Zucchini and Chicken Alfredo

GUESS WHAT I GOT!?!?!?! A veggie spiralizer! My friend had a pampered chef party the other week and I saw that they have a spiralizer! Now… I’m mildly obsessed with all things Pampered Chef. It’s a problem… but I FORCED my friend to have a party, just so she could partially benefit from my obsession and need to order this spiralizer. So, because she’s a good friend, she hosted a party and I got it! YAY!

I’ve made this dish 2 times. Once by using the largest side of my cheese grader, and once by using my spiralizer. I did like both, but my favorite version was with the spiralizer. It was just FUN! It made the zucchini the size and texture of noodles. You can make a still delicious version with your cheese grater though if you don’t want to/don’t have the spiralizer.

My husband and daughter thought this was a WINNER!!! My sweet son couldn’t try it because it’s chock full of cheese and dairy… but I’m sure if he could, he would’ve loved it! Who doesn’t love alfredo?! And if you’re gonna splurge, you may as well splurge with veggies so you don’t feel QUITE as guilty!!

My recipe is adapted from this one: Zucchini Alfredo

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 4 chicken tenderloins sauteed in a skillet with olive oil, salt and pepper for about 4-5 min. per side (from frozen) and then set aside to rest.
  • 2 large zucchini (or 3 medium to small), spiralized* OR shredded with the LARGE side of a cheese grater
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or gluten free flour alternative for a thickener)
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half OR 2% milk (at the least amount of fat. The cheese won’t bind with the milk to make the creamy sauce if you use skim or rice milk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 fresh black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I prefer “Shredded” parmesan cheese over grated. I had run out… but the taset is WAY better, creamier and cheesier)
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. As mentioned above, sautee chicken (Unless you’re using leftover rotisserie chicken) and set aside on a cutting board. Let rest BEFORE you cut up.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Sautee onions until translucent. Add zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and heated through, about 3-5 minutes; set aside.
  3. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the saucepan. Add garlic, whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute.
  4. Gradually whisk in cream, italian seasoning and oregano. Cook, whisking constantly, until incorporated, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in Parmesan until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. If the mixture is too thick, add more milk as needed; season with salt and pepper, to taste. (I am pretty generous with the black pepper. I think it makes the alfredo pretty and delicious.)
  5. Stir in zucchini  and the now chopped chicken tenderloins, and gently toss to combine.
  6. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley and a bit more shredded parmesan cheese, if desired.

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And SERIOUSLY enjoy! You’ll be glad you made this one!!!

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And now, for the song of the day:

I can’t help singing to this song every time I hear it!!!

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Ritz Cracker Coated Chicken with Pasta and a Cream Sauce… NOT LIGHT!

Ok… so first off, this is NOT what I planned on cooking tonight. I was going to make a lightly “pan fried” chicken with a lemon dill sauce. Let’s just say I found out that I was out of corn starch, then I found out that I was out of panko bread crumbs. THEN I ruined my lemon sauce because I added a bit of cream… it was going well, and THEN I added a bit more lemon… CURDLED my sauce!!!! UGH! Then, the other sauce I tried to make I followed a recipe. Shouldn’t have. It was HORRIBLE! So then, I just made my own “alfredo” sauce with a bit of dill (I needed to use my DILL!!). (light version)

So… Here goes!! HAHA, the final recipe I actually used…

chickenritz

Chicken Recipe:

6 chicken tenderloins
1 cup milk (I used coconut milk… you can use whichever)
2 TB light oil (canola or coconut)
1 cup flour
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
salt&pepper to taste
3 egg whites
1/2 cup water
1 roll of ritz crackers (or equivalent… I used TJ version)
2 TB parmesan cheese grated

Directions for the Chicken:

Soak the chicken in the milk for 30 min. at least in the fridge. Place the flour, onion powder, garlic powder and salt and pepper in 1 bowl. In bowl #2 place the egg whites and water. In bowl #3 place the ritz crackers crushed up to crumbs, and the parmesan cheese.

