alfredo · alternative · cauliflower · cheese · chicken meal · dinner idea · healthy · parmesan · pasta · pasta dish · whole wheat

Chicken Cauli-fredo Pasta Kind of Date Night

I went to the grocery store this weekend and I was amazed by how much time I spent in the pasta section. Seriously, I must have gone back and forth between regular penne pasta and whole wheat pasta like 5-6 times. At one point I even looked for brown rice penne pasta (like I needed another option!). I picked up the regular penne, then put in back and grabbed the whole wheat, and then put that back. I swear I did this rep 3 times. Now, I know this is not the kind of rep my personal trainer would recommend so why do it? Why was I having such a hard time deciding on penne pasta?!
Honestly, I think it was my love of food at war with my healthy consciousness in freakin’ aisle 9 of the grocery store! (you know, the pasta aisle?).
See, when I know I’ve overindulged in amazingly-delicious treats with zero nutritional value and infinite amounts of endorphins, something happens. Maybe it’s the guilt from all the guilty pleasures that just becomes too heavy  a burden or maybe it’s the extra lbs. here and there. Regardless, this time around I decided on whole wheat penne pasta, but instead of having it with Alfredo sauce like I really, really, really wanted, I bought some cauliflower and made that into an Alfredo-type sauce inspired by a recipe I found online. You may be thinking this sounds like a bad idea, but my food tester who by the way grew up not eating many vegetables because he didn’t like them, actually approved this dish.

To make it you need to first decide on a type of pasta. Sure, you can use any pasta, but whole wheat or brown rice pasta are the healthier options in case you too have had an overindulge-kind-of-week. I used ½ cauliflower- steamed or cooked until it’s soft enough to puree. I did it using my bullet and it was fast and easy. Mix in about ¼ cup of almond milk and pepper (add pasta water to adjust consistency). Set aside. In a sauce pan melt about 2 Tbsp. of butter, 3 cloves of garlic and ½ -1 tsp of salt (up to your taste buds). It’s important to make sure you cook in low heat, otherwise the garlic will burn quickly and add too much color to your sauce. Then add the cauliflower mix to the pan and add 1 tsp of shredded Parmesan cheese (although you can use any kind of hard cheese to change it up a bit like Romano) until it melts all together and the flavors have a chance to combine over a nice bed of heat, after all this blog is about the love of food right?

Finally, I married it with my pasta (cooked as desired). On top I sprinkled some more Parmesan cheese and a piece of grilled chicken which I lightly seasoned with salt and pepper. Serve with some white wine and voila!  


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