Category: Kitchen Essentials

A simple recipe for a quick and healthy Alfredo sauce – 3 variations to add variety to your menu

This post contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase, I will receive a small percentage of the seller’s profit at no additional cost to you.  Please see my Privacy Policy and Terms of Use for additional information.

Why healthy Alfredo sauce?

I love to cook and I love the idea of preparing healthy meals.  I have been following the 21-Day Fix eating plan on and off for just over 1-year.  It helps me balance portion sizes and  the right mix of food groups.   I feel great when I stick to the plan, especially with some exercise.

I try to eat healthy, but comfort food tastes great and sometimes it’s just good for the soul after a stressful day.  Fettuccine Alfredo is one of my all-time favorite comfort meals.  The traditional recipe uses butter and heavy cream and this is served over pasta.  Unfortunately, the comfort feeling doesn’t last long and tends to turn into a bloated feeling and state of guilt for me.  Fear not, comfort food can be adapted into a healthier, feel better version.  I have tried several ‘healthy’ Alfredo sauce recipes and have found the recipe provided in the link below to be a great base.  Think of the recipe as a really nice blank canvas.  You are the artist who gets throw on the color and design the finished product exactly to your taste.

Don’t get me wrong,  I love carbs too and can’t give them up.  However, I do try to manage my carb intake (that little yellow box is way too tiny fellow 21-Day Fixers!).  I recently purchased a spiralizer and really enjoy using it to prepare ‘zoodles’ (zucchini) or even better yet, daikon radish noodles.  Seems strange (pungent smell), but perfect base for a creamy sauce.  Even better than pasta with a creamy, heavier sauce.  Try it!

How do you prepare a satisfying meal with a healthy Alfredo sauce?

A great 21-Day Fix version of Alfredo sauce.  Check out this great link.

Ingredients for a basic  Alfredo sauce:

  • 1-1/2 cup 2% cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 4 Tablespoons low fat milk or almond milk
  • spices (garlic powder, salt, pepper) can be added if you don’t follow the variations outlined below; go light with the salt as the base flavor can be salty from the Parmesan

Instructions for Alfredo sauce preparation:

  • Mix  cottage cheese and Parmesan cheese in a saucepan or dutch oven (I LOVE my Dansk Kobenstyle cookware)
  • Heat on medium-low, mixing just until the Parmesan cheese melts.  Temperature is key.  Be patient (I know this is hard after a long day of work).  Be warned, if you overheat everything separates.  Please be patient, it really only takes a few minutes.
  • Allow to cool slightly and carefully transfer the sauce  to a blender.  Ensure bottom is attached tightly to prevent leaking.  I’m thinking about trying an immersion blender the next time I prepare this recipe, which is probably next week!
  • Puree the Alfredo sauce in the blender, adding the milk to get the desired consistency.  Don’t make it too watery, you have another opportunity to add more milk when you reheat the sauce.
  • Transfer the sauce back to saucepan or dutch oven, add any protein or vegetables that you may have prepared (see quick meal tips and recipe variations below).
  • Serve over pasta, zoodles , or Daikon radish noodles.

Continue reading

4 great recipe ideas for leftover ham

Links to recipes are provided below. Enjoy!

 

Over the weekend, we enjoyed another fantastic barbecue.  We had family over, so we grilled lots of food including a double-smoked ham with apricot glaze from Ray ‘Dr. BBQ’ Lampe’s Slow Fire Barbecue guide.  That is not a mirror image below; we threw two hams on the smoker.  A couple hours into the low and slow smoke, we covered the hams with a simple glaze prepared by blending apricots in syrup, ketchup, soy sauce and molasses.  What great flavor.  We also grilled salmon and asparagus.

 

 

 

Continue reading

I LOVE Dansk Kobenstyle Cookware

My Kobenstyle Casserole filled with Gumbo.

Brilliant! The casserole lid doubles as a trivet.