Take the chicken, dip into the flour mix (bowl #1), then into the egg and water mixture (bowl #2) and then into the crumb mixture (bowl #3).  Then place into the heated skillet of oil on medium to medium-high. (Just covering the bottom, not dropping into a vat of oil)

Since I had more chicken than could fit into the pan, the chicken that was already crisped up, I placed onto a pan in the oven @350 to keep crispy and hot in the oven. (not for more than 15 min or so)

While all of this is happening… INSTEAD of making mashed potatoes like I THOUGHT I was going to… haha, I made linguini. Yeah, where was I at the grocery store?!

Then, I made the sauce… oh man. I’m telling you, this was a struggle. UGH! Ok. So… here’s the recipe for the sauce:

1 1/2 – 2 TB butter
2 TB flour
3/4 cup half and half (or whatever milk you prefer)
2 TB parmesan (or similar) cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp garlic (powder or minced)
1 tsp minced FRESH dill (optional)

1. Melt butter in small sauce pan on low
2. slowly add flour and whisk
3. when thickened add the half and half slowly while whisking quickly
4. add salt and pepper
5.add cheese just till melted, whisking the entire time until melted thoroughly
6. add fresh dill (and leave some for garnish)
7. remove from heat and pour over pasta and chicken

 

I served this with a salad with the leftover dressing from last nights summer fruit salad!!! YUM!

Grown Ups Grilled Cheese with a Quick Corn Chowder

grwnupgrldchseandchowder

This was a quick dinner, in total took me about 25 minutes start to finish. Not too shabby since I had no clue what I was going to make when I walked into the kitchen!! I was going to make a type of sandwich and doctor up some soup I had from Trader Joes… but I found out it was expired. OOPS!! So, here’s what I came up with!

Chowder

Ingredients:

1 strip of bacon chopped into small pieces
4 small yukon gold potatoes diced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups of milk (I used organic PLAIN coconut milk)
1 TB PLAIN (not vanilla!!) yogurt
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 onion chopped
1/4 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
dash of hot sauce (to desired spiciness)
3/4 cup of corn (I used frozen)
Parmesan Cheese as garnish

Directions:

In a large pot (soup size) place the bacon pieces and start cooking to sizzling. Once starting to brown, add the onion and potatoes. Once the onions have started to brown, turn down the heat to 2 (simmer… med/low). Slowly add the milk, not allowing it to boil and then add the water. Cover with a lid and let simmer on low until the potatoes start to soften. Then, add the garlic and the remaining milk and whisk in the yogurt. Add the hot sauce, corn and the salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer on low. When serving, add shredded parmesan cheese as garnish on top to add a salty-peppery cheesiness.

Grown up Grilled Cheese

2 slices of sourdough
1 slice aged swiss
1 slice gouda cheese
tomato
Fresh Basil
thinly sliced avocado
(butter on the undersides of the bread for in the skillet).

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I put the buttered side down, and then added the cheese. When the cheese was melted, I added the toppings, melted a bit more and made sure the bread was sufficiently toasted, and then made into a sandwich and plated. YUM!

Enjoy!!

 

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Lighter Version of Banana Bread… and JUST AS GOOD!

lighterbananabread

2 large bananas
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cage free egg
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup half&half
1/4 cup apple sauce
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 tsp baking powder
2 cups all purpose flour

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease bread loaf pan, unless it’s non stick.

Mix all dry ingredients into a large bowl, make sure to mix well.

Mix all wet ingredients in another bowl, make sure to mix thoroughly.

Add liquid mix to dry mix and stir thoroughly.

Put into bread loaf pan and cook for approximately 55 to 65 minutes. I always start checking the colour around 50 minutes, should be a nice golden brown. Insert a toothpick in centre to check if it’s done. Toothpick may be moist from bananas, just make sure it’s not moist from batter.

Let bread cool in pans for about 5 to 10 minutes. Run a knife along outside edge to loosen sides.

Looking for something sweet, add chocolate chips! You can also add walnuts or pecans for extra flavor!