Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo

When I was single a lot of meals took hours to prepare (because I didn’t have anything else to do) and often consisted of variations on pasta. Occasionally I had a meat of some sort and odd vegetables left in the crisper. Other times garlic and olive oil was about all I had. I still love pasta and I hope my family does as well. My girls prefer good old spaghetti with meat sauce, but sometimes I like to have Carbonara, Piccata or Alfredo. Yes, dairy-free. Carbonara is pretty easy because you use an egg yolk and pasta water to make the sauce. Parmesan is added at the end, but it tastes fine without it. Sometimes I grate some Brazil nuts on top. but not always. (I use the Rachael Ray recipe Spaghetti alla Carbonara: Bacon and Egg “Coal Miner’s” Pasta.)Piccata may not taste as good without butter, but I just use more olive oil to make the roux. (I use the easy Piccata Toss recipe from Rachael Ray.) Now, Alfredo is a whole other ballgame. How do you make a dairy-free sauce that is supposed to be made from cream, butter and cheese? Hurrah for the internet! Hurrah for the Vegans! I found a great Alfredo recipe called “Hurry Up Alfredo”. It uses cashews to make a creamy sauce. My husband loves it. He asked me not to tell him what it was made of because he didn’t want to risk being freaked out by the ingredients. He was totally fine with cashews. Sometimes I make this with whatever pasta I have on hand, but sometimes I get all fancy and use fettuccine, add grilled chicken and steamed broccoli. This is one of those meals I don’t have to worry about anyone complaining or whining about the food. Luckily both of my kids love broccoli. I never thought about hurting my mom’s feelings when I whined about dinner, but now I know it must have upset her. One more thing you can’t learn until you have kids of your own.

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