I have ‘known’ Kobenstyle Enamel casserole cookware my entire life.  My mom received a set as a shower gift when she married 50-years ago.

Growing up, this cookware meant special events and celebration food.  My mom stored her most beloved Christmas cookies in her Kobenstyle.  This isn’t her Linzer recipe, but close enough and good reviews!

My mom used her Kobenstyle to entertain company and I remember many appearances in the dining room, which was reserved for special occasions with family and friends.   Some of my favorite Kobenstyle memories are Gumbo and Mushroom Soup.

Growing up, I didn’t understand how much I associated the Kobenstyle casserole cookware with great food and good times.  Unfortunately, my parents divorced and the Kobenstyle cookware was lost!!!!  I went off to college, married, and started cooking for a family of my own.  I had some great enamelware from Crate and Barrel, which I also received as shower gifts.  I loved the light weight and versatility, but cleaning caked on food left the bottoms scratched and eventually I had to retire these dutch ovens.  About 2-years years ago, I opened a catalog I received in the mail and was delighted to find Kobenstyle cookware.  What a flood of great memories!  I had to have it!  The fabulous stock pot is available in 6-Quart4-Quart; and 2-Quart sizes.

Italian Wedding Meatball Soup.

One pot mac-and-cheese Easy, creamy, andso delicious!

My mom had the teal version.  Very mid-century modern color, I think.  It seams teal items are still available, but the black works better for me.  I love cooking with my Kobenstyle casseroles.  Le Creuset dutch ovens are also nice, but they are so heavy.   They are difficult to manage manage with food, they are difficult to clean, and they are EXPENSIVE.  Kobenstyle is a good fit for my lifestyle….affordable, super easy to clean, lightweight so you can easily manage the transfer from oven to table, and how cool is it that the lid doubles as a trivet.  So practical and stylish.

 

 

 

 

 

This post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase your Kobenstyle cookware using the links I have provided, I will receive a portion of the seller’s profits.  Thank you for your support.

Leftover beef tenderloin panini

I hope everyone’s New Year is off to a great start.   I know many of you may have healthy eating resolutions.  I do too, but I start Monday.  For now, let’s talk food!  

Over the holidays, I hosted a Christmas dinner for my family.  It was a lovely evening and I served a roasted beef tenderloin.  Normally, we would have grilled.  However, the temperature on the day of our party was below zero with Arctic wind chills.  I’m not sure we would have been able to get the barbecue up to a high enough temperature.  Needless to say, it was a wonderful dinner and the tenderloin was delicious .  I was so busy serving 15 guests, I completely forgot about pictures.  What a shame.   No such thing as  a free dinner……next time someone in the family will be assigned this important task.

The cut of meat was rather gigantic, so there was quite a bit left even after sending some home with guests.  I threw it in the freezer for a later date.  Well, that date arrived.  One great option for leftover tenderloin is Beef Wellington.  On this occasion, I didn’t have puff pastry in the freezer.  However, I did have a nice loaf of jalapeno cheddar bread, so beef panini came to mind.  Even better idea knowing I had horseradish cheddar cheese in the refrigerator.  Who doesn’t love a little horseradish with a tender slice of beef?  Just one problem, no panini press.  I mean how many kitchen gadgets can I cram into my cabinets?

This is where I had to get a little creative.   I could just use a frying pan, but I was determined to have grill marks.  I didn’t have a grill pan available because I was cooking at the cabin.  I expect a grill pan would work if you had a way to weigh down the panini.   My solution?  I just used my waffle iron and a little cooking spray.  I love my waffle iron even more!

Quick to assemble and just a matter of minutes to get the bread crusty, meat warmed, and cheese gooey.  Threw some minestrone soup mix in a pot and a delicious dinner for a cold northwoods evening was on the table in no time at all.

We enjoy serving tenderloin for nice dinners and typically have plenty of leftovers.  Please share your ideas for how to use left-over tenderloin.   I am always looking for new ideas.

Thanks for sharing!  Laura