Thursday, March 12, 2015

"Clean" Alfredo Sauce

After letting my eating habits go to crap over the last few months, I'm challenging myself to eat "cleaner" for two solid weeks to see if I notice any changes in body composition, but more importantly, the overall way I feel (more energy, less bloat, better mental focus, etc).

My hope is that I DO notice a difference and continue on the path of cleaner eating, allowing myself treats in moderation, and in the process of doing so, I can be in the shape I hope to be for this summer, which hopefully holds a lot of adventure for my family and I.

The reason I put "Clean" in parentheses is because I feel like everyone's definiton of clean is different, and that's perfectly fine. This sauce has cream cheese and cow's milk in it, which I don't really think it considered clean by a lot of people, but it's still much healthier than the junk from a jar.

Another thing to note is that the original recipe calls for all-purpose flour which is not really an option in a celiac household. But no worries. I just substituted the flour with cornstarch.

My husband's favorite meal is chicken alfredo. I love it too, but that sauce from a jar - FULL of preservatives and chemicals, of course. I found this recipe from The Skinny Fork on Pinterest and decided to give it a go.

Wow. The taste of this sauce is flippin' delicious. I'm not even joking. When I make it in the future - because you know I'm going to - I will cook the cauliflower longer, as it had a bit of a grainy texture to it from the cauliflower. But errmahgerrsh. This stuff is bomb.

I took very few pictures because - as usual - I got excited and got ahead of myself.  The picture quality is also less than awesome off of my iphone. I really plan to start using my nice camera this year. Seriously this time. Ha.

Here's the recipe, directly from The Skinny Fork:
2 C. Cauliflower, Cooked
1 1/4 C. Fat Free Milk
3 oz.. Fat Free Cream Cheese
1 Tbsp. Flour
1 Tsp. Salt

1 Tbsp. Light Butter
3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 C. 2% Milk Italian Cheese Blend, Shredded

So the first step is to cook your cauliflower. When it's all said and done, you want two cups of cooked cauliflower. The recipe did not state how finely to chop the cauliflower, but I just cut off the florets similar to broccoli size. I was going to boil them, but we have an electric stove that takes 8 months to boil water (I can't WAIT to have a gas stove again!), so I stuck the cauli in a glass bowl with a little bit of water and microwaved it for a total of ten minutes, stirring every 2-3 minutes to try and evenly cook the cauli.

While you're cooking the cauliflower, you melt your butter in a saucepan and sautee your minced garlic in it until the garlic becomes translucent and tender. This is about the time your kitchen stops smelling like cooked cauliflower and starts smelling like butter and garlic. Yum.

When the cauliflower is cooked, you put it in your food processor with the cream cheese, milk, and salt and blend it up. Then, pour that mixture into the pan with the butter and garlic. Stir the mixture over medium heat until it starts to thicken. Once it's thickened, pour in the Italian cheese, stir, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes.
You'll have something looking like this:

I spend at least a couple hours each Sunday prepping healthy food for the week, so I already had some grilled chicken cubed up in the fridge. While I was working on my clean alfredo, I boiled up some gluten free pasta, warmed up the chicken, and then put it all together.

You want some, don'tcha?

If you're skeptical about the taste of alfredo sauce made with a base of cooked cauliflower, I can't say that I blame you. But I encourage you to give this a try if you're looking to clean up your diet a bit.

If you have leftovers and warm this sauce up, you might need to add some liquid (I added skim milk). And I also learned that Great Value GF pasta - while delicious the first time - does NOT warm up well. But...know I know. :)

Let me know what you think if you try this!

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