Saturday, April 6, 2013

"Healthier" Chicken Alfredo Bake

Ok, so there's still some unhealthier ingredients in here, but it's a lighter version and it's filled with some veggies. My husband has had to go gluten free so the pasta here is also gluten free, along with everything on the recipe. The original recipe was totally vegan, but we didn't go that extreme. 
1 box of gluten free pasta (or regular if you'd like)
1 cucumber
1 green or red bell pepper (the red would be a nice addition to the color)
olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper to taste
Italian seasoning to taste
1/2 cup cooked chicken
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons gluten free flour (or regular)
2 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vinegar (any type)

Cook pasta just under al dente, according to package directions. If you over cook it, it becomes soggy and mushy and not as good. Meanwhile, peel, slice, and halve the cucumber. Chop the pepper into bite size pieces. Heat oil on a skillet medium high heat and add garlic, vegetables, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning until the vegetables are nice and crisp. Just a couple minutes. Set aside.
When pasta is done drain it well and drizzle with some olive oil before combining sauce and vegetables.
To make the sauce:
Heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. When the butter melts, add the flour until it's a paste. Slowly add the milk in. Add the parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt and nutmeg. Turn the heat down and stir until it thickens.
Turn the heat off and add the vegetables, chicken, and pasta. Stir to coat. Pour in a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. When finished, top with parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning.
You could also add a bread crumb and parmesan cheese topping to make it yummier. Just melt a couple tablespoons of butter and combine about a cup of bread crumbs (gluten free or not) and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. It would make it nice and crispy on top, but wouldn't help with being healthy ;)

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