Thursday, 26 January 2017

A Healthy Twist on Classic Alfredo Sauce

Pasta please! Every time I think about preparing an indulgent meal, I turn to my all time favourite food: pasta! Because I enjoy eating pasta so much, I am always looking for new ways to add a healthier twist to my favourite dishes. Whenever I am out to eat at a restaurant, I usually gravitate towards rich and creamy pasta dishes loaded with veggies. So, I decided to make a healthier version of the classic Alfredo sauce that does not sacrifice flavour!

I reduced the fat content in the Alfredo sauce by using skim milk and a low fat (0% or 2%) Greek yogurt. The addition of the Greek yogurt increases the protein content (1/2 cup Greek yogurt adds about 12 g of protein) and adds to the creamy texture you look for in an Alfredo sauce. 

This Alfredo sauce recipe is extremely versatile and can be combined with other ingredients to make numerous different pasta dishes. Below I paired this sauce with some sweet beets and creamy goat cheese. The beets not only add some extra vitamins and minerals to the meal, but make the sauce turn a pretty pink colour. 


Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Serves 4

2 large beets, cooked and grated 
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped 
2 cups uncooked pasta (I used bow tie noodles)
1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled (for topping)

Alfredo Sauce 
2 Tbsp butter
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup plain low fat greek yogurt
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated  
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

  1. Begin by preparing vegetables. For convenience in this recipe I purchased pre-cooked, vacuum packed beets (found in the produce department of major grocery stores). I like using these beets, as they are ready to use immediately and have no added salt or seasoning. I also like how these beets help me to avoid staining my fingers and countertops (a less messy alternative to cooking your own). If you have purchased pre-cooked beets, simply remove from packing and grate using the largest shredding size.
    However, you may also purchase raw beetroot for this recipe. If using fresh beets, follow these steps to prepare:
    1. Separate the beet from the stem, and wash lightly. 
    2. Place beets in a saucepan with cold water. Bring water to a boil, and cook beets over medium heat for around 45 minutes (the larger the beet, the longer the cooking time)
    3. Once cooked, strain cooking water and place beets in a bowl of cold water. Peel beets by rubbing the skin off with your hands.
  2. Saute mushrooms in 1 Tbsp olive oil for approximately 2-3 minutes and set aside. 
  3. In a medium sized sauce pan, bring water to a boil to cook pasta. Cooking time will vary based on the type of noodle you have chosen.
  4. While pasta is cooking, prepare Alfredo sauce. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over low to medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. 
  5. Add milk to saucepan and heat for 5 minutes, whisking frequently. 
  6. Remove saucepan from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Once cooled, mix in Greek yogurt, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. 
  7. Combine Alfredo sauce, cooked pasta, beets, and mushrooms (leaving 1/2 cup of shredded beets for topping). 
  8. Serve pasta and garnish with crumbled goat cheese and some additional shredded beets. Enjoy! 

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