Broccoli Garlic Alfredo

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo is one of those dishes that goes down in the books as one of the best pasta dishes. Granted, the best doesn’t always mean it’s the healthiest for you … unless you decide to make it at home in a lighter fashion. I sometimes keep Ragu’s Light Alfredo sauce in the cabinet for days when I want to throw something together quick without any further thought.  Although for this dish I decided to try out an Alfredo recipe which was available on the Laughing Cow website (see here).
As with most recipes, I did change up the Alfredo recipe just a tad, opting to increase the milk just a bit, skipped on the butter, used their garlic & herb Laughing Cow Cheese and seasoned the sauce up a little differently.  The end result was completely delicious – filling and low in points.
I didn’t have any grilled chicken on hand, so I put some frozen chicken straws in the oven to toast up and topped my pasta with 2 of those, sliced up. The added chicken will increase the points plus of the recipe – in my case the 2 chicken straws were 2 points plus values.
Serves 2. 6 Points Plus/serving.
  • 3 cups Al Dente Carba-Nada Egg Fettuccine Noodles
  • 3 Light Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges, Garlic & Herb Flavor
  • 1 tbsp reduced fat parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup skim milk
  • 2 cups cooked broccoli
  • 1 tsp black pepper, (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt, to taste
In a medium pan bring a pot of salted water to boil. Once boiling add in the Carba-Nada pasta and cook until done.
Steam broccoli in the microwave with 2 tbsp of water or use microwavable frozen broccoli.
In a sauce pan, place cheese wedges, milk, parmesan cheese, pepper, salt and garlic powder. Over medium heat gently cook together the sauce until the cheese wedges melt and the sauce thickens. Make sure to stir constantly to avoid burning.
Drain pasta and return back to the pan, toss with cooked broccoli and gently fold in the Alfredo sauce.
Equally divide the pasta into two dishes.
If wanted, top with your choice of chicken.

Trader Joe’s Satay Peanut Sauce Grilled Chicken Breast

While shopping one day the Trader Joe’s Satay Peanut Sauce caught my eye and I decided to pick it up. I’ve wanted peanut chicken for a while, and since I had never truthfully had peanut satay I decided it’d be a great opportunity to try something new.  Since I had chicken breast out for dinner I decided to create an experimental dish … and I’m glad to say it turned out well!
The sauce itself is very thick, actually thicker than I expected it to be. It’s definitely not a sauce I’d add on top of a dish, but it’s a sauce that I’d incorporate with my dish (protein or even a noodle dish) that had other items in it to help thin it out just a tad. It’s got a rather potent peanut flavor (expected) but the flavor category in itself is rather mild. I’m big on very bold and noticeable flavors and this is mediocre on its own.
I had 5 Perdue Perfect Portions chicken breasts to prepare for dinner. So I added it all to a bowl, added in a tablespoon of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and 3 tablespoons of Trader Joe’s Satay Peanut Sauce.  I mixed everything together and let it marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours.  I grilled the chicken in my non-stick grill pan and it came out pretty well.
The sauce held up well while grilling, it didn’t completely burn or smoke up my kitchen.  The chicken turned out to be mild with a small hint of spice in the background. This is a sauce I’ll use up, but I’ll make sure to add other flavor categories to it to help boost the flavor category.
A 1 tablespoon serving is 25 calories or 1 points plus value.
Have you tried the Satay Peanut sauce?

Trader Joe’s Curry Simmer Sauce

While shopping at Trader Joe’s I noticed the Trader Joe’s Curry Simmer Sauce so I picked up a jar to give it a try.  I enjoy all kinds of curry but typically when having Indian food I order curry or tikka masala.  I decided I’d whip it up for dinner and use some vegetables to possibly cut the heat – which I am grateful I did because the sauce is on the spicier side.
According to the jars directions it states to use the jar of sauce, plus 1 cup of water with 1 pound of boneless chicken, fish or vegetables, etc. and let the mixture simmer on the stove top until cooked through.  I opted to do it a little differently. I added a teaspoon of olive oil to a pan, added in my chicken tenderloin and cooked it on both sides to let it get some color.  I then added in one medium onion sliced and let it cook down together with the chicken for a few minutes before adding in the sauce and water. Mixing it all together, I then added in about ¾ pound of garden fresh green beans.  I let everything simmer together for about 15 minutes or so before turning off the flame.
If I didn’t add the vegetables it would have been more authentic to the way Indian food is served in a restaurant – meat with a lot of sauce. But I felt my dish needed the vegetable, particularly because it’s how I enjoy my food – with a bit of veggie mixed into the dish. The onion and green beans helped bring down the spice a tad, even though all together it was still a spicier dish.  It was definitely enjoyable and something that was quick and easy to pull together – with the combinations being endless.
I did end up stretching the sauce into four meals, simply dividing out the meat equally and serving with helpings of vegetables and sauce.  I also served up plates with ½ cup of brown rice and ½ garlic naan.
There are 3 ½ servings in the jar, with 1/3 cup sauce being a serving.  Each serving has 70 calories, 3 grams of fat, 11 grams of carbs and 2 grams of protein.  A serving of sauce is 2 points plus. 
Have you tried the Trader Joe’s curry simmer sauce?

Homemade “Quick Cook” Sauce

I have a few different variations of pasta sauce that I make from scratch.  This is one of my “quick cook” sauces that I use when I don’t want to make a meat sauce.  I’ve also made a variation of this sauce (omitting the diced tomatoes) as a homemade pizza sauce.  It’s very diverse and can even be used as a dipping sauce for Italian food items, etc.
This particular sauce recipe does make quite a large amount of sauce.  I usually make a large batch to use in a recipe and then to have on hand for another dish (pasta with meatballs or pasta with sausage, etc.).  The great thing is, this freezes perfectly fine so if dinner plans alter I can easily put the extra sauce into the freezer without worrying about it going to waste.  This is also typically the “base” to my meat sauce, although with meat sauces I do change up the ingredients and add in extras.
Essentially there are no real points plus values associated with it according to recipe builder, but I do give a serving of sauce 1 points plus just to be on the “safe side”.
1 points plus value. ½ – 2/3 cup servings.
1 medium onion, diced
2 large 28oz cans of crushed tomatoes
2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes, garlic seasoned (drained of excess liquid)
1 small 6 oz can tomato paste
1 small 4 oz can tomato sauce
2 tablespoon minced or crushed garlic (or adjust to your taste)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon sugar
Non-stick cooking spray
On medium heat, spritz bottom of soup pot with non-stick cooking spray and add in onions and garlic.  Cook for a few minutes until the onions begin to soften and the garlic begins to become flavorful.
Add in all canned ingredients and stir to combine (make sure tomato paste is evenly distributed to avoid having clumps of tomato paste). Add in dry seasonings, stir to combine.  Let simmer and taste the sauce.  Adjust seasonings based on your taste buds.  Typically I end up adding more pepper, salt, Italian seasoning and garlic powder.  I use a pinch of sugar just to take away some of the acidity from the tomatoes.
Since this is a “quick cook” sauce I usually let it simmer for 30 minutes before turning off the flame.