Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Skinny Chicken Alfredo with Spinach

Everybody loves Chicken Alfredo unfortunately... not all of us have the calorie bandwidth for the real thing. This is my take cutting calories where I can. Instead of 3 sticks of butter and 2 cups of heavy cream sauce I make a bechamel with fat free chicken stock and skim milk. I use a small amount of Parmesan cheese instead of the usual 2 cups. I also bulk up my plate with a bed of spinach which adds some macro nutrients and makes me feel much better about the carb fest!

What you need

6 quarts of water
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1 shallot or 1/2 a small onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
salt and pepper to taste
scraping of nutmeg
3/4 cup of skim milk
1/2 cup of fat free chicken stock
2 tablespoons of Parmesan Cheese and more for serving
dry or fresh pasta
2 tablespoons of salt
cubed roasted chicken (optional)
fresh baby spinach (washed)
chili flakes (optional)

What you do

1. Fill a large pot with water (6 quarts or so). Set on a high heat, cover.
2. Heat a sauce pot on medium heat. Add the olive oil, and diced shallot. Cook until fragrant and translucent.
3. Mince in the garlic cloves. I do this by rubbing the garlic over a micro plane directly into the pot. Add small amount of salt and pepper.
4. Cook the garlic for a quick minute and pour the shallot and garlic mixture in a to a bowl and reserve.
5. No need to clean the pot, but you don't want any left over pieces to burn while you cook the sauce.
6. Heat the tablespoon of olive oil. Add the flour. Whisk until golden color. The flour will bubble. Add the milk, and chicken stock. Whisk until combined.
7. Scrape nutmeg, add salt and pepper. Continue to whisk until the bechamel has reached a thick and creamy consistency. Taste to determine seasoning.
8. Take off the heat add 2 tablespoons of Parmesan Cheese and the onion and garlic mixture.
9. In the pot with boiling water, add the 2 tablespoons of salt . Cook the pasta according package directions.
10. Mix the al'dente pasta with the sauce. Add chicken if you are using.
11. Plate the dish on a bed spinach, add the pasta, season with chili flakes and Parmesan to taste.

Enjoy! As always much love, many blessings, and happy cooking.

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