Whoa… I didn’t know I could enjoy one of my favorite dishes again! After I went dairy free, this casserole dish was something I just kissed goodbye… Until now! YAY!
I got the idea while checking out a recipe for Paleo and AIP Queso (And top-8 allergen free) at He Won’t Know Its Paleo. The recipe looked great, but we don’t do chips. Then I realized I could make this dish with it. Our family was happy. They licked the bowls clean! I modified the recipe to be a little more to my taste, so here is my version along with how we used it, in my chicken and broccoli casserole:
For the “Cheese”:
4 cups cauliflower [cut into florets, my hubby treated me this week to a pre-cut bag, so bonus on the low prep time]
1/2 cup carrots [chopped or baby carrots, again, this week spoiled with pre-peeled baby carrots]
1 cup broth [I used homemade chicken bone broth]
3 Tablespoons olive oil [I used extra virgin olive oil, I think it would also be good with avocado oil]
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast [I buy it in bulk from my local health foods store]
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt [I use sea salt / mineral salt I buy in bulk at my local health foods store]
1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder [optional, makes for a more “gooey” texture]
Boil a large pot of water with the cauliflower and carrots until very tender – about 15 minutes. While that is cooking, I got all the other ingredients and put them into my blender (I use a large, high-powered blender called a Vitamix). After they were cooked, I used a strainer to scoop out the cooked veggies into my blender [I saved the water for cooking my broccoli]. I blended it all until it was the consistency of thick cheese, starting out at a low-speed to grind up the veggies and then increasing to a higher speed to make it all smooth. About 30 seconds in my Vitamix. And that was it… queso cheese! Yummy! I added extra salt, onion powder and nutritional yeast to the recipe I saw because it just didn’t taste quite right to me. Adjust for your own tastes :)
For the Brocoli Chicken Bake:
4-5 cups of broccoli florets
chopped seasoned chicken [I used about 4 boneless, skinless thighs for my crew of 7]
In the water still on the stove, I added a little more water and my broccoli, about 4-5 cups of it chopped into florets [again a store-bought bag of pre-cut worked out great. You could use frozen too to cut time]. I boiled that about 8-10 minutes until the broccoli was nice and green [don’t over cook!]. I drained that and put it into a 9×13 glass dish. I added a little lemon, salt, and garlic to the broccoli and stirred that up.
Then I added some chopped chicken I had sautéed with a little oil and my favorite poultry seasonings [salt, garlic, thyme, savory, marjoram and onion powder]. This would be a great dish for leftover chicken too. I mixed that well with the broccoli.
Then I poured my “cheese” over the top. Yumminess! Enjoy! I am sure this would be awesome with chips [if you eat those].
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