Monday, November 15, 2010

Recipes for low cal alfredo, pasta bake and skillet taters

Alfredo Sauce

2 Tbsp light butter or margarine
2 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour (any flour really)
2 cups fat free milk or soy milk
1 Tbsp garlic powder (more or less to your taste)
8 oz shredded (not grated) Parmesan cheese

Over med-high heat make a roux with the flour and butter. Don't brown. Add 2 cups milk and whisk until smooth. After heated through, add 2 additional cups of milk. Heath through. Add Parmesan and garlic, stirring with a spatula to keep from sticking to bottom of pot. I takes a while for the mixture to thicken. I raised the heat on mine to a low boil/ high simmer for a few min then reduced it to med-low and just let it go for awhile. I also added salt and pepper to taste. 200 calories per 1/2 cup of sauce.

I used that sauce to make this:

That's just regular spaghetti I had on hand. I sauteed chicken breast on the stove top with garlic salt, pepper and a little soy sauce. Then I added in thawed sweat peas with the chicken until they were heated through. I have to admit, it was good. I'm having those leftover for dinner tonight :)

Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Pasta Bake
Very quick and easy!
1 9 oz package frozen creamed spinach (thawed)
1 14 oz (standard size) can of quartered artichoke hearts, drained (I also crumbled mine further to avoid chunks)
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
8oz of a short pasta (I used penne but an even shorter one is recommended)
I used WW penne but didn't like it.

Set oven to broil. Boil pasta until tender, drain. Add in all remaining ingredients (but only 1 cup mozzarella) and stir to combine. Place in a shallow boiler-proof (I used a Pyrex glass casserole dish). Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Place under broiler until cheese is golden and browning in spots.
IMO- this needs more cheese or like some evap milk or heavy cream or FF sour cream or something. It tasted a bit too healthy to me :) Needed to be a bit creamier.

Skillet Potatoes
This is not so much a recipe but rather a method for cooking potatoes that we really enjoy

Bake potato of choice in the microwave (pierce with a fork first) until just a little underdone (needs to be able to hold it's shape when cut). We use Yukon golds or butter golds for everything! And I usually cook for about 4 min, for starters. If potatoes are still hard when squeezed, cook more. They should be firm but not hard. Cut potatoes into large bites (like quartered for small potatoes, may need to cut into more pieces for larger ones) but I try to have a piece of skin on each section. Heat iron skillet on stove to medium-high heat. Add enough canola oil to make a layer in the skillet about 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep. Enough to pan-fry the potatoes. They should sizzle when placed in pan. Put in pan in a single layer. Turn as each side sitting in the oil becomes dark golden brown. Season with salt and pepper (or whatever you want. I like a little garlic salt)
Anyway, they don't take nearly as long to cook this way (about 10 min) and are not as unhealthy as deep-fried ones. The outsides are just a little crispy and the insides are soft and tasty. We love em!

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