Guilt-Free Alfredo Sauce

DSC_0366

Once in a meeting at work, we were talking about eating healthy. (Okay, this has happened more than once – but I’m writing about one particular instance.) My coworker, Miranda, referenced her then-fiance-now-husband, Henry. “When I met him,” she said, “He thought fettuccine alfredo was healthy if it had broccoli in it.”

For whatever reason, this exchange stuck with me. I’m trained in health education, so I’m intrigued by what people do and don’t know about health (and, ultimately, helping them to better understand how to be and stay healthy).

In this case, Henry was acting on what he knew: broccoli is healthy, broccoli is in my fettuccine alfredo, therefore fettuccine alfredo is healthy. Also, fettuccine alfredo is creamy and delicious – why avoid it? For all you Henrys out there, here’s a heads up: alfredo sauce is usually made with loads of butter, heavy cream, and cheese, leading it to be pretty high in fat. That’s why it tastes so good. You’d need to eat a LOT of broccoli to balance that out.

Or, you could find a way to have your fettuccine alfredo and eat it too – without all the calories. I’ve always liked to live in a world where the tastiest, most delicious foods can be good for you too. Enter this recipe for a guilt-free alfredo sauce (inspired by Gimme Some Oven).

So what would Henry have done had he not met Miranda? Hopefully started reading nutrition labels. A serving of Bertolli Alfredo Sauce is 110 calories per quarter cup – this recipe is just 68. Enjoy!

Guilt-Free Alfredo Sauce

Yield: 10 servings. Serving size: ¼ cup. Per Serving: $0.31, 68 calories, 5g fat, 3g carbs, 4g protein.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter over medium-low heat in a large saute pan. Make sure not to burn the butter or your sauce will end up an unappetizing brown/gray color – I learned this the hard way! Add 1 garlic clove, minced and cook for about 1 minute until garlic becomes fragrant. (Again, be careful not to burn it!) Whisk in 2 tablespoons flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in 1 cup of chicken broth. Let the mixture come to a low simmer. Add 1 cup of low fat milk when it starts to bubble at the sides. Continue to whisk and stir, letting the sauce come to a consistency you like. Add ½ cup grated fresh parmesan cheese to finish.

DSC_0318

To serve as pictured, slice cherry tomatoes in half and saute over high heat in a non stick pan until charred. Chop the broccoli and coat with olive oil, salt, and pper and saute over high heat in non stick pan until charred. Peel shrimp, coat with olive oil, salt and papper, and saute over high heat until pink. Toss with pasta and sauce and serve warm.

Advertisements

Summer Recipe Round-up

Happy Memorial Day! I hope you all had a chance to relax this long weekend while enjoying some nice weather. The weather was a little unpredictable in Boston but I still had a chance to soak up some rays in between passing showers. I haven’t quite had much time to cook this weekend, but hey, sometimes that’s relaxing too!

In honor of the first official day of summer, I put together a round-up of summer recipes you can enjoy as the weather gets even nicer and backyard barbeques start popping up. Today is the start of everyone’s favorite season (come on, admit it) and there is lot of fun and good weather to look forward to. I’m looking forward to competing in a few races, taking weekend trips around New England with my friends, and the start of my farm share in a few weeks. What are you looking forward to this summer?

DSC_0653DSC_0826DSC_1163DSC_0058

Shrimp, Watermelon & Cucumber SaladCrisp, fresh and very refreshing. Best enjoyed outdoors with a wine spritzer. Per Serving: $6.36, 257 calories, 6g fat, 25g carbs, 29g protein.

Grilled Romaine Lettuce – Yes, warm lettuce is good. Per Serving: $1.93, 80 calories, 7g fat, 3.5g carbs, 2g protein.

Summer Corn GuacamoleBecause who doesn’t love guac and fresh corn off the cob? Per Serving: $0.81, 88 calories, 7g fat, 7g carbs, 1.5g protein.

Broccoli ColeslawPrefect for your next potluck barbeque. Per Serving: $2.01, 71 calories, 1.5g fat, 12.5g carbs, 3g protein.

Cheers to summer 2014!

Linguine with Salmon and Peas

DSC_0428

A lot of people cut carbs in an attempt to eat healthy. Breads and pastas are seen as the enemy, to be avoided at all costs. In my (non-professional) opinion, avoiding any food is a bad idea. Moderation is key. I eat a piece of chocolate every day after lunch and I don’t feel bad about it because it’s just one piece. It curbs my craving and I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself.

It’s also very important to pay attention to serving sizes. Most meals where pasta is the main dish include multiple servings – and that’s where you can get into trouble. However, if you pair pasta with vegetables and protein, like in this linguine recipe, you can curb your cravings and still enjoy it!

This recipe is also a great way to use leftover salmon, which can be hard to reheat because it dries out. The moisture from the sauce – made from reserved starchy pasta water, a small amount of butter, and lemon juice – keeps the salmon from drying out when it’s reheated.

Linguine with Salmon and Peas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray and place ½ pound filet of salmon skin side down on the pan. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper and ¼ teaspoon lemon zest. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until the fish is flaky. Meanwhile, cook ½ pound linguine according to package direction, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.

When salmon and pasta are done, heat 1/3 cup pasta water in a medium sauté pan. Add the linguine, 1 tablespoon butter, juice of ½ a lemon, and 1 ½ cups frozen peas. Sauté, stirring frequently, until peas are bright green and cooked, about 2 minutes. Add the salmon, breaking into small pieces, and serve warm.

Yield: 3 servings. Per Serving: $1.75, 418 calories, 8g fat, 63g carbs, 23g protein.