Creamy Alfredo. It doesn’t have to be laden with fat and calories to be delicious. Take my previous light Alfredo recipes for a spin if you don’t believe me. Joy Bauer makes this evident with this delightful recipe from her cookbook Slim and Scrumptious. Joy Bauer is a regular on the Today Show as the resident nutrition expert. She is also the author of multiple best-selling books about weight loss, diet and healthy eating, and I had the chance to receive and review a copy of her latest cookbook and her new Food Cures (#1 New York Times Bestseller).
I will make 3 – 4 recipes before I do my review, but deciding what to cook from this book was a tedious task – so many great recipes! I decided to start with Alfredo because it’s easy and I love it. Joy’s low-fat version uses evaporated milk and low-fat cream cheese to make it rich and velvety while cutting the fat and calories.
Mis en Place:
- The original recipe calls for cremini mushrooms (baby bellas) but I used white button mushrooms with great success.
- Taste for seasoning throughout cooking, but the measurements for salt and pepper that Joy give are pretty spot on.
- Make sure not to overheat the Alfredo mixture.
- Serve immediately, it thickens fast. When reheating leftovers, add a little water to loosen it up, then stir after heating.
Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo with Sun-dried Tomatoes
From Joy Bauer (Slim and Scrumptious Cookbook): The creamy sauce is made with fat-free evaporated milk blended with reduced-fat cream cheese, which provides the velvety texture, and finished with parmesan cheese for a sharp-salty flavor.
- 1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 (8-10 ounce) package cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
- 1 (12-14 ounce) package whole wheat linguini or fettucini
- 1 (12 ounce) can fat-free evaporated milk
- 3 ounces (6 T) reduced-fat cream cheese at room temperature
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup "ready-to-eat" sun-dried tomatoes, sliced into thin ribbons
- Bring a large pot of unsalted water to a boil.
- While water is heating, prepare the chicken and mushrooms: liberally coat a large skillet or sauté pan with oil spray and preheat it over medium heat.
- Season the chicken pieces with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Add them to the skillet and sauté until cooked through, 5 - 7 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a large serving bowl (large enough to accommodate the finished dish).
- Return the skillet to the stove, and raise the heat to medium-high. Reapply oil spray, liberally coating the bottom of the skillet. Add the mushrooms and sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to the serving bowl with the chicken.
- Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook according to package directions.
- While the pasta cooks, prepare the Alfredo sauce: In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the evaporated milk, cream cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
- Place the saucepan over medium-low heat, and cook stirring occasionally with a wire whisk to break up the cream cheese until it is completely melted and the mixture is barely simmering, 5 - 7 minutes. Be careful not to overheat the mixture because the milk will curdle.
- Stir in the parmesan cheese and whisk for 1 minute. Remove the Alfredo sauce from the heat.
- Drain the pasta, reserving approximately 1 cup of cooking water.
- Add the pasta, sun-dried tomatoes, and Alfredo sauce to the chicken and mushrooms and toss all to combine evenly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. (The sauce will thicken as it stands, to thin it out add some of the reserved pasta water until desired consistency is reached.)
Use ready-to-eat sun-dried tomatoes that are not packed in oil. They can be found in vacuum sealed packages in the produce section of the grocery store.