Thursday, June 28, 2012

Chicken Alfredo

This spin on chicken alfredo is low-carb, full of veggies, easy to make, and reduced-calorie as well. While I don't fear dietary fat, the cups of heavy cream which typically comprise alfredo sauce is just way too calorically-dense for a weeknight supper. I adapted the sauce from this recipe. The substitutions that I made were unsweetened almond milk instead of  2% milk and tapioca flour (or arrowroot) in place of wheat flour. All dairy is not created equal, and I think that Mark Sisson's dairy continuum (scroll down that page) is a good guide. The original recipe calls for grated parmesan and low-fat cream cheese. However, if you prefer cultured dairy products (easier to digest) you can swap the cream cheese for labneh, which is yogurt-based and has a similar texture. I also found aged raw milk parmesan at Fresh Market.

Instead of pasta I used spaghetti squash, and I also added some broccoli and red bell pepper because you can never get enough veggies.

Serves about 4

  • 2 chicken breast halves or 4 chicken thighs, cooked and cut into chunks. You can use a storebought rotisserie chicken for this, I roasted a whole chicken at home and used the breast meat.
  • 1 small spaghetti squash or 1/2 larger spaghetti squash
  • 1 Tbs unsalted butter, ghee, or olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp tapioca flour or arrowroot
  • 1 cup unsweetened unflavored almond milk
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt + additional to taste
  • 2 Tbs cream cheese (full-fat or Philadelphia brand low-fat) or labneh
  • 1/2-3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (I used 3/4 cup but thought it was too cheesy. Add 1/2 cup, taste, and if you think you need it add the remaining 1/4 cup.)
  • Optional: Additional cooked veggies. I used a bag of frozen broccoli florets and a sauteed red bell pepper.
  • Optional: Crushed red pepper for sprinkling
  1. Split the spaghetti squash lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, lightly grease the cut side, and sprinkle with salt. Place cut-side down in a microwave-safe dish, cover, and microwave for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool, then scoop out the flesh and seperate it into strings with a fork. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Heat the butter or oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Saute the garlic until fragrant and straw-colored. Add the tapioca or arrowroot and stir for about a minute until combined. Pour in the almond milk and turn heat to high. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then turn heat back down to medium and cook for another minute or so until thickened and bubbly. Stir in the cream cheese or labneh, parmesan, and 3/4 tsp salt.
  3. Add the chicken and any other veggies to the alfredo sauce, then dump the whole thing over the spaghetti squash. Alternately, if you want less sauce just top the spaghetti squash with the chicken and veggies and spoon the sauce over the top. Serve with crushed red pepper.


Fallon said...

That looks great! I didn't think spaghetti squash was in season this time of year?

Erica said...

Fallon, yeah it's not really in season :( You could use zucchini "noodles" instead for summer!

Julianne said...

I made this last night! It was DELICIOUS and so filling.

Erica said...

Julianne, glad to hear it! I was also surprised at how filling it was :)

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