Monday, July 28, 2014

Love and Chicken Cauliflower-Alfredo Pasta

I have discovered the BEST thing since sliced (whole-grain) bread.

As some of you may remember, I have dabbled with cauliflower purees in the past, but this has taken it to a whole new level.

The cauliflower serves as the creamy component of Alfredo sauce...and with a little seasoning and some parmesan cheese, it tastes just like the kind we all love!

Now of course at Love&Grub, we add veggies where we can, so I've made my favorite combo of whole grain pasta, chicken and of course, vegetables.

So on top of all that goodness, we are gonna cook a sauce that is literally made from a vegetable. 

Can't stop. Won't stop.

Pasta gets a bad reputation because usually when you go out to eat, it is just white pasta and the sauce is loaded with butter, cream and cheese. 

Yes, it's delicious but it is just not healthy and definitely won't keep you full for long. Of course, if you are craving it, go get that pasta! 

When making pasta at home, using a whole-grain pasta is the first important component.

Also, make your veggie-protein-pasta ratio about 3:2:1. 

What I mean by that is, make it mostly veggies, add a protein if you'd like and make it less pasta than those 2. That way you fill up on the good stuff while still getting some pasta.

Enough talking...Let's get cooking!

Servings: 4

1 cup (dry) whole-grain penne
1/2 of a whole cauliflower, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup non-fat milk
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (plus extra for topping the final dish!)

2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 bunch kale, sliced
1 pack mushrooms, sliced
1 head broccoli, chopped
10 pieces of asparagus, chopped
2 chicken breast, cut into thin, small pieces (can use tenders too)
Salt and pepper to taste!

Directions for the Cauliflower-Alfredo Sauce

1. Boil about 4-5 cups of water. Add the cauliflower in and cook it about 15-20 minutes. The longer it cooks, the 'creamier' it becomes.
2. Drain the cauliflower and add to a blender (You can blend this with a potato masher, but it won't be as smooth as using a blender)
3. Season with 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper. Begin blending, while slowly adding the vegetable broth, following by the milk. Once it seems thinned out, you can stop. If you need more liquid, add more to achieve the consistency you like.
4. Heat a pan with a little olive oil and sauté 2 minced cloves of garlic, until fragrant. This will be just 2-3 minutes. Careful not to burn!
5. Add the cauliflower puree to the pan with the parmesan cheese. Stir until cheese has melted.
6. Now add the pasta, chicken and veggies!

Directions for the pasta (without sauce)

1. Begin by boiling water for the pasta and cook according to package instructions.
2. While these are cooking, begin sautéing the chicken in a little olive oil. Don't forget to season with salt and pepper!
3. Begin prepping your veggies, as the chicken cooks.
4. When the chicken is done, remove from heat. Begin sautéing the veggies in separate pan on medium heat. Start with the mushrooms and asparagus. After about 5 minutes, add the broccoli and cook for another 3-5 minutes, or until the broccoli turns a brighter green color. Add the kale and 1 extra clove if you like it garlicy! 
5. Add all together with the sauce, stir and serve topped with a little extra parmesan!

SOOO delicious! 

Using cauliflower as a base for sauce is a GAME. CHANGER.

I can promise you'll see it done again here at Love&Grub.

Until then, hope you've enjoyed!

Lots of LOVE,


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