Friday, March 28, 2008

Rainy Day Deliciousness

Let me set the scene. It's rainy out. It's cold. The wind whipping around the side of your building sounds like something out of an old horror movie. Frankly, it's gross out and ipso facto you feel gross too. What you need is some comfort food. Something warm, that soothes the soul.

My go-to comfort food (other than grilled cheese served with tomato soup. Mmm!) is pasta with died ham, peas and Alfredo sauce. It's creamy and comforting and delicious. But not really so healthy. Whereas last year if I was typing out this recipe I probably would have hit you with some HEAVY CREAM and lots of it. But no, being more healthy in the '08 means finding healthier versions of decadent things you love.

So I will tell you what we'll do.

Let's switch out regular ol' ham and substitute in some turkey ham which 1) is inexpensive and 2) honestly tastes just as good in this recipe.

And instead of gorgeous rich tons o' calorie and fat Alfredo sauce let's use this "diet Alfredo sauce' recipe I found on Recipe Zaar. The problem I have found with other diet friendly-takes on Alfredo is that they are too runny, and the ingredients don't blend together well. So while the taste may be okay you end up with a rather chunky and runny sauce. Not too great. But this recipe, with it's cottage cheese smoothed out in the food processor, immediately seemed to me like it would be the thick creamy deliciousness I desired.

And it really was. OH MY GOD. So good. You may never go back to the real stuff after this.

So let's get to it.

Whole Wheat Rotini Alfredo with Turkey Ham and Peas

1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup fat free cottage cheese
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2-3 thick slices of turkey ham
1/2 a package of frozen peas
1 medium onion
16 oz package of whole wheat rotini

Take the first seven ingredients listed and blend in a food processor until smooth - set aside.



Ahh turkey ham, how I love thee. This represents about 1/2 of a small turkey ham so feel free to freeze the rest and use it later on

Chop it up into 1/2 inch chunks.




Next finely chop your onion.



Heat a large pan over medium heat with some olive oil. Throw in the onion and cook until soft - about 5-7 minutes.


Add the frozen peas and cook for another 3-5 minutes.



Add the ham and cook until warmed through.
Then set aside. Pour the sauce into a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat for 10 minutes or so, stirring now and then.
Pour into pan with ham and vegetables and stir. Add in cooked pasta and mix thoroughly..



Et voila!
So delicious. And if you think about how you substitute turkey ham for regular ham, whole wheat pasta for regular pasta, and that fabulous diet Alfredo for regular Alfredo...it's a healthy take on a fabulous, rich comfort food.





1 comment:

Lys said...

That looks amazing!! Hmmm.. turkey ham, huh? I need to start switching to more low calorie offerings. Thanks Sarah!