I received a gift card to offset the expense of my ingredients. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Milk Advisory Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
This is a true story. Sad, but true. When I was young, one of my all-time favorite side dishes was a broccoli, cheese and rice casserole. It was one of those family favorite recipes that my mom always made for family gatherings, and it involved…ahem… canned cream of mushroom soup, frozen chopped broccoli (I’m OK with that one), white rice, and a certain “cheese” product that came in a jar and whose name might rhyme with knees fizz. I used to eat it by the vat-full. I know, please don’t judge. Well, guess what? I Googled it, and it turns out the recipe is still around, and it’s still enjoyed by families everywhere.
My diet has changed quite a bit since that recipe came out. I try to eat more vegetables, and when I eat starch, it’s usually a whole grain instead of white rice. I prefer to make my own soup, or soup-like sauce from real milk, and I think cheese should come from a dairy, not a jar. I haven’t made this recipe in years, but when the California Milk Advisory Board challenged the Recipe ReDux members to lighten up a favorite recipe using Real California dairy products, this one seemed like a great candidate.
I’m not one to skimp on dairy foods. I think all foods have a place in a healthy, balanced diet and since I don’t eat much meat, I find dairy foods are a perfect choice not only for their calcium and vitamins, but also for a good quality source of protein, that you just can’t get with non-dairy substitutes.
I’m a fan of Real California dairy products, even though I live in New England. California is the number-one dairy state in the U.S. and their products are available nationwide. Look for the seals on dairy products and you’ll notice lots of great options including milk, cheese and yogurt.
My Lightened Up Broccoli Cheese Casserole is a great side dish or even meatless main course. It features low fat California milk, and California Monterey Jack Cheese in place of those more processed ingredients, far more vegetables than the original recipe, and whole grain farro instead of white rice. This might just become a new family favorite!
Be sure to swing by the Real California Milk website to check out the listing of real California dairy foods, recipes, and even a grab a coupon to try some of their products.
By the way, the original recipe has almost 300 calories with 21 grams or fat and over 900 mg of sodium per serving. Do you have any family favorite recipes that can be lightened up with Real California Dairy ingredients?