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Chicken Alfredo

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    Heavy cream, butter, Parmesan, and a grand serving of refined pasta team up to make alfredo a dish where the calories can add up faster than snowflakes in a blizzard. This lightened-up whole grain version is just as creamy and rich-tasting without the avalanche of calories. And unlike its restaurant counterpart, it includes vegetables for a splash of colour and some nutritional do-goodery.

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    2 Tbsp (30 mL) grapeseed oil or extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 Tbsp (15 mL) whole wheat flour
    1 1/3 cups (330 mL) 1% milk
    3/4 cup (180 mL) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
    2 Tbsp (30 mL) light cream cheese
    1 tsp (5 mL) lemon zest
    2 tsp (10 mL) fresh thyme
    1/4 tsp (1 mL) red chili flakes 
    1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
    1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
    12 oz (340 g) whole grain fettuccini or linguini 
    1 1/2 lb (750 g) skinless, boneless chicken breast or thigh, cut into thin strips
    3 cups (750 mL) sliced crimini mushrooms 
    1 bunch kale, chopped
    1/2 cup (125 mL) oil-packed sundried tomatoes, thinly sliced
    1/3 cup (80 mL) chopped parsley

    Heat medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil and swirl to coat. Place garlic in pan and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in flour and then gradually add milk, stirring with whisk as you go. Cook until mixture thickens, stirring often, about 6 minutes. Stir in Parmesan, cream cheese, lemon zest, thyme, chili flakes, salt, and pepper; cook until cheese has melted, stirring constantly. Cover to keep warm and set aside.

    Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1/3 cup (80 mL) of the cooking liquid.

    Heat remaining oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken pieces and cook until cooked through, about 6 minutes. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside. Place mushrooms in skillet and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add kale, sundried tomatoes, and 2 Tbsp (30 mL) water to skillet and cook for 1 minute, or until kale is slightly wilted. Return chicken to skillet along with pasta, reserved cooking liquid, and sauce; toss to coat.

    Serve garnished with parsley and additional black pepper.

    Serves 6.

    Each serving contains: 503 calories; 44 g protein; 13 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 57 g total carbohydrates (4 g sugars, 2 g fibre); 448 mg sodium

    source: "Perfect Poultry", alive #372, October 2013

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