Slow cooked shredded flank steak with tomatoes, onions, peppers and spices; a national Cuban dish.
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Good ole Fettuccine Alfredo! Never have you failed to come through in times of need. You were there when I’d come home late from work, not really in the mood to cook. I could just pull a jar out of the pantry, boil some pasta and BAM! A quick, easy and tasty dinner was ready!
It’s so easy for me to just use the pre-made stuff but lately (over the past year or so) I’ve been straying away from the “Lazy Sauce”, that includes marinara and pesto too! I’d much rather add and extra 15 minutes to my cook time to create my own sauce, whose ingredients are fresh and un-manipulated and I know exactly what’s in it. Plus, it tastes 1000 times better!
So, if you’re like me and want to get away from the old reliable but processed Lazy Sauce, this recipe is for you!
I’m aware that there are a million and 1 fettuccine alfredo recipes out there on the internets but I cannot help but and another one. It’s such a classic dish that brings back childhood memories, despite the fact that my mom was more of a spaghetti Bolognese type of person. It’s super simple to make and you can store in the fridge for up to 5 days and freeze for up to 3 months!
So, what’s so different about this recipe, you ask? For starters, to reduce the amount of fat in this recipe, I use equal parts half and half and low sodium chicken broth instead of heavy cream. I also prefer to use asiago cheese to parmesan. It ends up coming out silkier and creamier than that grainy parmesan. Speaking of creamy, I added a bit of cream cheese to the recipe for some extra velvety goodness. I suppose, then, you can toss out that note earlier about reducing fat! Sorry, not so sorry!
In any case, this recipe is quite different from the traditional but delicious nonetheless! Leave me a comment below and let me know your thoughts on this version or if you prefer the traditional way.
- 1 lb. shrimp, peeled & deveined
- 9 oz. package of fresh fettuccine pasta
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 1 tbsp. flour
- 1 cup low fat half and half
- 1 cup low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 oz. cream cheese
- 1 cup asiago or parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp. flour
SHOP KEY INGREDIENTS & TOOLS:
Healthy recipe alert!! Ever since I launched More Than You Can Chew in the beginning of this year I can’t say that I’ve become known for posting the healthiest of recipes so I’m pretty hype that I’ve managed to post something that looks good, tastes amazing and is actually pretty healthy!
I say “pretty healthy” because I know how particular people are about what’s considered to be “healthy food”. Some say it has to be vegan, some say it has to have vegetables, some say it should not have carbs. To me, healthy food is just as much what it is as what it isn’t. This dish is not carbs smothered in meat and cheese. And it’s not deep fried and coated in sugar. So it’s definitely considered healthy to me!
That said, there are modifications that can be made to this recipe to make it even healthier. I will list some modification suggestions below but in short, this recipe does include ingredients like breadcrumbs and buttermilk. These are two things that can be omitted without changing the main components of the meal and still produce a pretty tasty result. “But Jasmine, if they can be omitted they why even include them in the recipe?” The reason for that is because I like buttermilk and breadcrumbs, they taste delicious and I can do what I want.
You can also do what you want! Since I started this journey I’ve always stressed the ability to take my recipes and modify them to your liking. All I want is for this to be a guide of what to do but ultimately you can add, omit, replace, reuse, reinvent any recipe on here. I actually encourage it!
Let me know in the comments below if you have any alternatives to this recipe. I’d love to hear your ideas!
- 2 lbs. chicken breast, cut into 8 strips
- 8 large lettuce leaves
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. onion powder
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 cup your favorite buffalo sauce
- 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
- 1 cup shredded carrotsInstructions
- Place chicken in a large bowl and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne pepper, if using. Pour buttermilk over chicken, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Completely coat each buttermilk soaked chicken strip in panko bread crumbs and place on a baking rack over a baking sheet. Bake chicken for 30-35 minutes.
- Remove chicken from oven and cover in buffalo sauce.
- Arrange lettuce wraps by placing one chicken strip on a lettuce leaf. Top with blue cheese and shredded carrots.DetailsPrep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8 wraps
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Reduce prep time by seasoning chicken as directed but without buttermilk. This is also a healthier option.
Omit panko breadcrumbs for a healthier alternative.
