Spice it up this fall with my cajun spiced chicken breasts, and use leftover pumpkin puree to create one of the most delicious homemade pasta alfredo dishes you’ve ever tried!

By using pumpkin, we lower the amount of fat calories (since it acts a sauce thickener instead of milk, cheese and butter), and boost the flavor! It’s a delicious comfort-food makeover just in time for the fall.

Remember to customize this for your tastes and your dietary goals. For instance, swap the whole wheat fettuccine for shirataki fettuccine to reduce the amount of carbohydrates.

Enjoy this meal with a garden salad of mixed greens, tomatoes, shaved carrots, cucumbers, green (or red) onion and your favorite low-calorie vinaigrette.

Ingredients for 5 servings:
  • 1 1/4 lb chicken breasts
    • Vegetarian substitute: extra-firm tofu; seitan
  • Cajun rub
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon (smoked) paprika
    • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
    • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    • pinches of sea salt & pepper
  • 8oz whole wheat fettuccine
    • Substitutes: brown rice pasta; shirataki fettuccine or spaghetti
  • Sauce
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
    • 2/3 cup skim milk (or milk of choice)
      • Vegetarian substitute: almond milk; coconut milk
    • 1 cup canned pumpkin
    • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons parmesan, grated
    • tablespoons of pasta water until you reach desired consistency (I used 5 tablespoons)
    • 1 1/2 cups raw spinach leaves
    • sea salt & cracked pepper to taste
  • Garnish
    • fresh chopped parsley
  1. Set oven to 420F/216C.
  2. Rub the chicken breasts well with seasonings.  Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or on a baking rack, then bake for 15 to 20 minutes.  Tip: for the final 2 minutes of baking, broil the chicken breast to blacken the edges and top of the chicken breast.  After baking, allow the breasts to cool, then chop them into pieces.
  3. Cook fettuccine according to the instructions given and reserve some of the pasta water.
  4. Set a (nonstick) skillet on medium heat and add olive oil and garlic.  Cook for about 2 minutes and do NOT burn the garlic.
  5. Reduce the heat, then add milk, pumpkin and 1/2 cup parmesan.  Mix together until you have a consistent, smooth alfredo sauce.  Add the cooked fettuccine and fold everything together.  Add tablespoons of pasta water if the sauce is too thick.
  6. Toss in the raw spinach and cook until the spinach has wilted.
  7.  Add the chopped chicken breasts, then garnish with parsley and the remaining 2 tablespoons of parmesan.  Season to taste with sea salt & pepper.

Original article is here

Categories: Recipes