Muffins
Yields 12
Delicious muffins full of chopped apples and maple syrup...then topped with brown sugar goodness.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 large red apple, peeled and chopped into small pieces
  2. 1/2 cup of milk
  3. 1.5 tsp of baking powder
  4. 1.5 cups of whole wheat all purpose flour
  5. 2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 1/4 cup of white sugar
  8. 1/4 cup of pure maple syrup
  9. 1/2 cup or 1 stick of softened butter
  10. 1/2 packed light brown sugar
  11. 1.5 tsp cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Using a mixer cream together softened butter, sugar and maple syrup
  3. Add in vanilla and eggs
  4. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time, then baking powder
  5. Finally add in the milk. Mix until well combined
  6. In a SEPARATE bowl combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
  7. Use liners or grease regular sized muffin tins
  8. Fill each muffin hole 1/4 full with mixture.
  9. Then top with 1/2 the diced apples & pat down.
  10. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture
  11. Cover apples with an equal amount of mixture as before.
  12. Top with more remaining apples and then the cinnamon sugar mixture and pat it down.
  13. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean
  14. Allow to cool before eating
  15. Enjoy!
Adapted from All Recipes
Adapted from All Recipes
A Step In The Journey http://astepinthejourney.com/

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They are truly delicious! I first found this recipe on All Recipes, and knew with a few tweaks (like reducing the sugar) I could make them perfect for our family. I love substituting things like unsweetened applesauce, raw organic honey, or organic pure maple syrup for sugar in my recipes. You still get the sweetness, but it isn’t as terrible for you. I can’t say it’s healthy, but better than white sugar! This recipe would also be great as apple cinnamon loaf bread, you could follow the same directions, but just pour into a 9×5 loaf pan and cook for a little longer (probably 45-50 minutes)! Enjoy!