Skinny Creamy Fettuccine Alfredo

Now that the weather is getting cooler and the grill has seen it's last meal, its time to break out the comfort foods. One of my all time favorite meals is fettuccine Alfredo. I love going out to dinner on a cold night to the local Italian restaurant and ordering up some chicken fettuccine Alfredo and a glass of wine and just indulge. But let's be realistic. One meal out can run upwards of 1,200 calories! All that heavy cream, sizzling butter, and melting cheese can really take a chunk out of your daily calorie allowance.

The other night when I was having a massive craving for that that creamy goodness, I decided to make it myself. Now let me tell you, I have never even attempted to make Alfredo before the other night. For some reason it intimidated me. But being that I had such a strong craving, I figured why the heck not! and I made it.

To mine and my husbands disbelief it was actually better than our local Italian place and Olive Garden! It was so thick and creamy and buttery. But heres the kicker, it's a fraction of the calories! Which means I can eat more, which is always a plus. 

For this recipe I added chicken, because I feel a meal like this needs some sort of protein. You can add chicken, shrimp, scallops, lobster, the list is endless! And this recipe takes longer to cook the pasta then to make the sauce. 

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

8oz Fettuccine pasta
1 lb of meat (chicken, shrimp, scallops, ect)
3 Tbs unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons all-pourpose flour
1 1/2 cup of 1% milk
1/4 cup half & half
1/4 Cup grated or shredded parmesan cheese
3oz light/fat free cream cheese
2 tablespoons of fresh parsley (or dried) minced
1/2 tbs garlic powder
Salt/Pepper to taste

How To Cook:
1. Start the pasta water going and add the pasta when it's boiling - this will take the longest amount of time during this process.

2. In a large pot (I love my dutch oven for this kind of cooking) add a tablespoon of butter on Med heat. When it's melted, add your protein and cook until cooked through. Once cooked, remove from pan and set aside.

3. In the same pan, on med/low heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Once butter has melted add the 2 tablespoons of flour and whisk until it's completely combined.

4. Slowly whisk in the milk. Whisk constantly until combined.

5. Whisk in the cream and garlic powder.

6. Whisk in the cream cheese and grated parmesan cheese. You will want to whisk for 1-2 minutes constantly for the cheeses to melt.

** at this point you may be thinking that the sauce its extremely too thin. Have no fear, it will thicken!

7.Once it has started to thicken, add the protein back in to the sauce and stir in the parsley (leaving a pinch for decoration is desired).

8. Add salt/pepper to taste.

9. When the pasta is done, before straining, take some pasta straight out of the water and place in the sauce. The water on the pasta will help thin the sauce a little (since it will be very thick). Then strain the rest of the pasta and mix it in with the sauce.

Healthy Apple Cinnamon & Oat Muffins

Before I share this delicious recipe I just have to ask where the heck August and September went. The last time I blogged was August 2nd and that seems like forever ago. Just so you know, I haven't just been sitting around doing nothing, I started nursing school! Two weeks after my last blog post I started my first day of my new future. I am currently starting my first week with real patients. Yeah, I still can't get over the fact that they are going to let me be around living breathing humans so quickly. That being said, I haven't had a lot of time to create recipes. I have been cooking a lot despite the insane study load, I just haven't had time to shoot the food and sit down and write about it.

Boy haven't I missed it though. This past week my family had some free time and we went apple picking, one of my favorite fall activities up here in our beautiful state of Maine. But let's be honest, all I could think about was what I was going to bake with those beautiful Cortland apples!

When I got home I quickly whipped up an apple crisp for my husband then buckled down and made these delicious healthy apple cinnamon and oat muffins for myself. Man, oh, man they are super yummy and they are practically guilt free! If you're on the hunt for an oil free muffin recipe that is oh so yummy then try this - I promise you will not be disappointed!

Ingredients for the Muffins

2 cups finely chopped / minced apples
½ cup old fashion oats - chopped (either by hand or in food processor)

⅓ cup applesauce
1 cup fat free  Half & Half (or milk)
⅓ cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg

Ingredients for the Topping
2 tablespoons cold butter in small pieces
½ cup old fashion oats - chopped (either by hand or in food processor)
½ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat Oven to 350ยบ and spray muffin pan
Muffins: Whisk together the brown sugar, egg, vanilla, Half & Half, and applesauce. Then add in flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Then slowly fold in the apples and oats.

Topping: Mix by hand all ingredients for the topping until it lumpy but all mixed together then place in the fridge for 5-10 minutes. You hands will warm the butter up a little so placing it in the fridge will help harden it up a little. 

Cook: Fill muffin tins ⅓ full with muffin mix then sprinkle the topping on top. Cook for 15 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.