Use blue cheese dressing instead of crumbles as an alternative. (The crumbles are a better option health-wise)
SHOP KEY INGREDIENTS & TOOLS:
I’ve only been to New Orleans a handful of times but a lot of my favorite foods are Cajun dishes and this gumbo is right at the top of the list! First of all, the incredible smells that erupt from this dish are incomparable to anything I’ve ever cooked. As soon as you add the chopped vegetables to that roux, you’ll know what I’m talking about. The bacon, the onion, the celery, the peppers, when they come together its like magic in your nose, which I know sounds weird, but seriously, it’s amazing.
Now let’s talk roux. Normally a roux is composed of melted butter or oil and flour. Gumbo don’t get down like that. We use bacon fat. Yes, that greasy, oily fat that normally gets left behind at breakfast. It is essential and I will not have it any other way. I’ve read that when making a roux, it is best to use a heavy bottom pot to prevent burning. While I agree that probably works best, when I started cooking I didn’t have one of those (and still don’t) so I just make sure to watch the stove. For real people, don’t go sit down to watch Grey’s Anatomy in the middle of doing this. You need to watch the color of the roux because it gets dark quickly and needs to be stirred frequently. Then we look for a rich, sexy chocolate color… like Morris Chestnut! Yasss, he is the perfect color roux for this gumbo! As soon as you see Morris, add in your chopped veggies and stir and you’ll start to smell that heavenly scent I described earlier. This has always been my favorite part of cooking this gumbo.
Whenever I make a Cajun dish, I always like to use what I call the golden protein trio: chicken, shrimp and sausage (Andouille or kielbasa). Each one adds something special, and I can’t imagine the dish missing one of them. I season the raw chicken and shrimp separately with the Cajun seasoning so that they each adopt the flavor on its own. Then I like to cook the shrimp and sausage together so the shrimp can absorb some of the sausage flavor from the oil that melts off of it. I cook the chicken in the same oil so that everyone is a part of the party and they all develop that rich, delicious flavor! I add my trio to the finished dish at the end and let it all marry together, knowing well that each protein can hold it’s own. You don’t have to use the golden trio but omitting the sausage would be a no-no. A Cajun dish is just not the same without it and it looses its authenticity, and a hell of a lot of flavor, instantly.
From here it should be smooth sailing. Simmer your sauce for an hour, cook your meats, marry everything together and you’re good to go! I have experienced my sauce coming out a bit watery in consistency at times. If this happens, just mix equal parts cornstarch and water in a bowl and pour that in a little bit at a time so that it does not end up getting too thick. You should aim for a light gravy consistency. Now you’re ready to serve! I like to serve this this dish over coconut rice since the sweetness of the rice goes so well with the spicy Cajun seasoning. For best results, serve on a cold lazy Sunday & enjoy!
- 1 lbs chicken, cubed
- 20 peeled jumbo shrimp
- 14 oz Andouille sausage
- 1 1/2 tbsp and 2 tsp Cajun seasoning
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 large onion, chopped
- 4 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 can stewed tomatoes
- 6 strips bacon
- 3 tbs flour
- equal parts water & cornstarch, if neededInstructions
- Cook bacon in large saucepan until well done and yields about 2 tbs of fat, careful not to burn bacon. Remove bacon and set aside. Whisk in flour 1 tbs at a time until it is a creamy consistency, creating a roux. Cook roux for 15-20 minutes, whisking frequently to prevent burning. The color should be a rich brown.
- Add onion, celery and green peppers to the roux and mix togther with a wooden spoon. Cook for 5 minutes, until veggies soften. Add stewed tomatoes, 1 1/2 tbsp of cajun seasoning to vegetables and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Pour in stock and bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low heat for 1 hour.
- While stock cooks, season chicken and shrimp separately with 1 tsp cajun seasoning each. In a large saute pan, cook andouille sausage for 3 minutes, then add in shrimp. Cook for 5 minutes, until shrimp is fully cooked and andouille has browned. Remove from pan, leaving any oil behind. If there was no oil from the sausage, add 1 tsp of olive oil or butter to pan. Add chicken to the pan and cook for about 8 minutes, scraping up and bits from the shrimp/sausage, until fully cooked.
- Once stock has finished simmering, add protein to stock. If the sauce seems too watery, dissolve 1 tbsp cornstarch with 1 tbsp water in a separate bowl and stir into stock to achieve a light gravy consistency.
- Chop bacon and add to gumbo. Serve over white or coconut rice.DetailsPrep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6-8 servings