As I mentioned in my earlier post about potato leek soup, I’ve been ill since the beginning of the new year and I haven’t done a lot of cooking as a result. I’m just starting to feel like I’m on the mend, so I was able to stand in the kitchen for a little longer today than yesterday to make something with a little more substance than soup.
Don’t get me wrong: soup is great and very comforting, but sometimes you want something with a bit more chew. Pasta is something I don’t have on a regular basis but I usually have some boxes of whole wheat noodles or pasta in the pantry at all times, just in case. Considering I’m low on proteins in the fridge right now, I had to work with what I had. There is some ground chicken and some pork schnitzels in the freezer, but both need thawing before they can be used. What protein do I have in abundance in the fridge? Low-sodium turkey bacon! Yum!
Considering I still had three leeks to use up, as well, I rummaged around in the pantry a bit more and found that I had a single bottle of store-bought Alfredo sauce. Now, I could start to see a meal forming in my head, so I went to work. Here’s what I did:
- 1 box whole wheat bow-tie pasta (or your favourite pasta/noodles) – cooked and drained
- 2 tsp no salt butter or margarine
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 6 slices low sodium turkey bacon, diced (you can use real bacon if you prefer! — just drain it a bit before adding the leeks)
- 3 leeks, chopped and washed
- I only use the white and light green parts, cut the stem length-wise, then chop it up and wash them in a bowl of water to let the grit float to the bottom — use a ‘spider’ or slotted spoon to fish out the leeks
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp ground thyme
- 1 tsp Mrs Dash Table Blend seasoning
- 1 jar store-bought Alfredo sauce
- 1/3 cup grated light Parmesan (or regular)
- 1/2 cup skim milk (or whatever milk/cream you prefer)
- In a wok or large skillet, heat butter and extra virgin olive oil over a medium heat.
- Cook the turkey bacon for a minute or two, allowing it to start to crisp up.
- Add the leeks and seasonings, then stir to mix. Cook until the leeks wilt down (a few minutes).
- Pour in the Alfredo sauce and stir to mix.
- Heat through for a few minutes. The sauce will start to change colour as the seasonings mix and cook into it.
- Stir in the Parmesan cheese and milk and cook a little while longer until the mixture is bubbling all over. Remember to stir a few times to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- In a large ceramic or glass serving dish, pour in the cooked pasta, then the sauce over the top of the pasta.
- Mix thoroughly in the bowl and serve topped with a little bit of grated mozzarella or Monterrey Jack cheese and some chopped or dried parsley.
Makes: approximately 6 servings.
Nutritional value per serving: 352 calories, 47g carbs, 13g fat, 13g protein, 565mg sodium, 3g sugar
It’s a little bit higher in the carbs than I’d prefer but next time, I might cook up another meat (like baked chicken) and serve this in a smaller, half-sized side-dish portion for half the values (176 calories, 23.5g carbs, 6.5g fat, 6.5g protein, 282.5mg sodium, 1.5g sugar).