Love for Food + Pasta

Low-Calorie Fettuccni Alfredo w/Chicken

I love Food Network Magazine. The big bold pictures and easy to make recipes. Last month, I saw the recipe for Fettuccine Alfredo. It was in the weeknight section and seemed so quick and easy. I cut the recipe out and put it in my file of dishes to try. During Weight Watchers last week, our leader mentioned what he said was a total no no. He said something to the effect of, " It's not like it's Fettuccine Alfredo". My mind wandered back to that article I cut out. I really wanted to try that version I saw in the magazine! When I thought about things a little more I realized it was a bad idea to ruin all my efforts at the gym . I began to think about substitutions. Maybe substitute fat free half and half for the heavy cream? I was afraid it would than be too watery. Instead of messing around too much with the consistency, I decided to look for a lower-fat/calorie version. I found the recipe here, at a blog called Cooking Gone Light. I was very worried about how it would taste. The entire dish comes out to just under 300 calories with chicken. 300 vs. around 800 is a big difference. What is it that is being sacrificed? Would it be wroth it or should I just realize I need to save Fettuccni Alredo for special occasions? I gave it a try and it's a keeper. While it's not your traditional Fettuccine Alfredo, it has the same taste as the classic. The difference between this version and the classic is that the sauce was a bit drier and not as creamy. (However, you can add a bit more milk to add some more wetness to the sauce, if you wish.)The flavor was good and similar to the classic. I didn't feel hungry after eating, the pasta sat well in my stomach. The chicken kept me satiated. For those of you who are on Weight Watchers, the dish came out to 6 points. If anyone eats Lean Cuisine's, a 6 point pasta from them is like air in my stomach. I felt like I ate two bites and am still so hungry, but the little tray is empty. I wanted to share this dish to all my fellow foodies who are trying to eat a bit healthier, and still want to enjoy what you are eating. Ingredients: Serves Four 8 ounces whole wheat fettuccine 1/4 cup part skim ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese if that is what you have on hand)
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup skim milk 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or margarine 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts optional (or for a”quickie” version, precooked low-sodium store bought chicken) 1/2 teaspoon black pepper *1/2 tablespoon cornstarch* (you may or may not need this)
Method:

  • Cook the noodles according the package directions, omitting the salt.
  • If you are using chicken breasts: While the pasta cooks, cut the chicken into thin strips, or large chunks and cook in a skillet sprayed with cooking spray over medium-high heat (stirring frequently) for about 7 – 9 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink. Set aside. *I used Ms. Dash table blend for no salt and some added flavor, turned out great.*
  • Drain the noodles well and return them to the empty pot. Add the ricotta (or cottage) cheese, yogurt, skim milk, butter, and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese to the pot.
  • Turn the heat on very low and stir well until everything is combined. If you are using chicken, add that now as well. If the sauce looks a little too watery, add the cornstarch and continue to stir until it has reached the desired thickness.
  • Divide between 4 plates, sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and the black pepper, serve and enjoy!!
Cost: about $5.25 total, $1.31 per serving Time: 15 minutes active Nutrition Facts: Amount Per Serving Calories 280.8 Total Fat 10.3 gSaturated Fat 6.0 gPolyunsaturated Fat 0.6 gMonounsaturated Fat 2.8 gCholesterol 68.5 mgSodium 350.7 mgPotassium 258.7 mgTotal Carbohydrate 18.2 gDietary Fiber 2.6 gSugars 1.2 gProtein 28.9 g

Weight Watcher Points: 6 points per serving

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Low-Calorie Fettuccni Alfredo w/Chicken + Pasta