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Creamy Quinoa Alfredo with Chicken & Broccoli

OK, so here it is. This is the recipe you all have been begging me for. I swear, the minute I posted a photo of this dish on Twitter, it was like every single one of you wanted to drop what you were doing right then and there to make it. OK, not really. I might be exaggerating a little bit. But a lot of you did ask me to post the recipe, and I really don’t blame you for wanting to try it because yeah, it looks and sounds amazing. And since you all are showing so much enthusiasm for it just by looking at it, I can’t wait to hear what you have to say once you taste it! (Because yeah, it’s actually that amazing.)

I adapted the recipe from Celebrations.com’s Chicken Broccoli Alfredo dish. (Which, P.S. the sauce is made with Chobani non-fat, plain. Pretty much a sure sign it’s a winner.) But instead of pasta, I swapped in quinoa because, don’t get me wrong, pasta is the bomb and I love it, but quinoa… Quinoa is light, and fluffy, and much better for you.  And not to toot my own horn, but it turns out, that making this dish with the whole grain, super-food was a genius idea! The sauce mixes into the quinoa so well. You know how when you eat pasta topped with sauce (especially penne type noodles), the sauce mostly just ends up at the bottom of the plate? Yeah, that doesn’t happen with quinoa because its so much more absorbent. It soaks in the Alfredo like Sheryl Crow soaks up the sun, so you get twice as much savory satisfaction.

Here’s how to make it.

What you’ll need:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled and cubed

2 cups steamed broccoli florets

¾ cup quinoa, cooked

2 T extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp. minced garlic

2 T flour

1 cup low-sodium organic vegetable broth (the original recipe calls for chicken broth but vegetable seemed to work fine too)

¼ cup non-fat, plain Greek Yogurt

¼ cup milk (I used 2%. Skim will work too, though.)

¼ tsp. pepper

1 pinch ground nutmeg

¾ cup Parmesan cheese (I used a little bit less than this.)

What to do:

1. In a skillet, heat the olive oil and garlic for 1-2 minutes. Stir lightly to mix.

2. Whisk in the flour, mixing until smooth. (About 2-3 minutes.)

3. Stir in the broth, Greek yogurt, milk, pepper and nutmeg.

4. Bring the mixture to a low boil, then lower heat and simmer. Continue to stir gently until it thickens. (About 3-5 minutes.)

5. Stir in Parmesan cheese.

6. Stir cooked chicken and broccoli into the Alfredo mixture and then add the quinoa. Toss until everything is well mixed.

7. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan!

Totsy's Mom Committee: Meet Diana!

Today we kick off our Mom Committee Interview Series starting with Totsy’s Chief Mom, Diana Heather.  Every Monday, we will be featuring a different mom from the Totsy Mom Committee so that you’ll get the chance to learn about their favorite fashion items, their favorite moments as a mom and why they love what they do.  Let’s meet Diana!

[Chief Editor of StarStyle covers “looks for less” inspired by “The Devil Wears Prada” for Inside Edition]

What’s your go-to fashion item?  A tailored blazer that gives definition to my waist. I have black ones for different seasons and a great white linen one for summer. The right blazer with jeans or leggings or a dress always makes me feel put together, stylish and its one of the most flattering things I can wear regardless of my current weight or pregnancy status (after having 2 babies in 2 years I feel like that’s important.)

What’s been your favorite moment as a mom?  Wow, that’s a tough one. There are too many to count.  I just spent 3 days away from them (the first time w/o the little one) and all I kept saying was, “I love our babies SO much!”  My husband and I always find ourselves mimicking them and reliving moments of times they did something cute or funny when we are away from them. Khloe talks now, so that gives us lots of fodder!  Besides giving birth, I’d have to say anytime they smile at you or snuggle you like you’re the only one in the world- those are the greatest Mom moments!

What has been your strangest pregnancy craving?  With my first, I gained 42 pounds and lived on ice cream – no wonder I gained so much. I also had a lot of morning sickness in the early days so I only craved comfort food to help with the nausea (i.e. carbs!).  All I wanted was lasagna and Mexican food in the beginning!  With the second one, I didn’t have morning sickness and I was so busy with being a mom and chasing a little one around that I only gained 20 pounds and ate SkinnyCow when my ice cream craving set in. I learned my lesson the first time to not indulge my every craving.

Tell us what the funniest thing your kid has ever said to you.  Is there a story behind it?  Khloe is just learning to talk, so every day is something funny with her lately.  She loves to say “bless you” to anyone who sneezes. “Betch you mommy!  Betch you daddy!  Betch you”.  Lol! . I also love hearing her tell us “good morning” because she says ‘Eh Mernin mommy’.  Last week though I was taking a video of her telling everyone at Totsy hello and then I said, “Khloe, say, I love you Totsy” and she looked at the camera and said, “I Totsy wuf you”- She got the words backwards, it was adorable!

Elaborate on the TV shows you have been feature on & what’s been your favorite part about being Totsy’s Chief Mom?   Hey, I think that’s actually 2 questions, right? First, I’ve had the opportunity to be on TV a few times and I love it more and more every time, because I always just have fun with it. Originally, I was the spokesperson and Chief Editor of a website called StarStyle.com – its not around anymore unfortunately, but the site was a destination where fans could buy the clothes they saw on their favorite tv shows, movies and music videos.  I did a lot of press about that both in NY and LA.  I was telling everyone on Access Hollywood and Extra and MTV all about StarStyle!  It was a total blast.  Later, I was Sr. Editor of a site for 1-800-Flowers called Celebrations.com, so I was on TV a few times talking about party planning ideas.

Most recently though, BRAVO cast my husband and I to appear in an episode of a new reality show airing April 5 called “Pregnant In Heels” while I was pregnant with the baby last summer. We don’t yet know when our episode of the show airs, so it’s kind of a surprise!

To answer the second question- my favorite part about being Chief Mom at Totsy is two-fold. Firstly, I get to work with really talented and fun people at work everyday, so that makes coming to work every day exciting and enjoyable, but more importantly I get to keep being a mom at work and I get to connect everyday with other amazing moms who continue to give me great advice and inspire me. They make me want to keep making Totsy the best it can be!

[Matching shirts, divergent personalities. Khloe (20 mos) Lola (5 mos)]

Connect with Diana on Facebook and Twitter!

They're baccckkk!

We can’t help but feel a twinge of excitement at the return of some of our favorite guilty pleasure TV shows like The Bachelor and of course, Jersey Shore.

Feeling inspired to throw your own guido/guidette Sunday dinner party? Check out this quick list of recipes and tips from Celebrations.com.

A Jersey Shore Italian Sunday Dinner