One of the first things I had to learn after deciding to lose weight was what my no-no foods were! One of the things on that list was chicken alfredo. Most restaurant chicken alfredo dishes rack in at over 1000 calories a serving. ONE THOUSAND CALORIES!!
I quickly decided that giving up high calories dishes like that was key in my weight loss but in time I got smart and I realized that simple swaps in my recipes could allow me to enjoy my favorite flavors.
Two ways to make an alfredo dish healthier is to swap out chicken for vegetables and to lighten up the alfredo sauce with almond or soy milk for heavy cream. Making those two changes helped me to create my spinach and mushroom alfredo.
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot sliced
1 package of mushrooms, sliced (4 oz)
1 small bag spinach, stems removed
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 cup Silk Pure Almond Unsweetened Original
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
8 oz fettuccine or other whole wheat pasta, cooked
salt and pepper
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley or basil
To start, measure out 4 servings of whole wheat pasta. Measuring is the best way to reach an exact serving size and not intake more calories than planned.
As the pasta boils, sauté a shallot in extra virgin olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Next add the diced mushrooms and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
Next add diced fresh spinach and cook 1-2 minutes until wilted.
Remove the vegetables from the pan and then begin to build your alfredo sauce.
To start, melt butter and sauté garlic for 1 minute. To the sauteed garlic and butter add 2 tbsp of flour and whisk together for 1 minute.
Next whisk in almond milk and heat through, stirring well until fully combined. To finish the sauce add Parmesan cheese and cook 1-2 minutes, until cheese is melted. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To the completed sauce add in your sauteed mushrooms, scallions, and spinach.
Combine well and season to taste. To my dish I added red pepper flakes for some heat.
To serve, place a serving of whole wheat pasta in the bottom of a bowl. Top with 1 cup of spinach and mushroom alfredo sauce and top with chopped Italian parsley.
After altering the dish and saving 470 calories, I don’t know if I’ll ever be temped to return to regular alfredo.
Nutritional Information (based on the exact ingredients used in this post)
Calories – 530
Fat – 17
Saturated Fat – 4
Cholesterol – 46
Carbohydrates – 79
Protein – 18
Sodium – 526
Fiber – 4
Recipe serves 4
10PP on Weight Watchers as vegetables are 0PP (do not use the nutritional information above to figure out points).
What are two tips you have for altering a dish to make it healthier?
This post is also featured on WIAW.