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Healthy Carbonara With Veggies and Chicken

Since starting this blog, I have developed a routine. At some point during the day, I make my final decision on what I’m going to cook and post it to various places, letting anyone who might be interested know. I get home from work and start cooking. After dinner and clean-up, I write and post.

I got distracted last night. We rented “Julie and Julia.” Have you seen it? I got totally caught up in the movie! Of course, I related to the idea of blogging about food. But even more, I connected on an almost spiritual level with the love of creation the movie portrayed. That is what draws me to the kitchen every night. I connect with my ingredients, their textures, their taste, the transformation they undergo as I try to make the sum of their parts greater than the individual components. It is the joy of success as I watch my wife and son take the first bite and breath in deeply as their eyes role up.

And so, this entry comes more than 12 hours later than usual. I hope you like it, because we certainly did!

Carbonara sauce, is really very simple. Most start with the same ingredients: pancetta (Italian bacon), onions, eggs or egg yolk, Parmesan or Parmigiano-Reggiano, and often, heavy cream. Can you say fat and cholesterol! So yet another challenge to healthy eating confronts me. Can I do carbonara in a healthy way? Absolutely! In addition to lightening the ingredients, I added broccoli and mushrooms. I also considered spinach and may well try that next time.

This version makes 4 servings. For my Weight Watchers friends, each serving works out to about 7 points.

Ingredients

2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
6 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
12 ounces chicken breast (2 breasts), cut in half and pounded thin
4 ounces Canadian bacon, diced
1 medium onion
2 bunches broccoli, including stems (peel and coarsely dice the stems)
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
3/4 cup Egg Beaters or other egg substitute
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
Salt and pepper

Preparation

1. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente in pot of salted water.
2. Heat 1 tsp oil in a skillet (I like to use cast-iron for this to get a sear) over medium-high heat. Lightly spray chicken breast with oil and rub in herbs. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook about 3 minutes a side.
3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp oil in a large straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add Canadian bacon and saute until nearly browned, about 2 minutes. Add onions, mushrooms and broccoli and saute until the broccoli is hot, but still firm. Turn heat off.
4. Drain, but do not rinse, spaghetti and mix it with the vegetable mixture.
5. In a bowl, combine Egg Beaters, buttermilk and cheese and pour over vegetables and pasta, the remaining heat of the spaghetti and skillet will cook the sauce. Top with pepper.
6. Serve with chicken and Parmesan cheese.
Credit: Foodista








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